Health insurance in Canada for international students is an essential aspect that students need to consider while planning their studies and staying abroad. As life is uncertain, you need to get insurance for it no matter where you are located – inside your country or abroad. Is the question, “Is health insurance mandatory for international students in Canada?” coming to your mind? If yes, here’s the answer to the same – “Yes, it is mandatory to show proof of your health insurance before enrolling in most Canadian colleges and Universities.”
But why is it necessary to have health insurance in Canada for international students? What is the cost of the same? Which are the best options? If you have similar questions spiralling inside your mind, don’t worry. We have covered all of them and more in the current blog post.
Watch our video to know more about it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4hSeAb56ygM
Why health insurance is necessary in Canada for international students?
Here are the reasons:
• Unavailability of Government-sponsored healthcare – Government-sponsored healthcare is not available for international students, and in addition, the healthcare costs are pretty high in Canada. Health insurance will be your best option if you don’t want to spend a lot from your pocket.
• High cost of healthcare – As mentioned above, health care comes at a price in Canada. Without insurance, you will need to pay a considerable amount compared to the expenditure you will incur with insurance. You would not want to spend as high as 900 CAD or even 2400 CAD for, say, an MRI scan out from your pocket. Now, would you?
• Higher fees for doctor consultation – The doctor consultation fees you need to pay out of your pocket without health insurance are pretty high. But, with insurance, you won’t incur such a high cost as most insurance companies have link-ups with doctors.
What are the health insurance options available for international students in Canada?
Here are the options for health insurance available in Canada for international students:
• Provincial health insurance plans – In some provinces of Canada, you will be covered under the provincial health insurance plan as an international student. On the other hand, you need to get a private health insurance plan in the other provinces or territories.
You can check if you are eligible to qualify for a provincial health insurance plan by checking the requirements given below:
1. Ontario, Manitoba, & Yukon – Ontario, Manitoba, and Yukon don’t have a provincial health insurance plan for international students. Therefore, a health insurance plan for international students in Ontario, Manitoba, and Yukon needs to be purchased from a private health insurance company.
2. Quebec – Most likely, you will be covered under Quebec’s health insurance plan as an international student, provided you belong to the following countries – France, Finland, Germany, Belgium, Sweden, Norway, Portugal, Luxembourg, and Greece.
3. Alberta – You will be covered under Alberta’s health insurance plan. Still, you need to possess a study permit having a duration of at least 12 months and apply within 3 months of reaching Alberta. If you have a 3-month to 12-month study permit, you may be eligible, but for that, you need to prove that you intend to stay in Alberta for 12 months.
4. British Columbia – You can get British Columbia’s health insurance coverage if you have a study permit with a duration of at least 6 months. The waiting period can be a maximum of 3 months.
5. New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories – You need to have a study permit with a duration of 12 months and proof of your college/university registration (full-time) to avail of health insurance benefits under the health insurance plans of the above provinces.
6. Nova Scotia – You need to have a minimum study period of 12 months and a proof of study permit to get health insurance coverage under Nova Scotia’s health insurance plan. Remember, you should not be out of Nova Scotia for 31 days at a stretch.
7. Prince Edward Island and Saskatchewan – You need a copy of your Canadian study permit and proof of your college/university registration (full-time) to avail health insurance in Canada for international students.
• Health Insurance for students offered by public universities – Your college/university may either have a mandatory health coverage plan or an optional health coverage plan depending on the rules of your institution. The benefits usually include doctor visits, hospital stays, ambulance, testing, dental care, eye care, and others. Primary health coverage is mandatory for international students studying in Manitoba under MISHP or Manitoba International Student Health Plan. The compulsory health coverage will be under UHIP or University Health Insurance Program for Ontario students.
• Private Health Insurance Plan – If you are not eligible for the above options, it would be best to go for a private health insurance plan that generally covers ambulance, hospital stays, medicines, and others. Plans vary as per the private health insurance company you choose. Accordingly, you may need to pay a percentage out of your pocket in some cases, and your insurance company will pay for the rest.
Do you want to know how much health insurance costs for international students in Canada?
The health insurance cost in Canada for international students varies depending on the location and the insurance company. The annual health insurance premium under the Canada Insurance Plan can be anywhere between 600 CAD and 900 CAD.
Here are the costs of health insurance for international students in different provinces of Canada
1. Newfoundland – Around 480 CAD per annum
2. Nova Scotia – Around 500 CAD per annum
3. New Brunswick – Around 275 CAD per annum (basic services) + 200 CAD per year (dental fees and medication)
4. Prince Edward Island – Around 500 CAD per annum
5. Quebec – Around 500 CAD per annum
6. Ontario – Around 450 CAD per annum
7. Manitoba – Around 450 CAD per annum
8. Alberta – Around 68 CAD per month
9. British Columbia – 36 CAD per month
Which are the best health insurance plans for international students in Canada? Do the cheapest health insurance plans for international students in Canada offer good coverage?
Here are the plan options:
• IMG’S International Student Health Insurance – Two of the plans that international students in Canada can choose from are Student Health Advantage and Student Health Advantage Platinum – The latter offers maximum coverage of $1000,000.
• CIGNA Global International Health Insurance for students – The plans they offer are Silver, Gold, and Platinum and are valid across the globe and not just in Canada. The payment options are quarterly, monthly, and annual.
• Foyer Global Health – The three plans they offer are essencial, special, and exclusive. The maxim coverage is 200,000 EUR per life. You can even get a plan for your family.
• HCCMIS’ StudentSecure Insurance – The four levels of health insurance plans they offer are StudentSecure Elite, StudentSecure Select, StudentSecure Budget, and StudentSecure Smart.
• Global Underwriters’ Diplomat Long term and Diplomat International – These are the best plans for international students in Canada and offer maximum coverage of $1,000,000.
Here are the steps to apply for health insurance in Canada for international students
Provincial Health Insurance Application Steps:
Step 1 – Go to the respective website of the Canadian province
Step 2 – Complete the application form they provide
Step 3 – Pay the premium amount that is due.
Private Health Insurance Application Steps:
Step 1 – Get in touch with a private insurance company.
Step 2 – Select the plan based on your requirements.
Step 3 – Complete the application form
Step 4 – You need to undergo a medical exam or test
Step 5 – Pay the premium amount that is due.
We hope you have a clear idea of health insurance in Canada for international students by now. If you are an international student in Canada, you can go for any of the above health insurance options and plans and take care of your life. If you still have any queries, kindly get in touch with us by clicking on the “Contact Us” section. We will be glad to provide you with relevant information and prompt solutions to all your queries.
Don’t forget to check our video on health insurance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4hSeAb56ygM