i For the latest updates and specific information on COVID-19 including impacts on medical insurance, please refer to the COVID-19 FAQ for International Students page.

COVID-19 FAQ for International Students > 

International & US Undergraduate 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.

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.

Staying in BC for 6 months or longer? Under the Medicare Protection Act, enrollment with the Medical Services Plan (MSP) is mandatory for all eligible residents and their dependents.

If you are in BC and haven't done so already, apply for BC Medical Services Plan (MSP) right away. 

If this is your first term at SFU and:

  • you already have valid coverage through BC Medical Services Plan (MSP), or 
  • you are studying at SFU under a government sponsored scholarship program, or
  • you are outside Canada,

you may be able to opt out of the guard.me@SFU temporary medical insurance plan, if you have not used it. To opt out of guard.me@SFU, visit their website before the deadline

Moving to BC from another province? If you are currently covered by another provincial medical insurance plan, you may be able to opt out of the guard.me@SFU plan. Ensure you contact your Provincial or Territorial health plan provider to inquire about coverage while in British Columbia (BC). Please note that SFU and guard.me will not review your home insurance plan. 

If you are not able to remain on your home province's or territory plan, you cannot opt out from guard.me@sfu and must apply for the BC's Medical Services Plan after your arrival in BC.

For new students starting in Fall 2020:

Click here to enlarge the image. 

guard.me@SFU

Cost: $281 for your first term at SFU*
Enrollment: Automatic (upon enrollment in classes) for your first term only
More Info: guard.me@SFU website

*prices are subject to change without notice

Common Questions:

What is guard.me@SFU?

Guard.me@SFU is a short term primary medical insurance coverage for your first term at SFU. The goal of guard.me@SFU is to help you transition while you are waiting for your BC MSP. If you plan to live in BC for more than 6 months, under the Medicare Protection Act, you must enroll with the mandatory BC Medical Services Plan.

How do I get the policy/ certificate number?

You will receive an email from guard.me@SFU regarding the policy/ certificate number. The policy information will be in an attachment. Make sure to keep this for future reference as you will need it for direct billing or to submit a claim.  If you have not received an email from guard.me@SFU, please contact them at admin@guard.me.

How and when can I opt out of guard.me@SFU?

You are only enrolled in guard.me@SFU plan for your first term at SFU. If you already have valid coverage through BC Medical Services Plan (MSP) or another Canadian provincial or territorial public health coverage, are studying at SFU under a government sponsored scholarship program, or you are outside of Canada you may be able to opt out of the guard.me@SFU Plan.

If you are opting out with another Canadian provincial or territorial public health coverage,ensure you contact your Provincial or Territorial health plan provider to inquire about coverage while in British Columbia (BC). Please note that SFU and guard.me will not review your home insurance plan. 

To opt out of guard.me@SFU medical insurance plan, please visit the opt out website. Select your appropriate student category and follow the opt out instructions. For opt out deadlines click here.

Note: changes may not be reflected right away.

Opting-out with BC MSP

In order to successfully opt-out from guard.me with BC MSP, you must submit proof of MSP which must include a photo of your MSP card plus one of the following additional documents:

Please note the following:

  • Your BC MSP card must be valid the day you opt-out from the guard.me plan. Expired BC MSP card will not be accepted as a proof of coverage
  • A Collections Notice cannot be used to opt-out
  • The name and and date of birth on your BC MSP card must match SFU records.
  • If your MSP card is issued more than 3 months prior to start of the semester, no additional document is required. You only need to submit a photo of your MSP card to opt out. 

How can I make claims?

When visiting any of the SFU Health Clinics, print out a copy of the email attachment from guard.me@SFU containing your coverage certificate. They will collect a copy for each visit and will directly bill guard.me@SFU on your behalf. No additional claim is required. 

For clinics that do not allow direct billing, you will need to pay upfront for the visit. Keep copies of all your payment receipts. To submit a claim, please visit guard.me@SFU to create an online account and upload copies of your receipts. 

I received my BC Services Card (MSP card) before the end of my first term. May I apply for a partial refund of the 4 month policy?

You may be eligible for a refund of the unused portion of your insurance if you have not made a claim and there is more than 1 month of coverage remaining when you apply through guard.me@SFU. Your application for a partial reimbursement must be received by guard.me@SFU before the last month of the term (that is, before April 1, August 1 and December 1). If approved, your partial refund will be applied to your SFU account.

BC Medical Services Plan (MSP)

Cost: $75 per month*

If you have any dependent (e.g. spouse, common-law partner, and/or children) on the same BC MSP account, this fee will apply for each study permit holder.

Enrollment: Need to apply

More Info: BC MSP website

*prices are subject to change without notice

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 along with an invoice to pay. Payments may be made monthly or in advance. Payments are made directly to BC MSP, not through SFU.

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. 

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

Are you an international student living outside of Canada? Note that plan benefits are only accessible within Canada. Review your option and details below.

SFSS Health and Dental Plan

Cost: $254.36/ academic year (Enhanced Plan) or $197.52/ academic year (Basic Plan)*
Enrollment: Automatic (except if entering in summer term)
More Info: SFSS Health and Dental Plan website

*prices are subject to change without notice

Common Questions:

What is the SFSS Health and Dental Plan?

The undergraduate Simon Fraser Student Society Health and Dental Plan is in place to complement primary medical coverage (ie. MSP). Services not covered by primary coverage (ie. vision and dental care) are included in the SFSS plan. 

Eligible students are automatically covered by and billed for applicable portions of the student Plan. Note that Plan benefits are only accessible within Canada.

How and when can I opt out of the SFSS Health and Dental Plan?

You may opt out of the SFSS health plan if you have existing secondary coverage in BC. To opt out, you will be required to upload proof of coverage on the SFSS Health and Dental website during the Change-of-Coverage Period. This will be during the first two weeks of each term. This is also the period where you can opt down from the Enhanced Plan to the Basic Plan.

*NEW* Due to the impact of travel restrictions related to COVID-19, opting out options for international students have been expanded for the 2020-21 academic year so that you can make the best choice for your individual circumstances. Be sure to read the FAQ at www.studentcare.ca to review your options, and find complete details on your Plan’s benefits online.

Please visit their website for more information. 

How can I make claims?

Use the claim forms on the SFSS Health and Dental website to complete your request. Original payment receipts must be mailed with the form(s).

Please allow up to two weeks for claims to be processed. 

For claim forms and more information, please visit the SFSS Health and Dental website