Health Insurance for International Students

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Health Insurance for International Students

Understanding Health Insurance for International Students at UBC Okanagan: A Guide by The SUO

Welcome to UBC Okanagan! As you embark on this exciting journey, ensuring you have the right health insurance coverage is important. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you navigate health insurance as an international student, with the support of the Students’ Union Okanagan (SUO).

Why Health Insurance is Essential

In British Columbia (BC), having health insurance is mandatory. Medical costs can be high, and insurance ensures you have access to necessary healthcare services without the burden of hefty expenses.

Step 1: Temporary Coverage with iMED

When you first arrive at UBC, you’re automatically enrolled in the iMED program. This temporary basic health insurance is provided by David Cummings Insurance Services (DCIS). It covers you for the first three months, which is the waiting period before you qualify for the BC Medical Services Plan (MSP).

iMED Coverage Details:

  • iMED covers doctor visits, hospital visits, and medically required services.
  • It’s designed to bridge the gap until your MSP coverage begins.

Step 2: Transition to MSP

After the initial three months, you should transition to the BC Medical Services Plan (MSP), the public health insurance plan run by the BC government. You must apply for MSP as soon as you arrive, as there is a processing time involved.

MSP Coverage Includes:

  • Doctor visits
  • Hospital visits
  • Medically required services

Enrolling in MSP is mandatory if you’re staying in BC for more than six months.

Extended Health Coverage with the SUO

While MSP covers basic medical services, it doesn’t cover everything. That’s where the SUO Health and Dental Plan comes in. This extended health plan provides additional coverage for services such as prescription medications, dental care, vision care, and more.

SUO Health and Dental Plan Highlights:

  • Prescription medications
  • Dental check-ups and treatments
  • Eye exams and glasses
  • Physiotherapy and other health practitioners

Enrolling in the SUO Health and Dental Plan

You are automatically enrolled in the SUO Health and Dental Plan when you register for classes. The plan fees are included in your student fees. However, if you have equivalent coverage through another plan, you can opt-out during the Change-of-Coverage period.

Opting Out:

  • Ensure you have comparable coverage.
  • Submit proof of your existing coverage within the designated period.

Support and Resources

Navigating health insurance can be confusing, but SUO is here to help. You can contact the SUO Office or Front Desk here with any questions or concerns. Additionally, the UBC Global Enagement Office can provide guidance on iMED, MSP, and other health insurance matters.

Final Tips

  1. Apply for MSP early to avoid any gaps in coverage.
  2. Keep your iMED card handy for the first three months.
  3. Familiarize yourself with the SUO Health and Dental Plan to make the most of your extended coverage.

Health insurance is a crucial part of your time at UBC, ensuring you stay healthy and supported throughout your studies. With iMED, MSP, and the SUO Health and Dental Plan, you’re well-covered for any medical needs that may arise. Welcome to UBC, and we wish you a healthy and successful journey!

Students can also find information on submitting claims, coverage, and other health plan questions at