How to Find Health insurance for International Students in Canada

By Krista DeKuyper | November 19, 2022 | Visiting Canada

Are you an international student looking for health insurance benefits in Canada? Well, you are in the right place. Welcome to Oh, Canada! You might find the Canadian healthcare system a bit confusing, but you’re not alone; so do a lot of people here. 

We are here to assist you with a complete guide on Health Insurance for International Students like you.

In this guide, We’ll explain exactly how the healthcare system works and how to find health insurance for international students in Canada!

Eligibility for Free Universal Health care system

In Canada, the free healthcare system is called Medicare.

Medicare covers most healthcare costs that many people can’t afford. It takes care of the considerable costs, like hospital stays and appointments with a physician. However, Canadians still have to pay many healthcare fees out of pocket.

You might be eligible for Canada’s universal health coverage as an international student studying in Canada, depending on your province.

For instance, Alberta’s health plan covers international students residing in the province for at least 12 months. You will be qualified for the same universal health care as Canadian citizens with proof of study permit.

However, Ontario doesn’t offer universal health coverage to international students until they have already lived there for an extended period.

So, if you are studying in one of the provinces that offer healthcare coverage to international students, and planning to stay for a year or more, then yes! You will be able to benefit from Canada’s universal healthcare plan.

Students Travelling to Canada

Travel insurance is a short-term solution that ensures you while travelling outside of your home country. It covers the essential needs of a short visit from one place to another.

For those who are studying in Canada, foreign workers, and returning Canadian ex-pats they need visitor to Canada insurance. This type of insurance allows for longer periods of stay – months to years. Versus the general days or weeks of travel insurance. 

As an international student, if you spend a short amount of time in Canada (for instance, one semester), visitor to Canada travel insurance is a good option. However, you can check for other options if you plan to stay longer or want more extensive coverage.

Insurance through college or university

For international students who plan on staying long-term — for instance, if you are doing one year or more degree/program in Canada — your college will offer a student insurance coverage plan. This is the most common health insurance for international students that people will find.

College insurance usually covers high costs like healthcare but may not meet all your requirements. Plus, college health insurance costs can be higher than private insurance. 

Canadian colleges and universities require you to show confirmation that you have private insurance coverage before they allow you to opt-out of the student coverage plan. You must meet your college’s opt-out deadline if you want to opt-out. Otherwise, the college will charge you for their insurance coverage, even if you purchase another plan.

Private Insurance

What is the benefit of private insurance? It’s flexible. 

Private insurance provides many options and benefits, and you’ll likely find a plan tailored to your unique needs. That way, you don’t spend extra on benefits you won’t utilise.

Even if you are entitled to Medicare or your college’s insurance coverage, you may want to extend with private insurance to fill in the holes. Allow us to explain private insurance a bit more below.

Private Insurance For International Students

As an international student studying in Canada, there are a few reasons why you should switch to purchasing private insurance:

  1. You have a basic insurance plan via Medicare or your college/university, and you need additional insurance to cover the gaps;
  2. Your college’s insurance plan doesn’t fit your necessities, and you want a comprehensive plan that works better for you.

In the first matter, you’re looking for a small private plan to cover the services that Medicare doesn’t cover, such as prescription drugs/medicines. In the second matter, you’re looking for an expansive plan to cover all your medical needs, from hospital visits to dental care.

Picking a Supplemental Plan

Most Canadians use private insurance as an accessory to their provincial plan. International students can do the same. The most prevalent benefits that supplemental plans cover are:

  • Ambulance and paramedic expenses
  • Dental care
  • Vision care
  • Prescription medications
  • Psychological, such as counselling services

Beware of private insurance plans that say they cover these benefits but only cover a part of them. 

Picking a Comprehensive Plan

A comprehensive insurance plan will cover all your medical requirements. 

In addition to all the benefits offered with the supplemental plan, your comprehensive plan will include:

  • Inpatient hospital care
  • Pharmaceuticals and other treatments provided in-hospital
  • Doctor visits

The benefit of an extraordinary private insurance plan combines basic medical needs with the “bonuses” listed overhead. That means you can purchase one insurance premium instead of two, with the benefits of two.

Pro Tip:

As an international student, know your benefits and choose lower insurance premiums plus renewable coverage plans.

Once you know which benefits you need and look for a provider with the best rates, this stage can be overwhelming. Many insurance providers are offering different plans! Fortunately, our quick quotes form will advise you in finding the best feasible rate on the market.

Hopefully, you’ve learned how to find health insurance for international students in Canada. Fortunately, our quick quotes form will advise you in finding the best feasible rate on the market.