All international students are required to pay for medical coverage as a condition of their acceptance in the International Education Program. All international students must report with their passport and study permit to the International Education program office upon arrival in School District No.23 (Central Okanagan) to receive their coverage information.
The Medical Services Plan (MSP) of British Columbia will cover all international students with a study permit and have a pre-existing/chronic condition and will receive MSP at the end of a six month waiting period. During the six month waiting period for MSP coverage, the school district purchases private medical coverage through Guard Me. Guard Me also provides coverage for all students on programs lasting less than 6 months who are ineligible for MSP. In order to apply for medical coverage, the international student must provide the school district with a passport and a current study permit indicating date of arrival in Canada. In addition, the international student must sign the MSP group application form provided through the International Education Office. Once a signature is received, the student will receive their package from Guard Me which provides them with an insurance card including their policy number, the full policy wording, and all necessary claim forms. At the end of the six month waiting period, MSP will mail the Care Card to the International Education office and they will forward to the student. This can be a lengthy process. Once the student has a Care Card number, the student will receive basic medical services in the same manner as all British Columbians. Care Card benefits will end if coverage is not renewed by providing the International Education department with a new study permit and full payment of tuition and insurance. This must be done every year while the international student remains in BC.
It is recommended that the student, parent, and custodian read both the MSP coverage and the Guard Me policy thoroughly so they are familiar with all of the benefits provided.
Central Okanagan has arranged top-up coverage through Guard Me for those international students currently enrolled in MSP. The purpose of the top-up coverage is to supplement the benefits provided under MSP in order to provide the student with comprehensive medical coverage during their stay in Canada. The top-up provides benefits not covered ***by MSP including:
***Exclusions and limitations apply. Always read the policy wording to find out what is and is not covered.
- Prescription drugs.
- Paramedical services (physiotherapist, osteopath, chiropractor, chiropodist, podiatrist, or massage therapist) up to $500.
- Dental services - up to $600 for relief of dental pain.
- Eye examination - up to $100 every per 12 month period.
- Return home after a medical emergency when deemed medically necessary.
- Family member transportation: up to $5,000 for the round trip by the most direct and economical route,
if a student has been hospitalized and the attending physician deems it necessary and/or if it is necessary to identifiy the student's body. This benefit also includes $150 per day for reasonable and necessary commerical living expenses incurred by the immediate family member, up to a maximum of $1,500.
- Accidental death and dismemberment.
- Repatriation - if a student dies, the benefit will cover up to $10,000 for preparation of remains and return of the deceased in a standard container to her/his country of origin; or up to $10,000 for burial or cremation at the place of death if the family opts not to repatriate the body.
During the six month waiting period, or for international students studying in Canada less than 6 months, in case of illness or injury, the international student must call the Emergency Assistance & Claims Department as soon as they are able. Emergency assistance is available 24 hours a day and will guide the student or custodian through the claims process. If an international student is hospitalized, it is imperative that a phone call be made to Claims within 48 hours of admission to the hospital. The phone number will be provided on the student’s insurance card. Failure to call within 48 hours could result in a reduction of the benefits payable. There are no refunds for medical insurance coverage through International Education or School District No. 23 (Central Okanagan) unless the application for refund has been made well in advance of the program start date
If you have any questions or concerns please call Guard Me at 1-877-873-8447 or visit Guard Me's website www.guard.me
* Medical premiums are set by MSP and Guard Me and are subject to change without notice.