CANADA

Student Health Insurance In Canada – It is true that Canada is known for its free healthcare services but most times, the people that enjoy this are the Canadian citizens and permanent residents and so it is sometimes difficult for non-residents to assess this free healthcare but it is also possible.

Canada is one of the best countries to study in as it boasts of some of the best universities in the world and this is why a large number of international students want to come study in Canada as you also get to enjoy some benefits while studying in Canada like Canadian healthcare insurance. And owing to the fact that the Canadian government doesn’t joke with health issues, it is mandatory that international students attending any school in Canada arrange for healthcare insurance for the length of their study program.

In this article, we are going to be looking at the healthcare services for students in each of the provinces in Canada.

Table of ContentRelated Articles

  • Healthcare in Canada
  • Healthcare services for students by province

Let’s proceed…

Healthcare In Canada

Canada is one of the best countries to immigrate to and this is because it offers a lot of wonderful benefits one of which is quality healthcare.Advertisements

The healthcare services are funded by the government of Canada and it is funded through the taxes collected from the citizens, permanent residents and any other eligible tax payer in the country. This means that as a tax payer in Canada, you are entitled to free healthcare services as the government has covered the cost for this.

The Canadian government believes that everyone is entitled to good healthcare services  and medical treatments regardless and that is why a large portion of the revenue generated from taxes are plunged into medical care for its residents and citizens.

Insured persons are eligible to the healthcare services offered within a given province in which they reside provided that you are legally residing in or have lived in Canada for at least three months in a year not including tourists and visitors. So as a citizen, permanent resident, foreign worker or international student, you can apply for public health insurance from the province you reside in.

So it is important that international students that want to study in Canada must get to know that various healthcare insurance available to them especially in the province they are residing.

The healthcare services in Canada differ from province to province meaning that each province in Canada has its own healthcare plan and the people that are eligible for the program. Some provinces exclude international students from their healthcare coverage while some others include them.

But some healthcare insurance available to international students are private health insurance plans and also some educational institutions offer these students health insurance packages and sometimes school can allow students to opt out of their student health insurance packages provided that the student can prove they are receiving private health insurance elsewhere.

Health Care Services for Students by Province

We are going to be discussing the insurance plans available for students in the provinces in Canada and what they entail.

Alberta

There is public health insurance available in this province and international students studying in the province for a period of at least six months are seen to be eligible for the health insurance coverage in the province through the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP).

The health care in this province covers only basic health expenses and doesn’t cover the dental care or drug prescription and you are ineligible to obtain this coverage as an international student in Alberta, you will be required to purchase a private health insurance plan either through an insurance company or agent.

British Columbia

There is public health insurance available in this province and if you want to study in the province for at least six months, you are eligible for the British Columbia Medical Services Plan (MSP). You will have to apply for the plan as soon as your arrive the province and the MSP takes an application processing time of about 3months. You will apply only once when you arrive BC.

Before you qualify for the BC Medical Services Plan (MSP), you will be provided with basic health insurance by IMED during the three-month waiting period of your MSP processing.

Also, as an international student, you can purchase an extended health coverage aside the basic coverage the MSP offers and some schools in the province require students to purchase the health insurance packages in the institution.

If you do not qualify for the MSP, then you will have to purchase the private health care coverage for the length of your stay in the province.

Newfoundland and Labrador

There is public health insurance available in this province and all registered international students in the province are automatically enrolled in the Foreign Health Insurance Plan.  As an international student, you are entitled to free basic health coverage through the Medical Care Plan (MCP) in the province as long as you are enrolled in a full-time study for a period of at least 12 months.

If you are not eligible for the program, you will have to purchase private insurance health coverage for the duration of your stay in Canada.

Northwest Territories

There is public health insurance available in this province and international students are required to apply for health insurance through the Northwest Territories Health Care (NWTHC) as long as they are studying in the province and for a duration of no longer than 12 months.

The Health Care in this province provides free basic health care for people living in the Northwest Territories and since the coverage is basic, international students are encouraged to explore extended private healthcare coverage.

Nova Scotia

There is no public health insurance available in this province and international students in this province must purchase health coverage as they are do not qualify for the health care program in the province.

Some institutions in the Nova Scotia offer health care plans to international students and require them to purchase them. The public health insurance that is available in the province is for anyone who has resided legally in the province for at least 12 months. The cost for the plan is around $650 to $750 for 12 months of coverage which is one year.

In your first year as an international student, you may qualify to apply for a Nova Scotia Health Card which grants you access to free basic health coverage through the Medical Services Insurance (MSI) and after obtaining the provincial health card, you may be eligible to opt out of the institution’s health care packages.

Ontario

There is no public health insurance available in this province and international students do not qualify for the provincial Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP). And this made all the higher institutions in Ontario to offer health insurance plans to international students.

The costs of the health insurance plans offered by educational institutions are not free and so they are added to the student’s university fees. Public universities offer health insurance through the University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP) while the private institutions offer health insurance through private providers.

Prince Edward Island (PEI)

There is public health insurance available in this province and also international students qualify for public health insurance if they will live in the province for at least six months. You can also apply for the PEI Health Card if you have stayed in the province for at least three months.

So international students are required to purchase the health insurance from their institution or private provider for the beginning of their study program and when they are eligible for the PEI Health Card, they can then opt out of the health insurance plan they purchased.

Quebec

The public health insurance in this province occurs in some cases and it is for countries for which the province has reciprocity agreements with and this agreement is for about ten countries which allows the residents of these countries to register for free basic health insurance through the Regie de l’ assurance maladie du Quebec (RAMQ). You should know that this is a French-speaking province.

If you are an international student from a country which is not covered by a reciprocity agreement, you will be automatically enrolled to purchase the group health insurance plan offer by the educational institutions in the province.

If you are not eligible for either of the health insurance plans we mentioned above, then you will have to purchase the private health insurance for the time you will be staying in Canada.

Saskatchewan

There is public health insurance available in this province and international students in the province qualify to apply for free basic health coverage if they are studying for at least six months. They can apply for the health coverage by obtaining a Saskatchewan Health Card.

Also, some institutions in Saskatchewan automatically enroll international students to purchase private health insurance plans but can opt out of this if you prove to have health coverage from another source.

Yukon

There is no public health insurance available in the province and since it only has one learning institution which is the Yukon College, the institution automatically enrolls international students to purchase a mandatory group health insurance plan to provide coverage during their studies.

Final Note

From all we have said so far, you will see that even as an international student, you are entitled to a level of health insurance in Canada this health insurance will help you study well in Canada. Health insurance is very important and so some colleges and universities in Canada require students to get health insurance if the school doesn’t have health insurance packages.

If you are not eligible for the public health insurance in the province where you are studying, you can purchase a private health insurance as it is still affordable especially for international students in Canada.

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