Man with a backpack hiking in Canadian national park

For all British Columbian residents who live in Canada, the Medical Service Plan (MSP) card is mandatory for all qualified residents under the Medicare Protection Act.

In some cases, your employers may provide you with medical insurance during your employment. If you do not qualify the British Columbia’s Medical Services Plan (MSP), you are advised to purchase private health insurance during your stay in Canada.

There are many clinics and free facilities across the province that cater to those individuals who do not have the Medical Service Plan.

What Is A Personal Health Identification

Your personal Health Identification is given to you when you have successfully applied for your Medical Services Plan (MSP) in British Columbia. You must present your Personal Health Identification Card whenever you need any health related service (medical check up, emergency services etc).

How to Qualify for British Columbia’s Medical Service Plan (MSP)

If you want to qualify for the MSP you must meet all the requirements under one of these 4 categories:

  • Residents;
  • Dependants;
  • First Nation Resident; or
  • Other applicant

If You Apply for Your MSP as a Resident

You must meet the following requirements. You must:

  • Be a Canadian citizen or a legal permanent resident;
  • Declare that British Columbia is your home (not a secondary or holiday home); and
  • Live in British Columbia for 6 months of the year

If You Apply For Your MSP For a Dependent

Your dependant can qualify for the MSP if they meet all of the above requirements under the Resident category.

Note: Child dependants must:

  • Be a minor (under 18);
  • Be unmarried; and
  • Be supported by the applicant (parent/guardian)

Note: Post Secondary Student dependants must:

  • Be between the ages of 18 and 24;
  • Attend a recognized Canadian educational institution full time; and
  • Be supported by the applicant (parent/guardian)

If You Apply For Your MSP For Another Applicant in British Columbia

Happy man in urban setting in Canada

If you have:

  • A valid Canadian Study Visa
  • A Valid Canadian Work Permit; or
  • A Working Holiday Visa

You may qualify as residents of British Columbia. Please note: this does not apply to tourists or those visiting Canada.

How to Apply For British Columbia’s Medical Service Plan (MSP)

You can apply online for your Medical Services Plan (MSP).

  1. To begin you must have a web browser like:
    • Internet Explorer 11;
    • Mozilla Firefox;
    • Google Chrome; or
    • Apple Safari
  2. You must upload all documents here if you can qualify. All documents must be:
    • JPG or PNG not PDF files;
    • Complete copies of the whole document (no parts missing or incomplete);
    • Correct page orientation (upright, not sideways or upside down);
    • Fully focused and as clear to read as possible
  3. If you are a:
    • Permanent resident you must provide the following documents:
      • Canadian Citizenship Card or Certificate;
      • Canadian Passport; and
      • Canadian Birth Certificate
    • Temporary Permit Holder you must provide the following:
      • Work permit;
      • Study permit; or
      • Visitor permit
    • Permanent Resident you must provide the following documents:
      • Record of Landing; and
      • Permanent Resident Card
  4. If applicable you may have to upload either:
    • Your marriage certificate; or
    • Documents supporting if you have changed your name

How Long Does It Take For MSP To Cover Me

The waiting period for the MSP can vary. If you successfully qualify and apply for the MSP you can expect to wait for 2+ months to receive your medical card. But we advise that you get private medical aid to cover you during this waiting period.

Do You Pay Monthly Rates For MSP?

If you qualify for the MSP, you may have to pay a monthly fee to help substantiate your medical aid. Depending on your net income per year, and the number of people in your family that are covered by the MSP, your monthly rate can vary.

The rates for monthly MSP payments below will apply in British Columbia from the 1st of Jan 2018.

Net Income per year (C$)

MSP monthly payment for 1 person

MSP monthly payment for 2 people

0-26,000 0.00 0.00
26,001-28,000 11.50 23.00
28,001-30,000 17.5 35.00
30,001-34,000 23.00 46.00
34,001-38,000 28.00 56.00
38,001-42,000 32.50 65.00
Over 42,000 37.50 75.00

What Are The Benefits Of The MSP?

The MSP covers the costs of:

  • Services from:
    • Medical physicians;
    • Dentists; and
    • Midwives
  • Certain oral surgeries;
  • Eye examinations; and
  • Diagnostic x rays

Visit the British Columbia government website for more information.