One of the many benefits Canadian residents enjoy is free health insurance, and International students are included as they too can apply for this health insurance scheme.
The government established the Canada Health Act to provide financial support to the various provinces and territories in the country. This act was responsible for funding and delivering primary healthcare services to specific groups of people (mainly Canadian citizens and permanent residents). Luckily, this scheme has been modified to include immigrants and international students in recent years.
Although only some provinces offer health insurance options for international students, most well-known provinces do. The medical expenses and pre-existing medical conditions this insurance covers vary, so all students should familiarize themselves with the available options.
Below is the list of insurance plans available to international students:
- Alberta Healthcare Insurance Plan: International students studying in Alberta for six months or more can apply for the Alberta Healthcare Insurance Plan (AHIA). This plan only covers basic health expenses and does not include dental services or prescription drugs.
- British Columbia’s Medical Service Plan (MSP): This plan is available to students who plan to study in British Columbia for at least six months. Since the application process takes at least three months, applying immediately when available in British Columbia is advisable.
- New Brunswick Medicare: Students enrolled in a full-time program in any college in New Brunswick can apply for this.
- Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Care Plan: All registered foreign international students are automatically enrolled in this program, although it only covers fundamental health issues.
- Northwest Territories Healthcare (NWTHC): This insurance plan is available to all residents of the Northwest Territories, and it covers basic medical expenses.
Although places like Ontario, Nova Scotia, and Manitoba do not have public health insurance available, international students can apply for health insurance plans from their higher institutions.
How much does it cost to apply for health insurance as a student?
Many international students are curious about how much it costs to pay for health insurance while schooling. However, there is no standard pricing for students’ health insurance; the average insurance plan for international students is between $600 and $900 annually. The cheapest health insurance option currently costs about $237 for a 3-month duration.
Most Recommended Health Insurance Plans for International Students
Although students can apply for health insurance through their universities/colleges, most prefer to get a plan with a private company as they have more coverage than the former. Here are some of the highly recommended plans:
- Cigna Global
- International Medical Group
- Safety Wing
- Now Health
- Foyer Global Health
Getting health insurance as a student in Canada is one of the fully settle in the country, choosing a good insurance plan is a surefire way to have a great stay in Canada so please choose wisely.