International Students Insurance

Medical Services Plan (MSP) for international students

MSP is BC’s provincial health insurance plan. Anyone living in BC for six months or longer (including international students) is required by law to enroll in MSP and pay the plan’s premiums.

What is it?
Medical Services Plan (MSP) is British Columbia’s (BC) provincial health insurance plan, mandatory for everyone who lives in the province for six months or longer. If you will reside in BC for six months or longer, you should apply for MSP immediately after you arrive.

Why do I need it?
MSP covers the cost of basic medical care within Canada, including most physician and hospital services. In most cases, you will not have to pay at the time you seek medical care when you show your BC Services Card. MSP does not cover dental care, prescription drugs, routine vision care (such as eye examinations or corrective lenses), or travel. For a full list of your medical and health care benefits ask your Apple Insurance advisor.

When do I need it?
You must apply for MSP as soon as you arrive in BC. There is a three-month waiting period before MSP coverage begins: this is the rest of the month in which you arrive in BC, plus two full calendar months. For example, if you arrive in BC on August 25th, you will be eligible for MSP on November 1.

Most new international students are covered by iMED (a temporary basic insurance plan) for their first three months in BC, designed to coincide with the waiting period for MSP.