Medical Insurance requirements and procedures for International students

Health care in Canada is provided at no cost and it is one of the main reasons why the country is the top destination for people around the world. However, for foreign international students coming to study in Canada, you may not be eligible for government covered medical care and you will be required to purchase private medical insurance. This is because not all provinces in Canada provide health care to international students.

The provinces and territories that do not currently provide health care to international students are:

  • Quebec
  • Ontario
  • Prince Edward Island
  • Yukon
  • Nova Scotia, and
  • New Brunswick

Students in these provinces are usually required to purchase private medical insurance, there are a few exceptions that allow students to apply for provincial health care, such as in Quebec. Quebec signed a bilateral social services agreement with over five European countries, whereby students from these countries are allowed to receive public health care during the duration of their study period in the province. Student Medical Insurance will provide you with an affordable medical cover when you need it, and this medical cover can be called Student Medical Insurance, Student Travel Insurance, and International Student to Canada plan.

It is for this reason that the province where an international student will pursue their studies plays a major part on which health care cover they must obtain.

Provinces and territories that provide health care cover are:

  • British Columbia
  • Alberta
  • Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Manitoba
  • Northwest Territories, and
  • Saskatchewan

Each province has its own rules and requirements for international students wanting to study in Canada. For students that are from outside of Canada and will be pursuing their studies in one of the provinces and territories that provide government covered health care the eligibility requirements are as follows:

  • Students who have a valid 12-month study permit in one of the educational institutes in that province and will reside in the province for 12 months or more.
  • Students with valid study permit for more than three months, but less than twelve months will be eligible if the student’s application includes a written document that confirms their intention to reside in the province for at least twelve months or more.
  • If the application is received within three months of entering the province the coverage will be effective from the day of entry into the province or the date stamped on the Study Permit.

Attorney David Cohen says “Obtaining proper health coverage should be one of the most important components for studying in Canada. Though the process may seem daunting, I encourage international students who want to study in Canada not to worry too much. When it comes to health, Canada has your best interests at heart."