What is MSP (Medical Services Plan)?
Medical Services Plan (MSP) is BC’s provincial health insurance plan, for everyone who lives in British Columbia (BC) for six months or longer. Apply for MSP online immediately after you arrive.
BC MSP provides primary medical coverage such as:
- services provided by a doctor
- X-rays, lab tests (as required by a doctor)
- emergency dental and oral surgery in hospital
However, since MSP does not cover a variety of medical services, such as dental services, routine eye exams, eyeglasses, prescription drugs, and counselling, FIC students are required to have secondary coverage as well.
Why do I need MSP?
MSP covers the cost of basic medical care within Canada, including most physician and hospital services. In most cases, you will not have to pay at the time you seek medical care when you show your BC Services Card. For a full list of your medical and health care benefits, visit the MSP website.
When do I need MSP?
You can apply for MSP as soon as you arrive in BC. There is a three-month waiting period before MSP coverage begins. International students will become responsible for paying the $75/month International Health Fee after the three-month waiting period ends.
Students who delay in applying for MSP may still be responsible for retroactively paying the International Health Fee from the time they were eligible, which would be calculated as the rest of the month in which you arrive in BC, plus two full calendar months.
Designed to coincide with the waiting period for MSP, new international students are enrolled in Guard Me More for their first semester.
How much does MSP cost?
Effective January 1, 2020, all international students are responsible for paying the $75 health-care coverage fee per month.
These fees are subject to change. Check the MSP website for more the most up to date information.
What is Guard Me?
Guard Me is among the world’s largest health and travel insurance providers in international education which provides students at Fraser International College with their primary medical coverage for the first semester while they wait for their MSP as well as their secondary coverage for additional semesters.
Your Guard.Me More plan provides both primary coverage for hospital and doctor visits, similar to MSP, however it also offers secondary coverage for medical expenses that may not be covered by MSP, such as prescriptions, psychological counselling, and other paramedical services.
Students who have not traveled to Canada will have the option to opt out of their GuardMe More plan (primary coverage) until they have arrived in Canada. Students who are currently in Canada will be enrolled in GuardMe More plan (primary coverage) for their first semester while they apply for BC MSP coverage. Students will be charged for the GuardMe Plus plan (secondary coverage) starting from their 2nd semester in Canada.
Guard Me also has several fantastic resources to connect you to support for both your physical and mental health and wellbeing:
You can access your Guard.me insurance information through the guard.me portal. Through the portal, you can find clinics, submit claims, access the My SSP 24/7 counselling services, and the mobile doctor service.
Guard.Me Mobile Doctor
Guard.Me Mobile Doctor is a convenient way to connect with a medical practitioner online without having to leave your home. Through Mobile Doctor, you can describe your symptoms and receive recommendations or prescriptions for your ailments. For more information on Mobile Doctor, please click here.
The My SSP App offers counselling support 24/7 in multiple languages. This is a great resource if you are experience any mental health concern.
Students Abroad: Opting Out
Students who have not traveled to Canada must opt out of their GuardMe More plan (primary coverage) until they have arrived in Canada.
To opt-out of the GuardMe More plan (primary coverage), you will need to submit your request by filling out the GuardMe Opt-Out Form. The Finance Team will be sending more information regarding the opt-out form to you closer to the beginning of the next semester.
- Please note that you will only be able to opt-out if you will not be in Canada for the complete duration of the semester.
- This is a one time opt-out of the GuardMe More plan (primary coverage) every semester, so you will be enrolled in GuardMe More Plan (primary coverage) again the next semester. If you are still abroad, you will need to opt out again until your first semester in Canada.
- If you will not be in Canada for the duration of an entire semester, you must opt out of GuardMe More (primary coverage) and GuardMe Plus (secondary coverage).
- If you do not opt out while you are abroad you will not be eligible to use your GuardMe More plan (primary coverage) or GuardMe Plus (secondary coverage) and will be automatically transitioned to GuardMe Plus plan (secondary coverage) in your subsequent semesters.
Students In Canada: Enrolling in MSP
- Students who are currently in Canada must enrol in MSP as soon as you arrive in BC. If you have not done so, please find out How to Apply.
- Students who are currently in Canada will be enrolled in GuardMe More plan (primary coverage) for their first semester while they apply for BC MSP coverage.
- Students will be charged for the GuardMe Plus plan (secondary coverage) starting from their 2nd semester in Canada moving forward.
If you are currently enrolled in MSP and are paying the International Health Fee please read about Leaving BC Temporarily in the event that you leave Canada temporarily in the future.
IMPORTANT: You will be unable to finalize your enrolment if you have less than the minimum balance including the extension for guard.me in your account unless you opt out prior to your enrolment date. Please be sure to opt out before your enrolment begins if this is the case.
Declaration of Illness Forms
Being sick when you are in school is hard. You have to make a choice about whether or not to go to class. Some days this will be easy. You won’t have a midterm or a quiz. You know that you can stay home.
Some days this will be difficult. You know that you are so sick but you have a midterm that you cannot miss. This decision is especially hard as an international student as you must maintain 80% attendance to ensure you are meeting the requirements of your study permit.
Here are instructions that can help you make the best choice for both your health and your studies.
Instructions for the Easy Days *Easy days are days when you have a short-term illness and you don’t have a midterm or quiz. If you miss a class, you will not fail the course.
Note: It’s up to you to determine which day is an easy day to miss class. This will be based on your course outline and your communication with your instructor. This is YOUR choice and your responsibility.
- Stay at home.
- Talk to a doctor if necessary for your health.
Result: You will be marked absent (N) for the day.
Instructions for Hard Days *Hard days are days when you miss a midterm or significant assignment because of an illness.
Note: It’s your responsibility to determine the outcome of missing a class. You can find this information on your course outline and your communication with your instructor. This is YOUR responsibility.
- You can approach your instructor with the Declaration of Illness Form (Hard Copy). This is also available on the portal under ‘documents’. You do not need to provide a doctor’s note
- Have conversation with your instructor, explain your situation, and ask them to sign the declaration form.
- This form is subject to the student code of conduct and academic integrity policies.
- If you miss a 'Hard Day', your instructor may request a doctor's note as a supporting document.
- Once your instructor signs the Declaration of Illness form, please take a picture of the form and email it to advising at email@example.com
- Your attendance will be updated from absent to ‘Medical leave’. This does not excuse your absence, but rather indicates to your instructor that you were absent for medical reasons.
- Plan with your instructor for any accommodation for a missed assessment/attendance. This accommodation is at your instructor’s discretion.
Please come see an advisor if you have any questions. Our long-term goal is to ensure that you are healthy and well when you are attending your classes.
The physicians at Health and Counselling Services or ANYWHERE else DO NOT have the authority to exempt students from exams, assignments, etc. Whether an exemption occurs is up to the instructor and should be based upon a conversation between the instructor and the student seeking a change to course requirements. Where a requested change to course requirements relates to the impact of a permanent disability, as opposed to routine illness, students are required to work with FIC Advising for support.