Health and Medical Insurance

Why do I need to have health insurance?

Health insurance coverage is mandatory for all eligible B.C. residents.

Types of medical insurance 

There are two types of insurance plans:

1. Primary Insurance - Provided through the Medical Service Plan

2. Secondary Insurance - Provided through GuardMe

What is the Medical Service Plan (MSP)?

The MSP is a health insurance plan that covers the cost of medically required services of physicians and surgeons and for dental or oral surgery when medically required.

Under the Medicare Protection Act, every resident of British Columbia is required to be under the coverage of the Medical Service Plan. If you are new to Canada, apply for MSP as soon as you arrive. Your basic medical insurance coverage may start three months after your arrival date in British Columbia. You should get private health insurance while you wait.

If you are moving from another province, you should arrange for coverage with your former basic health plan during the waiting period. If your family is not here yet, they need to keep their existing provincial health care. Once they arrive, you can apply to add them to your plan. Also, the waiting period for each family member will begin on their individual arrival date.

How much does it cost? 

International students enrolled in British Columbia's Medical Services Plan (MSP) are invoiced a monthly health fee. Revenue Services of British Columbia (RSBC) provides billing and collections services for the health fee on behalf of the Province of BC. Therefore, you need to pay a $75 healthcare coverage fee per month. This would vary if you have a spouse and or dependents.

What would MSP cover?

MSP is the provincial insurance program that pays for required medical services. These include medically necessary services provided by physicians and midwives, diagnostic services including x-rays, dental care and oral surgery performed in a hospital, eye examinations if medically required and some orthodontic servicesRead more here.

GuardMe International Insurance

During this waiting period, you will be covered by GuardMe, which is a temporary student health insurance coverage to cover you while you wait for your MSP to start (three months after your arrival in British Columbia).

Included will be the cost of GuardMe in your first term tuition. Additionally, you will receive an email containing your GuardMe card; this card contains your policy/certificate number. However, GuardMe only covers new, emergent injuries and illnesses (this is why it is temporary).

GuardMe Clinics

You can locate any GuardMe clinic in Vancouver by using this tool here. However, if you cannot make it to any of the GuardMe clinics around you, you can visit any other clinic, pay upfront and get your money back from GuardMe (keep all the receipts from your expenditure). Also, if you want to learn more about making a claim here.

Furthermore, you might be already covered by MSP if you have been a resident of British Columbia before enrolling in Acsenda. Also, remember to present your MSP card during registration.

Health & Medical Insurance

How to Apply for MSP

  1. Click here
  2. Check Availability
  3. Upload Study Permit & Info
  4. You will be asked you’re your arrival date to B.C and Canada, so have that handy. After submission, please keep the reference number.

If you have any questions about your application, please contact MSP at 1-800-661-2668 or email your inquiries to