Health Insurance for International Students Studying in Canada
In Canada, a public health care system covers visits to doctors and specialists, as well as some hospital stays and medical procedures. Dental costs, prescription eye glasses, and non-prescription drugs are not covered and can be paid for through the purchase of private insurance coverage through companies such as Ingle International. Each province administers its own health care system and the requirements for international students to access health care will vary from province to province.
Overall, international students have access to good health services coverage at an affordable cost. Health insurance must be arranged before arrival in Canada. Options include pre-registering in a provincial insurance coverage plan, compulsory enrolment in a university or college health plan, or through the purchase of health coverage from a private health insurance company such as Ingle International.
Provincial Guidelines for the Purchase of Health Insurance Coverage for International Students
International students studying in Newfoundland are not eligible to register with the provincial health plan. Private health insurance coverage can be arranged through the institution in which the student is enrolled. Each institution will have an arrangement with one insurance provider with which the student will be automatically registered. Typical cost for a single student is approximately $480/year.
Nova Scotia provides mandatory health care coverage to international students at a cost of approximately $500/year. Coverage is compulsory unless the student can provide proof of coverage by a recognized hospital or medical insurance company. International students may be eligible to enrol in the free Nova Scotia Medical Services Insurance Plan if they can show proof of having been in the province for more than 13 months.
International students studying in New Brunswick can acquire health insurance through the university or college in which they are enrolled at a cost of approximately $275/year. Coverage will be equivalent to what the province's residents are eligible for, including doctor's visits, some specialists and limited hospital services. Supplemental coverage which includes prescription medications and dental fees, is available from private insurance companies at approximately $200/year and this can be arranged through an institution's student union or directly with the private health insurance provider.
Prince Edward Island
Basic coverage for international students studying in Prince Edward Island, similar to that provided to provincial residents, is purchased from a private health insurance company through each university or college at a cost of approximately $500/year. Students may opt out of this basic health coverage if they have their own private insurance. Extended coverage can be added through another plan which can be arranged through an institution's student union or directly with the private health insurance company.
International students studying in Quebec are required to enrol in the health care plan of the university or college at which they are attending. The plans typically cover doctor's visits, some hospitalization and specialized services. The approximate cost is $500/year for a single student; $1,000/year for a couple and $2000 for three or more people.
In Ontario, international students are not covered by provincial health insurance. International students are required to participate in the Ontario's mandatory University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP) at an approximate cost of $450/year. Coverage includes basic medical services; additional coverage can be purchased from private health insurance companies.
International students studying in Manitoba for more than six months are eligible for provincial health insurance at a cost of approximately $450/year. Payment is made is paid by the student to the university along with the payment of tuition.
International students in Saskatchewan are eligible for medical insurance through the province as long as they arrive in Saskatchewan directly from their home country of origin and have not been in another Canadian province longer than three months. Optometrists, dentists, medication and ambulances are not covered.
Alberta Health Care is available to international students at rates which are paid on a monthly basis ranging from approximately $34/month for a single student to $68/month. International students will need to purchase separate coverage to offset the costs of dental visits, medication and ambulance services.
International students studying in British Columbia for more than six months are required to enrol in the Medical Services Plan at a cost of approximately $36/month for individual coverage; $64/month for two people; and $72/month for three or more people. There is a waiting period of 2 - 3 months during which students will not be fully covered. For this period students should arrange for coverage through the university or college student union or directly with a private health insurance company. International students with more than 12 months residency in British Columbia can apply for premium assistance.