Medical Insurance Plan
For International Students

International students are required to have basic and or extended health insurance for the duration of their studies at PLC, as health care and emergency in Canada can cost thousands of dollars per day if you do not have valid medical insurance. Accompanying family members are also strongly recommended to have basic and or extended health insurance.

About BC MSP?

The British Columbia Medical Services Plan (BC MSP)  is the provincial insurance program that pays for required medical services,  like doctor’s appointments or visits, surgeries, hospital visits, and some medical exams. Here is a  list of medical services that MSP covers. It is mandatory for all eligible residents of British Columbia to enrol for medical insurance. International students holding at least six months’ study visas are also required to enroll, together with their dependants. The total cost of MSP is $75 per month, per student and it’s billed to you monthly directly by the BC government. Students can pay online and set up online services such as setting up autopayments, seeing their balance, and setting up paperless invoicing. As these fees are subject to change, you are advised to visit the BC MSP website for the most updated information.

If you will be in BC for 6 months or less, you are not eligible to apply for MSP coverage..If you plan to leave Canada for more than 6 months, you may need to reapply for MSP on return. Click here for more information regarding leaving BC.

Medical insurance

There are different medical insurance plans and coverages available for international students while studying in Canada. In British Columbia, international students studying for more than 6 months are required to enrol in a basic medical coverage known as the Medical Services Plan (MSP). This medical insurance is provided by the government of British Columbia.

International students can only apply for the MSP after arriving in Canada. There is a normal waiting period of 3 months, and to cover that, international students must obtain private insurance for the first three months of their arrival in Canada. There are different private medical insurance plans students can enrol for including guard.me, and iMED by David Cumming Insurance Services ltd.

Coverage Period

To qualify for MSP, you must wait three months, which includes the remaining days of the month you arrived in British Columbia and the next two calendar months. For example; when a student arrives in BC on May 25, the expected MSP coverage starts on August 1.

Your MSP coverage and expiration date will match with the duration of your study permit in Canada. You must update your MSP account each time you extend your study permit or apply for a different status in Canada (such as a post-graduation work permit).

For students under Maintained Status (applied to extend or change their immigration status in Canada), you may have temporary MSP coverage until a decision is made by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) on your application.  Please visit Medical Services Plan coverage continues for people with maintained status to learn more.

How to Apply for MSP

The following are the required documents when applying for MSP:

  • Applicant’s full name, date of birth, and gender information.
  • Copy of a valid study permit (main applicant).
  • Copy of a valid open work permit, study permit, or visitor permit (dependents, accompanying spouse or child) – if applicable.
  • Marriage certificate or divorce decree – if applicable.
  • Residential and mailing address in British Columbia.
  • Phone number – if available.

International students can apply for MSP online or by mail, we encourage students to apply online (it takes about 15 minutes to complete).

How to Use MSP

Before visiting a clinic or hospital it’s advised to know what’s covered and what’s not covered by BC MSP.

In order to use your MSP, you must show your BC Services Card—a government-issued identification card bearing your name and Personal Health Number (PHN)—when requesting medical attention at hospitals or walk-in clinics. For minor illnesses or injuries, it’s recommended to visit clinics, and for emergency medical attention, you should visit hospitals. Most clinics are by walk-in basis (first come, first serve) and do not require an appointment. To request help or an ambulance, call 911. Find a Clinic or Hospital near you.

Contacting MSP

Health Insurance BC (HIBC): For MSP enrolment, cancelling coverage, and other services.

Monday to Friday from 8:00 am to 4:30 am Pacific Standard Time.

  • Lower Mainland: (604) 683-7151
  • Elsewhere in B.C.: 1 (800) 663-7100 (toll-free)
  • Email: mspenquiries@hibc.gov.bc.ca

Revenue Services of British Columbia (RSBC): For billing, payments and refund information.

Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 am Pacific Standard Time.

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