Why do I need to have medical insurance?

Medical insurance is necessary because the cost of medical services is expensive.

Types of medical insurance 

There are two types of insurance:

1. Primary Insurance – Provided through the Medical Service Plan

2. Secondary Insurance – Provided through GuardMe

What is the Medical Service Plan (MSP)?

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

If you are moving from another province, you should arrange for coverage with your former medical 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. 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. You are required to pay a $75 health-care coverage fee per month. This would vary if you have a spouse and or dependants.


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, dental and oral surgery performed in a hospital, eye examinations if medically required and some orthodontic servicesRead more here.



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

The cost of GuardMe will be included in your first term tuition.  You will receive an email containing your GuardMe card; this card contains your policy/certificate number. 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. 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 GuradMe (keep all the receipts from y our expenditure).
Learn more about making a claim here.

If you have been a resident of British Columbia before enrolling in Acsenda and are already covered by MSP, please present your MSP card during registration. You will be opted out from GuardMe.


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 have 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