If you have just arrived in British Columbia (BC), you will require private medical insurance for your first three months. You may register for private medical insurance through the Acadia College International Office. The rate for the private insurance is $1.55 per day (fee subject to change).
International students will qualify for the British Columbia Medical Services Plan (MSP) after living in BC for 3 months. The monthly costs for MSP coverage are (fees subject to change):
International students must also have a valid study permit to qualify for MSP. Your BC Services Card (Care Card) will expire on the same date as your study permit. When you receive a new study permit, you must send a copy of your study permit to the MSP office to extend your BC Services/Care Card. Otherwise, your medical insurance will no longer be valid.
MSP covers the cost of basic medical care within BC and Canada including most physician and hospital services.
The Medical Services Plan (MSP) provides the following benefits:
For more information please visit the Ministry of Health’s website: www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/health/health-drug-coverage/msp or call 1-800-663-7100
THE INTERNATIONAL OFFICE CAN HELP YOU TO APPLY FOR OR RENEW YOUR MSP. COME VISIT US WITH YOUR CURRENT STUDY PERMIT.
Fair PharmaCare is a provincial income-based program, designed to provide fair access to coverage for prescription drugs – the lower your income, the more assistance the government will provide toward your eligible drug costs. For example, if your net income from two years ago was $15,000 or less and you have registered for Fair PharmaCare, you will have 70% of your eligible prescription drug costs covered immediately, with no deductible, and 100% of your prescription drug costs covered after $300.
Once you register, Fair PharamaCare coverage will kick in once you’ve reached your assigned deductible that Fair PharmaCare calculates based on your income tax data from two years ago. In the meantime, your UVSS Health Plan covers your prescription drug costs (up to 80% per policy year).
Once you have reached your deductible, the majority of your prescription drug costs will be paid by Fair Pharmacare instead of your UVSS Plan, allowing the UVSS to allocate coverage to other areas such as vision and dental care.
Fair PharmaCare will also assign a maximum amount of coverage per policy year, based on your income. Once your maximum reached, Fair PharmaCare will cover 100% of the cost of your prescription drugs. For most students, with incomes under $25,000, the maximum will be between $300 and $750.
You need to call Health Insurance BC to establish your own MSP account (separate from your parents) and register for your own Fair PharmaCare coverage at the same time. Typical response time is prompt and it shouldn’t take more than a few minutes. See below for what information you will need.
Health Insurance BC: 1 800 663-7100
Monday to Friday from 8 am – 8pm
Saturday from 8 am – 4pm
You can register online or by calling Health Insurance BC at the number above.
If you are an international student who is now enrolled in BC MSP, and you have not filed a tax return in Canada, call Health Insurance BC and they will explain what you can use instead, such as a copy of your study permit.
Everyone living in British Columbia for more than six months is required to enrol in MSP (except students with existing coverage from another Canadian province or territory).
If you come to British Columbia without coverage under MSP or another provincial or territorial health plan and will be here for six months or longer, you should apply for MSP immediately upon your arrival. As there is a three-month waiting period before MSP coverage will start, you must ensure you have basic health insurance for those first three months in British Columbia. Canadian citizens or permanent residents are advised to join the Global Campus Health Plan during that three-month MSP waiting period.
If you are a Status Indian, it is recommended that you also have your Status Card with you when accessing health or medical services, in addition to the health card (e.g., Care Card) from your home province or territory.
Canadian students from other provinces or territories can remain under their home province or territory health plan as long as they remain students.