Medical Insurance for Part-Time Students

Students in part-time programs register themselves through flexible course-by-course registration leading to a credential.

Medical insurance is mandatory for all international students throughout the duration of your studies at BCIT.

If you will live in British Columbia (BC) for longer than six months, you are required by law to enroll in the BC government-run Medical Services Plan (MSP) immediately after you arrive in BC.

There is a 3 month waiting period to be eligible for MSP. During the wait period you must purchase temporary medical insurance through a private company called Guard Me.

If you are a visitor

Unfortunately you are not eligible for MSP. You must purchase Guard Me (temporary private insurance) to cover the duration of your course(s).

If you are on a new study/work permit

You must apply for MSP online as soon as you get your study/work permit, then purchase three months of Guard Me to cover you during the wait period. If you apply in time, you would then have MSP from the fourth month until the expiry of your study/work permit.

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/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.

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.

If you already have MSP

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 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. 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 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

Guard Me (first three months in BC)

MSP (after three months in BC)

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

How do I apply?
  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

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 will usually match the dates of 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).

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

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. 

How much does it cost?

$2 per day ($60 for one month, $180 for three months)

Register and pay at the International Student Centre

CAD$37.50 per month for an adult. 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