Health Insurance in Canada

Comprehensive health insurance is mandatory for all international students studying in Canada. Travel insurance is not comprehensive, as it often only covers accidents. Health insurance is not included in your fees and you need to purchase it separately.

Guard.me Health Insurance is the only health insurance we accept, it is mandatory to purchase Guard.me Insurance as an international student attending a Northeastern University Canadian campus. The only exceptions fro Guard.me are the provincial health plans such as MSP (Vancouver) and OHIP (Ontario).

You may be asked for proof of your health insurance on arriving to Canada by the Border Agents. Students are also required to submit a copy of their Guard.me insurance plan in their myOGS account once they arrive in Canada.

Insurance options in Canada varies across provinces.

International Students at Northeastern Toronto

The Ontario Health Insurance Plan is not available for most international students studying in the province.

Students are required to purchase the Guard.me health insurance plan that is comprehensive and provides for the cost of health services, medical treatments, doctor’s visits, and prescriptions.  Northeastern University has partnered with guard.me insurance to provide students with comprehensive, affordable health insurance.

The NU guard.me insurance policy provides students with 24-hours a day, seven days per week support and a wide range of benefits for emergencies, new and emergent conditions, and medically necessary treatments. Your policy has also been designed to cover prescription medication for new and emergent conditions. You can also purchase insurance for your accompanying family members, as they will need to have insurance also.

  • If you are a new student, you will need to purchase the New Students health insurance here.
    • Please note that it is mandatory to purchase the New Students insurance for the default dates when applying.
  • If you are arriving in Canada prior to the start of the New Students insurance, please purchase a secondary Early Arrival insurance here.
  • If you are a returning/continuing student and you would like to extend your insurance, please see here.
    • You must extend your insurance before the expiry date, but you have a 30 day grace period after the expiry to renew it. After these 30 days, you will need to purchase an entirely new policy as a New Student.

You will be required to show proof of insurance to attend the Toronto Campus as an international student. Holds will be placed on student accounts for those missing health insurance. You will need to extend your policy before it expires as you are required to have coverage for the entire duration of your studies.

International Students at Northeastern Vancouver

International students in BC are in most cases eligible for the provincial health coverage – Medical Services Plan (MSP). You will need to apply for Guard.me Health Insurance for your first 90 days in Canada, starting from the day you arrive.

You should then apply for MSP as soon as you arrive in BC.
You may also apply for MSP for your dependents.

Please note: There is a three-month wait period for this plan, and during this period students need to enrol for Guard.me. Some students may choose to continue with Guard.me even after the MSP plan starts, to provide additional coverage.

Wait Period Coverage

Students are required to purchase Guard.me as it is comprehensive and provides for the cost of health services, medical treatments, doctor’s visits, and prescriptions for 90 days while waiting for your MSP Card. Northeastern University has partnered with Guard Me insurance to provide students with comprehensive, affordable health insurance.

The NU Guard.me insurance policy provides students with 24-hours a day, seven days per week support and a wide range of benefits for emergencies, new and emergent conditions, and medically necessary treatments. Your policy has also been designed to cover prescription medication for new and emergent conditions. You can also purchase insurance for your accompanying family members, as they will need to have insurance also.

To purchase Guard.me prior to your arrival, please see the options below:

  • If you are a New Student, please purchase the New Student’s insurance plan here for your first 90 days in BC.
  • If you are looking to extend your current Guard.me health plan, please see here.
  • If you have MSP and you want to find out about Guard.me’s extended health plans, see here.

You may be required to show continuous proof of insurance to attend the Vancouver Campus as an international student.

If you have further questions about MSP such as the cost, please see the MSP FAQ Page or see below for more information about MSP.

 

Medical Services Plan (MSP)

Medical Service Plan (MSP) is mandatory for all BC residents pursuant to the Medicare Protection Act. International students studying on a valid study permit who plan to live in BC for 6 months or more are eligible to enrol in MSP.

Eligibility

  • Certain other individuals, such as some holders of Study and/or Work Permits, or Work Permits on Working Holiday Programs — which are issued under the federal Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and are valid for a period of six or more months — may be deemed residents. Tourists or visitors to B.C. do not qualify
  • If you are on Maintained Status, please see here for information.

Coverage Wait Period (3 months)

  • New (and returning) residents are required to complete a wait period consisting of the balance of the month in which residence in British Columbia is established, plus two months before benefits can begin. New or returning residents arriving from outside Canada should purchase private health insurance for coverage during this period (example Guard.me).

Cost for International Students

MSP Coverage

MSP does not cover dental care, prescription drugs, routine vision care such as eye examinations or corrective lenses, and travel. However, you can apply for the PharmaCare Plan that is available to those with MSP for additional coverage for prescription drugs, medical devices and pharmacy services.

Be sure to manage your MSP Account and update your information in case of the following changes:

  • Change your address
  • Change your name
  • Permanently leave BC
  • Need to add or remove dependents from your coverage (for example, due to marriage, divorce, having a common-law partner, or having children).

For more information and frequently asked questions, please always refer to the BC government website.

Pre-Existing Conditions

If you have any pre-existing medical conditions/pregnancy, please connect with our Wellness Specialists for a Consultation to find out your options for health care in Canada:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why do I need Health Insurance?

  • As an International Student in Canada, you are required to have a valid health insurance that covers all routine and emergency health services. Health care in Canada is extremely expensive if you do not have health insurance. Medical costs incurred in excess of insurance policy limits, or due to expired or non-purchase of insurance, are the sole responsibility of the student. You can find some examples of health care costs in Canada on this guard.me FAQ page under “Why do I need insurance”.
  • As a private institution in Canada accepting International Students, we are required to show the provincial governments that our students have valid health insurances to cover their stay in Canada while they study.

Why do I need to purchase Guard.me?

  • Health insurance is not included in your tuition fees, it is a separate required cost.
  • The Guard.me policy that is provided to our students has been vetted to ensure that it covers essential medical situations. This ensure that our students are getting valid insurance coverage at a discounted price.
  • The Guard.me team is able to connect you with many medical resources, doctors, and hospitals in the province where you study and provides you with support throughout any emergencies.
  • For Vancouver students, you will need to purchase Guard.me for your first 90 days in Canada because this is the approximate time you will need to wait for your MSP card and it is important to ensure you are covered in case of emergencies.

Can I purchase another health insurance?

  • No, Guard.me is the only health insurance that we accept.
  • The only exceptions to Guard.me are OHIP, MSP, or UHIP.
  • If you purchase another insurance, not from the above list, then you still need to purchase Guard.me.
  • Holds will be placed on student accounts for those missing health insurance.

How do I apply for MSP? (Vancouver Students)

How do I know if I qualify for OHIP? (Toronto Students)

  • You can see who is eligible for OHIP here.
  • Please note that you are responsible for identifying if you are eligible.

What is the approximate cost of Guard.me?

  • The cost of Guard.me varies by time and by how many people are included in your policy.
  • Guard.me is charged at $1.93 per day for one person under one policy.
  • For New Students on the Toronto campus purchasing insurance, this means that you should plan for a cost of around $700 – $750 for a 1 year (365 days) policy for one person, not including the cost of the Early Arrival insurance. If you need to add dependents to your policy, the cost will change.
  • For New Students on the Vancouver campus purchasing insurance, you should plan for a cost of about $170 – $190 for 90 days.
  • If you extend your policy on time, then you are able to choose the length of time you would like to extend it for, with a minimum time of 122 days.

What happens after I purchase the Guard.me insurance?

  • After you purchase your insurance, you will receive an email with your policy details and your policy card. The policy card will be a PDF document – Guard.me does not issue physical policy cards.
  • Please print your policy card PDF and keep it in a safe place as pharmacies, doctors and hospitals in Canada will require it.

How do I see my Guard.me account and policy details?

  • You can see all the details about your policy as well as download your policy card from your Guard.me Account.
  • Vancouver Students: You can login to your account here.
  • Toronto Students: You can login to your account here.

How can I find a doctor or get treatment using Guard.me?

  • mobileDOCTOR by Guard.me allows you to connect with Canadian doctors on Maple, a telemedicine company, as a part of your health benefits. Maple provides access to doctors, Canada wide, on your phone, tablet or computer anytime, anywhere.
  • Find out more about mobileDOCTOR here:

How can I find a doctor or get treatment using MSP in BC?

  • You can use HealthLinkBC to find a doctor in your area.
  • If you would like to find a Family Doctor, you can register on the Health Connect Registry.
  • For emergency care information, please see here.
  • You may also connect with the Wellness Program Specialist on the Vancouver Campus for more information about how you can use your MSP card.