Health care costs in Canada can be very expensive. Columbia College requires you to have at least $1,000,000 of medical insurance during your time as a student to protect you against illness or injury. Coverage must begin when you pay for your initial tuition and be valid until the last day of your program.
As a Columbia College student, you are automatically enrolled in Guard.me Insurance for urgent care medical concerns. Guard.me insures you for up to five million Canadian dollars. Guard.me coverage is provided at no cost during your first semester. A $200 Guard.me insurance fee is required of all continuing students enrolling in subsequent semesters. Students with MSP coverage can submit proof of that coverage to Guard.me and withdraw from their Guard.me policy for a partial refund. If you have MSP, bring your card to Student Services to opt out of Guard.me coverage. Guard.me covers you in case you become sick or injured. They do not pay for expenses for an illness or sickness that you already had before the start date of your policy, or for routine doctor’s visits or treatments.
For more information about your benefits or for a list of clinics in your area go to https://www.guard.me/columbiacollege.
Make sure you understand your policy benefits and limits. If you have questions you can call Guard.me at 1 877 873-8447 or come talk to the Columbia College nurse or counsellor.
Medical Services Plan
Canada has a universal public health-care system. Each province and territory has their own health insurance plan. British Columbia’s health insurance plan is called the Medical Services Plan or (MSP). When you show your BC Services (MSP) card you will not have to pay up front to use public health care services such as hospitals, clinics, or laboratories. You are expected to apply for the Medical Services Plan (MSP) as soon as you arrive in Canada if you plan to study here for more than one semester. You can apply on your own, but if you need help visit Student Services or the nurse.
Recent changes to the MSP system will require international students to pay a monthly premium of $37.50 in order to receive benefits. In January 2020 the premium will rise to $75.00 a month. This applies to all international students living in B.C. To apply for MSP online you need to be at least 16 years old and have access to an electronic copy of your study permit. This can be found on your student portal.
The study permit image must
- Be valid for six months or longer;
- Include the entire page, corner to corner;
- Have legible text and the photo in focus.
If you do not receive your card within 12 weeks’ time, call MSP at 604-683-7151 to ask about your application. If you change your address or documented status (study permit, work permit, PR status, citizenship) you must inform MSP of the change.
Update your MSP account online. Once you receive your MSP BC Services card, bring it to Student Services to ensure you have the appropriate level of insurance to continue your program at Columbia College. Guard.me is designed to cover your urgent medical care needs until your MSP becomes active.