These are the most common health insurance questions we hear from international students:
If you have questions or need assistance, please contact one of the IESS Advisors.
Do I need health insurance?
All UVic students are required to have both basic and extended health insurance for the duration of their studies. Basic health insurance covers most physician and hospital services. Extended health insurance covers some portion of vision and dental care, generic prescription drugs, and paramedical services from a specialist such as a masseuse, a naturopath, a podiatrist or a psychologist. Having both basic and extended health insurance provides you with comprehensive health care coverage and ensures that ill health will not cause you undue economic hardship or compromise your academic progress.
How do I get basic health insurance?
If you stay in the province of British Columbia (BC) for more than six months of the year, it is mandatory that you enrol in the BC Medical Services Plan (MSP). Instructions, application forms and information about premiums are available on the BC Medical Services Plan website.
If you stay in BC for fewer than six months of the year, you are not required to enrol in the BC Medical Services Plan (MSP). However, you must still obtain basic health insurance for the duration of your stay. It is recommended that you set this up prior to your arrival in BC. You can make arrangements through a provider in your home country or a provider in Canada. AON is a company that UVic has selected to provide basic health insurance for international students. Application forms are available on the AON Medical Insurance Program website.
Students who already have BC MSP coverage
Check the expiry date on your care card. If necessary, send BC MSP a copy of your new or extended Study Permit so they can continue your coverage. If you have moved, be sure to provide your new mailing address.
Students with families
It is essential that your family members also obtain adequate basic health insurance for the duration of their stay.
How do I get extended health insurance?
The University of Victoria Students’ Society (UVSS) and the Graduate Students’ Society (GSS) provide extended health and dental insurance for degree program and visiting students. The coverage offered by these extended plans does not replace basic health insurance coverage. If you are eligible for either the UVSS or the GSS health and dental plan, you will be automatically enrolled in the plan, and the charges will appear on your UVic fee statement. To find out more about these plans, visit the UVSS Health and Dental Plan webpage or the GSS Health and Dental Plan webpage.
Students with alternate extended health and/or dental insurance coverage may inquire during the first month of their first term at UVic about opting out of the UVSS or GSS health and dental plan. Contact the Info Booth in the Student Union Building or the General Office in the Grad Centre if you have questions about opting out.
Students with families
For an additional cost, students can enrol their immediate family members in the UVSS or GSS health and dental plan. Visit the Info Booth in the Student Union Building or the General Office in the Grad Centre for details.
You will not be eligible for the UVic extended health and dental plans. However, you should still obtain comparable extended coverage for the duration of your stay. You can make arrangements through a provider in your home country or a provider in Canada. Contact your UVic exchange advisor for more information.