The most basic health insurance plan available to UBC students is the BC Medical Services Plan (MSP). The plan covers medically necessary doctor visits, surgeries, diagnostic services (like X-rays) and more. Some supplementary services are also covered under MSP, like acupuncture and physical therapy. To see the full list of covered services, visit the MSP website and check under the “Benefits” tab.
Unless you are covered under another province’s health insurance plan, you must sign up for MSP. You can apply for coverage online on the MSP website or by sending in forms through the mail.
Students should apply for MSP as soon as possible as there is up to a three-month waiting period for coverage to start. In the interim, students can access alternative health insurance options: iMED for international students and Global Campus Health Plan for domestic students.
MSP is free for domestic students, but costs $75 per month for international students. Payments are due at the end of each month.
The plan can also be used for some gender-affirming care services, including some hormonal therapy and surgeries. The Trans Care BC website has more information on this kind of coverage.
Along with MSP, students are automatically enrolled in the AMS/GSS Health & Dental Plan. It costs $338 annually and is included in your tuition and fees. The plan covers many services not included in MSP, including vision and dental care, prescription drugs and $1,250 in mental health coverage.
Starting this year, students can also use the Health & Dental Plan to cover some gender-affirming care services.
Students can opt out of the AMS/GSS Health & Dental Plan if they have a similar coverage plan through their parents at the start of the school year — this year’s opt-out period goes from August 21 to September 25. To opt-out, opt back in if you previously opted out or see what is covered under the Health & Dental Plan, visit studentcare.ca.
To be reimbursed for covered medical costs, you need to make a claim through Pacific Blue Cross. All information related to making a claim can be accessed at pac.bluecross.ca.
The AMS/GSS Health & Dental Plan covers up to 80 per cent of most prescription drug costs. You have to register for BC Fair Pharmacare to access this coverage.
Fair Pharmacare offers coverage of prescription medications and some medical devices based on income: the less you earn, the more coverage you are entitled to. Many prescription drugs and medical devices are at least partially covered. You can search on the Fair Pharmacare website for all covered medications.
International students must sign up for a social insurance number (SIN), then use their SIN and an estimated income from the previous year to enroll.