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Essential tips for international students on health care in Canada

Essential tips for international students on health care in Canada

International students in Canada need to have basic health insurance coverage, either publicly funded or private. The right health insurance coverage is required to protect our health and well-being.

What is the process for health insurance in Canada?

It could be challenging, on the one hand, to understand the health insurance coverage requirements as per the different territories or provinces in which you want to reside as an international student.

Some provinces, like Alberta and British Columbia, provide provincial health insurance to eligible international students. Other provinces like Ontario, Quebec, and Yukon do not offer provincial coverage or have limited exceptions for health coverage for international students.

International students can get health care card from the provincial government in Canada with simple and easy eligibility steps. If you meet the eligibility criteria and complete all the timely processing of your health card, we have shortlisted some tips. Let's understand what the process of health insurance in Canada actually looks like.

1. Apply for eligible health insurance plan

Canada is popularly known for its free health insurance plan, but not all states provides the opportunity to have free health services in Canada. To get the benefits of health insurance, you should apply within 3 months of your arrival.

And if you apply today at 26th April, three months forward to the day is 25th of July. But you will be eligible to be covered under the insurance plans provided by provincial government of Canada from 1st of August, i.e. 1st of the month following three months forward. This waiting period is for British Columbia, and it may vary depending on province you choose to stay.

2. Arrange required documents for health insurance coverage

Various documents required for health insurance coverage are study permit in Canada, proof of full-time enrollment, and residency requirements of the province. If your province does not provide any free insurance, then you can also apply through a private insurance company, but apply early to avoid the waiting period.

3. Pre-requisite for studying at Canadian University

Many universities and colleges asks for health insurance coverage for international students. These are also incorporated in tuition fees, and one coming to study in Canada has to submit this private or public insurance health cover to ensure eligibility requirements for study in Canada.

What is the cost of health insurance for international students in Canada?

If you have a minimum study permit duration of 6 months in British Columbia and 12 months in Alberta and proof of your full-time enrollment in an academic course in Canada, you are eligible for provincial health insurance coverage. But documentation issues and others may arise to get such free insurance covered before arrival in Canada.

That is why most people get at least 3 months of private health insurance covered on their study in Canada beforehand. This health insurance may cost between $600 and $900 per year for average annual premium.

But again, the main cost depends on various factors, like, the level of the plan, any pre-existing medical issues, and the length of coverage needed. Some of the Universities make it mandatory and include it in the tuition and other fees of international students.

Filing a health insurance claim for international students

Canada has free Canadian health care and this services may be limited to permanent residents and Canadian citizens. For this reason, all international students attending school in Canada must arrange for health insurance for the duration of their study program before arriving in Canada.

1. Understand your Insurance coverage and plan claim

Before filing a claim, its important for you to understand if the services are covered and if deductibles or co-payments are not required. All the necessary paperwork, recipes, invoices, and medical reports are sought before filing a medical claim against the insurance provider.

2. Complete and submit the claim form

You get a claim form, and by filling it out, you get the medical services covered. You are required to fill out personal details, like,

  • Policy number
  • Description of the medical service receipt
  • Amount of claim
  • Medical reports
  • Claim form
  • Proof of enrollment

Once you complete the claim form, you now submit it to the insurance company or provincial government via mailing, online platform, or a designated office visit in person.

3. Follow-Up

Once your application form is complete, you can now understand that the process is ongoing. You can follow up with additional documents and clarification as requested by the insurer upon submission of the claim.

4. Reimbursement

If the insurer finds the claim genuine and approves it, then the covered expenses will be reimbursed. This can depend on the insurance company and the specific terms of your policy. International students in Canada can effectively file claims and receive reimbursement for eligible medical expenses.

Which Provinces of Canada give free Health insurance for International students?

Province Coverage for International Students (Provincial? )
Alberta Yes
British Columbia Yes
Manitoba Yes
New Brunswick Yes
Newfoundland and Labrador Yes
Northwest Territories Yes
Nova Scotia Yes
Quebec No, but with exceptions
Ontario No
Prince Edward Island No
Yukon No

The Legalities of Health Insurance in Canada: Is It Mandatory?

Canadian provinces require health insurance coverage as a prerequisite for getting a study permit in Canada. There is often a waiting period associated with applying for and obtaining a provincial health insurance plan in Canada.

International students either get a free provincial plan, a university-provided insurance plan, or purchase a private health insurance plan before arriving in Canada. The provincial health insurance covers your regular doctor visits, hospital stays, and charges of diagnostic test recommended by a health care professional.

Health insurance in Canada does not include additional benefits like dental care services, prescription drugs, or a comprehensive eye checkup. This could be covered by federal law; however, emergency health care services are available free across all the provinces of Canada.

Essential Tips for Health Care in Canada

To Access medical services and health care facility in different provinces of Canada, you need a health care insurance card.

  • Get a health insurance card, either a public or private one.
  • The terms and conditions of your insurance policy may vary based on the territory in which you reside.
  • Submit an application beforehand to avoid waiting.
  • Arrange documents relating to proof of residency, government issued ID card, and residential status for quick application processing.
  • Understand the terms of your health insurance plans and choose one that matches your needs.
  • Find a family doctor in a nearby neighborhood where you can access free healthcare services.
  • Dial 811 to connect with professional health care information and advice in Canada.
  • Dial 911 in Canada for urgent medical help and eat a nutritious diet to take care of your overall health.

Falling home sick is quite common for international students so try going out and making connections to manage your social and mental health.

Why study in Canada?

Canada is ranked among the top health care services in the world. It is renewed by its high-quality education system and global career opportunities. If you are a research aspirant who wants to study in Canada and is interested in research in medicine, agriculture, telecommunication, and environmental science, this could just be the one for you.

Macro Hub Educational Consultancy can be a reputed education partner to fuel your study abroad aspirations. We help you find the right fit schools abroad and our friendly advisers help you access the universities that meet your educational needs. And if Canada is among your preferences, we can help you get a pre-briefing, increase your visa success rates, and help you make an attractive choice for your future.

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