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Notice: temporary changes to Guard.me enrolments

For international students in full-time programs who are charged an International Health Insurance fee, the exact dates of your Guard.me private medical insurance coverage will depend on when you plan to arrive in BC.

If you arrive in BC by July 31, 2021, coverage will start on the arrival date indicated in your mandatory BCIT Travel & Self-Isolation Plan, which you should submit at least one week before traveling. Once you submit your plan, an International Student Centre staff member will email you with more information about medical insurance.

Beginning on August 1, 2021, Guard.me enrolments administered by BCIT will no longer be associated with Travel & Self-Isolation Plans but rather will be done on a monthly basis starting on the first of the month according to the formula on this page.

If you have any questions about this, please contact international.medical@bcit.ca.

Please note that the information on this page does not apply to students starting the ISEP program, part-time programs and exchange and study abroad students staying at BCIT for a single term.

On this page:

  1. Medical insurance assessment
  2. Opting out
  3. Guard.me coverage period
  4. Request to change coverage months
  5. Adding dependents

Medical insurance assessment

International students starting regular full-time programs should submit a Medical Insurance Assessment Form [PDF], or MIAF, no later than 90 days before their program starts or the deadline stated in your conditional letter of acceptance from BCIT. This form will help to determine if you already have adequate medical insurance or not and will help us to best advise you.

If you do not already have adequate medical insurance, you will be charged by BCIT a non-refundable $180 International Health Insurance fee and enrolled in three months of private basic medical insurance with Guard.me International Insurance. You should pay for this along with your tuition fees. Please see Payment Options at BCIT and scroll down to “International Students” for additional information.

Opting out

The simplest way to opt out is to follow the instructions above for submitting a MIAF and including a copy of your medical insurance information.

If you already have BC Medical Services Plan (MSP) you may be able to opt out and avoid being charged the International Health Insurance fee.

Students with another type of basic medical insurance may also be able to opt out so long as their policy meets all of the following minimum standards:

  1. Coverage for basic medical services including medical emergencies
  2. Policy details must be provided in English.
  3. It was purchased in Canada or has policy wording that clearly indicates that the coverage is valid in Canada.
  4. Valid for at least 3 months from when you plan to arrival in BC (until your MSP coverage wait period is complete)

Be aware that some private medical insurance policies limit benefit payouts or exclude certain medical services altogether. Students who purchase their own private medical insurance should check that their policy coverage is sufficient.

Guard.me coverage period

Beginning on August 1, 2021, Guard.me temporary private medical insurance enrolments administered by BCIT will be done on a monthly basis for 3 entire calendar months according to your program start date and the formula below. This is meant to align with your MSP coverage wait period so that you will become eligible for MSP health care benefits by the time your Guard.me coverage expires.

Your Guard.me coverage will start the first day of the month that your program at BCIT starts, except if your program starts during the first 10 days of the month, in which case your Guard.me coverage will start the first day of the previous month. For example if you program starts on:

  • September 7, your coverage will be from August 1 – October 31.
  • March 29, your coverage will be from March 1 – May 31.

Please see the table below for the formula that we use to determine your months of Guard.me coverage.

Program starting date range Months of Guard.me coverage
January 11 – February 10 January, February and March
February 11 – March 10 February, March and April
March 11 – April 10 March, April and May
April 11 – May 10 April, May and June
May 11 – June 10 May, June and July
June 11 – July 10 June, July and August
July 11 – August 10 July, August and September
August 11 – September 10 August, September and October
September 11 – October 10 September, October and November
October 11 – November 10 October, November and December
November 11 – December 10 November, December and January
December 11 – January 10 December, January and February

Request to change coverage months

Depending on when you plan to arrive in BC, you may request to change your months of coverage from what is indicated above. In fact, this may be necessary in order to align with the months of your MSP coverage waiting period.

For example, if your program starts on January 6 and you plan to arrive in BC on January 3, you would have to notify us so that we can adjust your Guard.me coverage months to be January, February, and March instead of December, January, and February as would normally be the case. This is important so that you wouldn’t end up being uninsured or have to pay for extra insurance for the month of March before being eligible for MSP health care benefits from April 1.

You can request to change your months of coverage by sending an email to international.medical@bcit.ca with your name, BCIT student number, and your planned date of arrival in BC.

Please send your request as early as possible. We try to accommodate all requests but it may not be possible for requests received less than 45 days before the program start date.

Adding dependents

If you will be traveling with dependents such as your spouse or children it is possible to add them to your Guard.me private medical insurance policy. Dependents of current BCIT students are eligible for the discounted rate of $180 for approximately three months of Guard.me coverage.

If you have not yet traveled to Canada and your Guard.me policy has not been issued yet, the best way to add family members is to email us at international.medical@bcit.ca with:

  • your name & student number
  • the full name, gender, and date of birth for each family member that you wish to cover
  • your planned date to arrive in BC

We will reply with further details and instruction about how to pay.

Or, if your Guard.me policy has already been issued and you have received the confirmation email from Guard.me in your myBCIT inbox, you may contact Guard.me directly to add and pay for dependents. Be prepared to provide your existing Guard.me insurance policy number.