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Canadian Citizens & Permanent Residents: Graduate Students

Note: In Canada, there are two types of insurance: primary and secondary. Both Primary Insurance and Secondary Insurance are required.

Note: Both Primary Insurance and Secondary Insurance are required.

PRIMARY INSURANCE

Covers medically-required services, such as visits to doctors, hospital stays and diagnostic medical testing. Primary medical insurance is legally required for all residents of British Columbia (including international students) and is provided through the BC Medical Services Plan (MSP). An interim solution to the waiting period coverage gap is a short-term plan called guard.me.

Moving to BC from another province? Canadian students who do not plan to take up permanent residence in BC may be able to remain on your home province's medical plan. Check with your home province.

If you are not able to remain on your home province‚Äôs coverage, you must apply for the BC's Medical Services Plan.

Are you a Canadian citizen or permanent resident moving to Canada? You must apply for the BC's Medical Services Plan. You must also ensure that you have medical insurance during the waiting period coverage gap.

BC Medical Services Plan (MSP)

Cost: Medical Services Plan (MSP) premiums were eliminated as of January 1, 2020.
Enrollment: Need to apply
More Info: BC MSP website

Common Questions:

What is BC Medical Services Plan (MSP)?

Students staying in BC for 6 months or longer are required to enrol in the British Columbia Medical Services Plan under the Medicare Protection Act. There is a wait period of 2-3 months for newcomers. In order to be covered during the wait period you may purchase a private medical insurance plan through guard.me.

If you are a new international student at SFU, the guard.me@SFU plan will provide you with short-term coverage for your first term while you wait for your BC MSP. 

BC MSP provides primary medical coverage such as:

  • services provided by a doctor
  • X-rays, lab tests (as required by a doctor) 
  • emergency dental and oral surgery in hospital

How and when can I apply for MSP?

To apply for BC MSP, complete the MSP Application online at this website.

You may also complete the MSP Application for Enrolment form by mail and mail it directly to BC MSP.

Please note there is a wait period of 2-3 months for newcomers. In order to be covered during the wait period you may purchase a private medical insurance plan through guard.me

If you are a new international student at SFU, the guard.me@SFU plan will provide you with short-term coverage for your first term while you wait for your BC MSP. 

How does BC MSP work?

Once enrolled, BC MSP will mail you a BC Services Card. When visiting a health clinic or hospital, you will be asked to show your BC Services Card as proof of enrollment. You will not be required to pay for the visit, they will bill BC MSP directly. 

SECONDARY INSURANCE

Generally covers vision care, prescription drugs and dental care. Eligible SFU students receive secondary medical insurance through the SFSS/GSS Extended Health and Dental Plan.  Graduate students working as TAs may receive coverage through another provider as part of their employment contract.

Do you already have an equivalent secondary insurance plan? OPT OUT of the GSS Health and Dental Plan.

GSS Benefit Plan

Cost: $465.00/ academic year*
Enrollment: Automatic (except if entering in summer term)
More Info: GSS Benefit Plan website

*prices are subject to change without notice

Common Questions:

What is the GSS Benefit Plan?

The Graduate Student Society (GSS) health and dental plan is in place to complement primary medical coverage (ie. BC MSP). Coverage includes: vision, dental, health, and travel benefits. 

How and when can I opt out of the GSS Benefit Plan?

You may opt out of the GSS extended health plan if you have existing secondary coverage in BC. To opt out, you will be required to upload proof of coverage on the GSS Health and Dental website during the Change-of-Coverage Period. This will be during the first two weeks of each term. 

Please visit their website for more information. 

How can I make claims?

You can submit health and dental claim forms directly to the insurance company. You may also file claims online through the ihaveaplan mobile app. For more information, and to download the app, click here.