All students coming to Canada are legally required to have medical insurance. Hospital expenses in Canada can easily reach thousands of dollars in a very short period of time. In fact, a major illness would leave the average student with virtually unpayable debts.
Health insurance in BC consists of a combination of public, private, and extended health insurance.
Medical Services Plan (MSP)
The government of British Columbia provides a Medical Services Plan (MSP) to all BC residents. The monthly premiums, effective January 1, 2013: $66.50 for singles, $120.50 for couples, and $133.00 for families of three or more. Premium assistance is available from the government for Canadians and permanent residents whose income falls below a certain level. MSP covers basic medically-required services provided by physicians and supplementary health care practitioners, laboratory services, diagnostic procedures, and hospitalization.
Private insurance for MSP waiting period
MSP coverage does not begin until a waiting period has expired. This waiting period includes the month in which you submit your MSP application, plus two months. For example, if you submit your MSP application in the month of September (whether September 1 or 30 or anywhere in between), your waiting period will be September, October, and November, and your MSP coverage will begin in the month of December.
It is therefore mandatory that students have coverage for this interim period. Private insurance to cover this waiting period is available through the following local insurance company: David Cummings Insurance Services, Ltd.
Retaining insurance from your home province
Canadian students who do not intend to settle permanently in BC may be able to maintain hospital and medical coverage in their home province for the duration of their studies. Each province has different requirements for maintaining health insurance. Make sure to contact the insurance provider in your home province for details.
AMS Health Plan
The AMS (the UBC student association to which Regent students belong) has an extended health plan. This plan is mandatory for all students who take 3 or more credit hours, and is automatically included in your student fees. This insurance covers dental work, prescription drugs, travel insurance, and other services not covered through MSP. Please note that the AMS health plan does not cover MSP’s three-month waiting period.
Students who are taking 3 or more audit hours can opt in to the plan by paying student fees. You can opt in to student fees when you register for your courses. There is a very limited time period for opting in or out of this plan at the beginning of each term.
Families of students (spouses and children) can opt in to the plan. You will need to visit the AMS Health Plan site to enroll your family. Please note that you will need to enroll your family in the AMS plan each academic year.
Students who already have extended health insurance, and American students who commute from Washington State, may opt out of this health plan by contacting the AMS Health Plan Office in the UBC Student Union Building.
For full details and for the dates of opt-in and opt-out periods, visit the AMS Health Plan site.
You can also refer to the AMSHD Plan Welcome Letter .
There are many fine medical doctors and hospitals in Vancouver as well as a wide range of alternative medical practices. You can ask fellow students or the Assistant Dean of Students for recommendations for medical doctors, dentists, etc.