Getting Health Insurance For International Students In Canada

By Remitbee - May 20, 2022

Getting accepted to study in Canada is a dream for most students. However, you must be prepared for a complete lifestyle change. While it is impossible to predict when you may become ill, it is essential to be informed about the Canadian healthcare system ahead of time.

Canada offers excellent free health care to its citizens and permanent residents. All international students in Canada are required to obtain health insurance. Some provinces in Canada allow their international students to access their provincial healthcare plan.

You will have to arrange for private health insurance coverage if the plan is not accessible. Most Canadian universities mandate that you have health insurance before enrolling. However, how do you determine which healthcare system is available and which to choose?

Health Insurance Systems For International Students

International students in Canada have a choice between three healthcare systems. The healthcare system's accessibility is limited to availability and what your learning institution requires.

Some educational institutions provide insurance packages for international students, while others allow you to have any of these two.

Let's take a closer look at the three:

Provincial Health Care

To be eligible for provincial health care as an international student in Canada, you must have a valid study visa. This plan is more government-funded and is available across the country. The provincial healthcare department typically decides whether the plan is provided to international students.

The provincial healthcare system will cover emergency treatment and primary and preventative medical services.

Certain services, however, are not covered by the provincial healthcare system. These services include prescription drugs, optical and dental care, and various diagnostic testing services.

Hospitalization is quite expensive in Canada, and the provincial healthcare system only covers a part of it. It is still advisable to get private medical insurance because certain hospitals can refuse to admit you as a new patient unless you have it. Institution Offered Health Care Plan To offer international students, many Canadian higher learning institutions have packaged programs with healthcare insurance providers. These plans are usually less expensive than private health insurance.

Some institutions of higher learning make it mandatory to have this plan; thus, you may not have any other option. International students are urged to obtain additional private healthcare coverage because an institution offered one may not cover specific services.

Private Health Insurance

This insurance is more expensive and covers a broader range of services than provincial health insurance. It is a better option if you have chronic medical needs. Private health insurance is highly suggested if you have a chronic ailment that requires ongoing care.

Private health insurance is essential in provinces where international students cannot access provincial health care plans or institution-based plans. If you can show that you have private health insurance from another source, some learning institutions will let you opt-out of their health insurance packages.

Private health insurance essentially covers what the public system( provincial health care) does not. Optical and dental costs, prescription medicine costs, ambulance services, private hospital rooms, home care, and "marginal" procedures like IVF treatments are just a few of the offerings offered by private insurance plans.

As an international student, you can contact the following companies for health insurance.

  • Manulife Financial;
  • Ingle International;
  • Cowan Insurance Group;
  • Greenshield.
  • Allianz Global;
  • Sun Life;
  • TuGo;

The provincial health-care system only serves you if you live in that province. When going outside of the province, private health insurance is required.

If you plan to study in Canada, you should acquire private health insurance to ensure that you are protected in an emergency.

Health Care Services For International Students By Province

Once you've determined which province you'll be studying in, it's essential to understand the healthcare system available. This is how each province approaches health care for international students.

health insurance health insurance 2 health insurance  3

How To Apply For And Use Your Insurance Card

You could be unfamiliar with how to apply for and use your insurance card as a new international student in Canada. Here's how you can do it:

  • The application form is available online or at a pharmacy, doctor's office, or hospital.
  • An identification document is required while applying. Permanent resident cards, passports, birth certificates, and proof of permanent residence are all acceptable forms of identity.
  • You must present it to the hospital when you or your family seek care.
  • Sharing your health-care card with someone else may result in you losing your benefits. You could risk criminal charges and possibly deportation if you share your health care card with an unauthorized person.
  • If you lose your card, you will have to pay a fee to replace it.


You can have a wonderful experience studying in Canada. Make sure you have a solid healthcare plan in case something goes wrong. RemitBee is available to assist you in exchanging currencies or transferring money to any part of the world while you are in Canada.

Other articles in Money Transfer