Student Insurance in Canada

Canada is known for its immigration policies, education and popular places for tourism. What it is seldom known for is the array of health services it provides. While Canada provides the benefits of free health services to permanent citizens, students get a wide range of healthcare facilities they can avail in a country like Canada that for some of them might be a new land away from home. Owing to the many attractions it has, international students coming to Canada form 8% of the post-secondary student population and have helped create over 80,000 jobs in recent years.

If you are a student in a foreign country, it is important that you have health insurance coverage for the duration of your course. Even if your visa does not require you to possess a health insurance plan, there are chances the institution you are enrolled in might ask for it. Before accepting your admission, universities and colleges request proof of your overseas health insurance.

Whether or not public health services are offered to international students is at the discretion of each province. Provinces and territories that offer health coverage to international students are:

  • Alberta
  • British Columbia
  • Manitoba
  • Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Northwest Territories
  • Saskatchewan

The reasons for getting a student insurance in Canada are:

  1. It is very rare that the local government might sponsor the healthcare or student insurance of students/ international students. Hence, it is good to have a student insurance as a safety net incase things go south while you’re overseas.
  2. Having an insurance means having to pay less than the actual amount of expenses incurred. The insurance covers major expenses incase of any injury or damage to insured property thus saving such expenses out of your own pocket.
  3. Discounts are yet another benefit of having a student insurance. Insurance companies have a tie-up with various medical institutions as well as private doctors which will result in discounts even for normal medical checkups that the student might avail annually.

Let us have a look at the types of student insurance available to students in Canada:

  1. International student health insurance: As the name suggests, this type of insurance is for students pursuing academic courses in another country away from home. It provides the benefits of covering emergency medical evacuation, mental health, and sports injuries.
  2. International travel medical insurance: The term of validity for this insurance is approx 2 years and it can also be used to supplement an already existent international insurance plan. This insurance plan is of a much wider scope than consisting of only students as insurance holders. This kind of insurance plan provides:
    • Worldwide coverage;
    • Greater coverage at affordable amounts;
    • Travel related advantages such as misplaced luggage and documentation assistance;
    • Travel assistance in the form of money transfers and concierge services;
    • Coverage for family and dependents.
  3. International major medical insurance: This insurance plan is usually long term and can be availed my anyone living outside their respective country for over a year. This insurance plan can be renewed annually and provides coverage for individuals and their families. This plan includes features such as: a. High policy amounts; b. Flexible coverage options; c. Long-term coverage; d. Pre-existing conditions or injuries coverage; e. Childbirth coverage.

How to apply for student health insurance in Canada?

While some provinces in Canada provide assistance with student healthcare services, the students might need to look into the facilities of student health insurance in some provinces. The student insurance services differ from province to province in Canada. If the student’s province provides student insurance services, the student is just required to fill out a form and pay whatever amount is mentioned on the website of the province for the same. However, if the province that the student aspires to go to does not have such facilities, the student will have to avail a student insurance from a private firm in their own country before they immigrate to Canada.

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