Medical Insurance for Full-Time Students

Students in full time programs are automatically registered into a set of courses per term, and course-by-course registration is not necessary.

Medical insurance is mandatory for all international students throughout the duration of your studies at BCIT. You will need two kinds of insurance:

Basic health insurance: BC Medical Services Plan (MSP)

If you will live in British Columbia (BC) for longer than 6 months, you are required by law to enroll in the BC government-run Medical Services Plan (MSP) immediately after you arrive in BC. We will run a workshop during orientation to help you apply.

There is a three-month waiting period after you arrive in BC, so together with your first term tuition, you will be automatically charged for three months of temporary medical insurance through a private company called Guard Me. If you apply in time, you would then have MSP from your fourth month in BC until the expiry of your study permit.

If you already have MSP

You can opt out of the requirement to buy Guard Me. Please show proof of your MSP coverage as soon as possible. The deadline to submit this is your tuition fee due date (60 days before your program starts). To opt out:

MSP coverage dates usually match your study/work permit dates. If your MSP is about to expire or has already expired you must apply to extend it immediately (see below) and show us proof of your MSP coverage as soon as possible.

If you have been in BC on a study/work permit for more than three months

Apply for MSP online immediately. Be sure to write on a photocopy of your study/work permit "please send me a Confirmation of Coverage Letter once active" on blank space at the top or bottom of your permit. Show us your Confirmation of Coverage Letter or MSP card as soon as you receive it.

If you are a continuing student, since it can take approximately one month from when you apply to receive confirmation you have successfully enrolled, you must buy one month of Guard Me to cover you while you are waiting. To purchase Guard Me:

  1. Apply for MSP
  2. Buy Guard Me
  3. About one week later, pick up your Guard Me card at ISC Burnaby. If you would like to pick up your card at the downtown or Aerospace campus, email isc_info@bcit.ca
  4. If your MSP application was denied or you are still waiting for confirmation you have successfully enrolled, purchase more coverage

If you have implied status

If you applied to extend your study permit with Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) before it expired but you have not received your new study permit yet, you are on implied status. You must immediately apply to have your MSP extended during this period. To apply for an extension:

  1. Print the IRCC application payment receipt or the IRCC letter confirming that your application has been received

  2. Write a letter of explanation which includes:
    • Your full name
    • Your date of birth
    • Your address
    • Your Personal Health Number (on the back of your MSP card)
    • Request to extend your MSP
    • Write "please send me a Confirmation of Coverage Letter once active"
  3. Mail both documents to the MSP office:

    Health Insurance BC
    PO Box 9035 Stn Prov Govt
    Victoria, BC, V8W 9E3

  4. If approved, your insurance will be extended for three months. When you receive your Confirmation of Coverage Letter or new MSP card or bill, send a copy to isc_info@bcit.ca
  5. As soon as you have received your new study permit, send a photocopy to the MSP office (see below)

If you need assistance, the ISC Burnaby or Downtown Campus can photocopy your study permit and mail the application for you

If you extend your study/work permit

Since your MSP coverage will usually match the dates on your permit, if you get a new study/work permit or receive a Post-Graduate Work Permit you will need to apply to extend your coverage and get a new MSP card. To extend your MSP:

  1. Photocopy your new study/work permit
  2. Write a letter of explanation which includes:

    • Your full name
    • Your date of birth
    • Your address
    • Your Personal Health Number (on the back of your MSP card)
    • Request to extend your MSP
    • Write "please send me a Confirmation of Coverage Letter once active"
  3. Mail both documents to the MSP office:

    Health Insurance BC
    PO Box 9035 Stn Prov Govt
    Victoria, BC, V8W 9E3

  4. When you receive your Confirmation of Coverage Letter or new MSP card, send a copy to isc_info@bcit.ca

If you need assistance, the ISC Burnaby or Downtown Campus can photocopy your study permit and mail the application for you

Extended Health and Dental Plan

If your full-time program is 16 weeks or longer, you will also have additional benefits through the Health and Dental Plan organized by the BCIT Student Association. This will cover medical services which MSP does not. You will be automatically charged and enrolled each term with your tuition fees.

Guard Me (first three months in BC)
MSP (after three months in BC)
Extended Health and Dental Plan
Insurance providers

Temporary basic coverage from a private medical insurance company called Guard Me

Basic coverage administered by the BC government called the BC Medical Services Plan (MSP). Mandatory for all residents living in BC for six months or longer

Extended Health and Dental Plan organized by the BCIT Student Association (BCITSA)

How do I apply?

You will be automatically enrolled for three months of Guard Me insurance for your first term:

  1. Pay for insurance and your tuition fees at the same time.The start date of your insurance will be five days before your program starts

  2. When you arrive in BC, apply for MSP

  3. Pick up your Guard Me card at the Burnaby ISC. If you would like to pick up your card at the downtown or Aerospace campus, email isc_info@bcit.ca

Direct entry (advanced placement) or re-admitted students must contact the International Student Centre to register individually.

Apply as soon as you arrive in BC. Fill out the online MSP application form. You will need to upload a copy of your study/work permit. When you have submitted your application, you must take a screenshot (photo) of your confirmation code and email it to isc_info@bcit.ca

Your MSP card will be sent to your home address with the dates of your coverage, which usually match your study/work permit. When you receive it, email photos to isc_info@bcit.ca or bring it in in-person. If you get a new study/work permit, you must apply to extend your MSP (see above)

You will be automatically enrolled, no application is required.

You must register for BC Fair Pharmacare then complete the  registration form for your myBenefits Card.

What does it cover?

Guard Me covers you in case you become sick or injured after you buy insurance. You will not be covered for an illness or sickness you already had before you bought insurance, if you know that you will need to see a doctor when you buy insurance, or for routine doctor's visits or treatments. For more information on coverage, visit the Guard Me website

MSP covers medically required services, including visits to doctors, hospital services and diagnostic medical testing. It does not cover dental or vision care, prescription drugs or travel. For more information on coverage, visit the MSP website

Covers medical services that are not covered under MSP, such as dental or vision care, prescription drugs, and travel. For more information on coverage, visit the Health and Dental Plan website

How do I use it?

If you need medical services you will likely need to pay then submit a claim with your receipt for a refund. If you have a major emergency, contact Guard Me. If you want to see a doctor, you can go to Student Health Services at the Burnaby campus and certain clinics with your Guard Me card without needing to pay and submit a claim for a refund

For most medical services you can present your MSP card and do not need to pay upfront.

If you buy eligible prescription drugs or visit the dentist, present your myBenefits Card to receive your discount at the counter. For other services you need to pay and make a claim for a refund. Please contact the BCIT Student Association for more information

How much does it cost?

$2.00 per day ($180 for three months)

The fee will be automatically added to your first term tuition fees

CAD$37.50 per month per individual. If you are under 19 years old there is no fee

You will be sent a bill in the mail each month and payments are made directly to MSP

The cost will depend on the length of your program. Find your program fees to view the total amount

The fee will be automatically added to your tuition fees each term