You may have heard a rumour that Canada has a great health care system and that is free for everyone.
Well…it is great, but it is not exactly free.
Let’s break it down and give you some facts, so you are prepared before you start your life here in Vancouver.
MSP stands for Medical Services Plan and it is BC’s public health insurance plan. Canada offers high-quality healthcare. The medical services are clean, safe and easy to access.
MSP is available to Canadian Citizens, permanent residents and anyone who lives in BC for 6 months or longer (including international students).
If you live in BC for 6 months or more, you must apply for MSP cover.
What does MSP include?
MSP covers all necessary, basic healthcare in Canada. This includes visits to the doctor and the hospital.
Usually, you will not need to pay anything at the time of your visit – you just need to show your BC Services Card (keep reading for more information about the BC Services Card).
MSP does not cover dental care, travel insurance, eye examinations or prescriptions for medications. You should pay for these things separately.
When can I apply?
You should apply for MSP as soon as you arrive in Canada. There are almost 3 months of waiting time before you can use your MSP. This includes the remaining time of the month you apply, plus 2 more months.
For example, if you apply on January 15th, your cover will start on April 1st.
During that time, you must cover your own medical bills with private insurance.
How much does MSP cost?
MSP costs $37.50 per month, per adult. You will receive an invoice every month for your MSP.
There are different ways that you can pay. You can find out more information here
It is common for employers to offer MSP as part of a benefits package for employees. This means you might not need to pay for MSP. When you get a job in Vancouver, ask your employer about healthcare benefits.
How Can I Apply For MSP?
To apply online for MSP, follow this link
Click on ‘Apply for MSP’. It will take you to the application page.
The application is very simple and easy to use. Follow the instructions shown here in the pictures
You should check your eligibility to be able to apply for MSP.
You must upload a copy of your study permit (if you are a student in Vancouver).
While you upload your document to the system, your picture has to be clear to read, and at least 1000px wide and 1500 px tall.
Only a JPG, PNG, GIF or BMP formats will be accepted.
Afterward, you should fill following blanks up for your personal information.
Complete your contact information.
Please make sure to fill up all information correctly because your bill will be sent to your mailing address.
After reviewing all your information that you provided, just feel free to submit your application.
There is no cost for the BC Services Card. This is the card that you must show when you access healthcare services in BC.
For more information about the BC Services Card, please visit: gov.bc.ca/bcservicescard.
If you have any questions about MSP or how to apply, you can visit the official BC website here
Or you can talk to one of our knowledgeable student advisors, who can point you in the right direction!
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