Health insurance for foreign students in Canada

As an international student, you need to engage in a wide range of preparations before setting foot in this country. Besides obtaining coordinated travel plans, and a study permit, it is expected that you get health insurance that will cover the period of your studies. If you didn’t get it, you won’t be eligible to study in this great country.

The type of health insurance you will get will depend mainly on the province you are going. Every province has its own healthcare rules and eligibility requirements for residents. So, your duty as an international student is to know the healthcare requirements of the area you intend going, this will help you to apply for the suitable one.

The Importance of Canadian Health Insurance

Canada’s public healthcare system has been available for many years in Canada. Over the years, it has served millions of students from different countries of the world. All the citizens and permanent residents are required to enjoy government health services, such as necessary physician and hospital services to temporary residents; temporary workers, and foreign students, though this is purely at the discretion of each province. Additional health benefits are given to permanent residents such as children and the elderly.

Healthcare Benefits for International Students                  

Every international student is expected to opt into any form of insurance benefits, whether public or private. Healthcare coverage is available for international students in the following provinces and territories Alberta, Manitoba, Newfoundland, Labrador, British Columbia, Northwest Territories, Saskatchewan, etc.

The eligibility requirements and the type of health services vary from one province to another. For example, international students in Manitoba will be eligible for coverage if their study permit is up to six months ago, while students in Alberta will only qualify if their study permit has lasted for one year.

In Newfoundland and Labrador province, international students can start to enjoy health care coverage upon arrival. In other provinces, health coverage is available to students that have stayed up to 90 days in the province.

However, health coverage is not available in the following provinces, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario, Quebec, Yukon, and Prince Edward Island. If you are an international student in any of the provinces listed above, you must get private health insurance.

In certain conditions, students may apply for provincial healthcare coverage, for example, recently Quebec signed bilateral social service agreements with 9 European countries, so students from those countries may now enjoy public healthcare benefits all throughout the course of their studies.

Finally, all the academic institutions in Canada mandate all aspiring international students to get private health insurance, where the public option is unavailable. Some colleges, universities, and schools have plans that students may choose from. Students who are covered by their parents’ plans may continue to use those plans while studying in Canada. This means that they don’t need to purchase health insurance coverage. 


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