COVID-19 Important Notice
For the latest international student updates related to COVID-19, please visit COVID-19 FAQs for International Students.
As an international student, you must have both basic and extended health insurance for the entire period of study in Canada.
If you are a short-term visiting or exchange student, please read about your specific medical insurance requirements.
Basic health insurance
Permanent basic health insurance: MSP
As an international student, you must sign up for the Medical Services Plan (MSP) of B.C. if you'll be living in British Columbia for more than six months.
At $75/month, MSP covers the cost of medically-necessary insured doctor services.
Apply online for MSP as soon as you arrive in B.C. and before you start your studies at CapU.
In order to apply online for MSP you will need:
- a Canadian address and phone number
- a passport (arrival date information)
- a digital copy of your study permit
- internet access.
On your first day at CapU, during the New International Student Orientation, we will provide more information about MSP. However, it is your responsibility to apply and send your payment directly to Health Insurance BC, which administers the MSP on behalf of the Ministry of Health.
Once you receive your MSP letter confirming your enrollment, please upload it to the DOCUMENT DROPBOX on CapU eLearn in your Welcome Guide for International Students as soon as possible.
There is a waiting period for newcomers to BC before the MSP takes effect. To ensure your wellbeing during this period, CapU will automatically enrol you in guard.me, a private insurance plan contracted by Capilano University to provide basic health insurance coverage before MSP starts.
Note: The issue date on your MSP card is not the effective date of your health coverage. The effective date of your health coverage is shown on your MSP letter.
Temporary basic health insurance: guard.me
Effective date and duration
CapU's Centre for International Experience will automatically enrol you in guard.me to provide temporary health insurance coverage, effective on the first day of your start term (your orientation day). The duration of your guard.me coverage is three months, to ensure that you are covered while you are waiting for your MSP to take effect. Please refer to guard.me to submit any medical expenses claims incurred during this period.
The cost of guard.me is approximately $188 for three months, payable to Capilano University through your myCapU account. This charge will appear on your myCapU account approximately two weeks after the start of the term.
Adding dependents to guard.me
You can also add your dependents such as a spouse or children. To do this, you must email email@example.com with their full names, dates of birth, gender and nationality.
How to opt out of guard.me
You can opt out of - and avoid being charged for - guard.me if you already have MSP or if you will not be living in British Columbia during the fall semester. To opt out of guard.me, you must either upload your MSP letter* during the first week of classes into the Document Dropbox found in your Welcome Guide for International Students on CapU eLearn or complete the Health Insurance Questionnaire also located in the Document Dropbox section of the Welcome Guide for International students. (*The MSP letter is not your MSP invoice - it's the letter you first received with your MSP card.
Note: All student accounts with an outstanding balance are subject to late payment fee penalty.
Extended health insurance
Extended health insurance: StudentCare
The Capilano Students' Union (CSU) Health and Dental Plan provides extended medical coverage for services not covered by MSP, including:
- prescription drugs and vaccinations
- accidents and emergencies
- health practitioners (physiotherapists, chiropractors, massage therapists, etc.)
- vision care
- dental care
- travel coverage.
Note: if you already have this level of coverage with another plan, or you will be studying from outside of Canada, you can opt out of StudentCare.
Please be aware that if you choose to opt-out of StudentCare this fall, you will not be able to re-enroll again until next September, 2021. Alternately, you can choose to retroactively opt-out in July, 2021. This would allow you to wait to see if you will be coming to Canada for the spring term, and if not, be reimbursed for the full year of coverage. Therefore, if you do end up coming to Canada in the spring, you will still be covered by the CSU extended health and dental plan. If you would like to retroactively opt-out, you can do so between July 5-19, 2021. If you would like to opt-out this fall for this academic year (2020-21), you must do so prior to Sept. 15, 2020.
To opt-out because you will be studying outside of Canada, you must provide documentation demonstrating you are an international student. This can be produced as any of the following:
- a letter of enrollment from the institution
- approval-in-principle of a study permit
- existing study permit
Starting in the Fall term?
If you are starting at CapU in the Fall term, CapU will automatically enroll you in the CSU Extended Health and Dental Plan. The charges will already be included in your fees and will appear in your myCapU account.
Starting in the Spring term?
If you are starting in the Spring term, you will not be automatically enrolled. Instead, you will need to self-enrol into the CSU Health and Dental Plan when you register for the Spring semester.
Visit studentcare.ca and download the Self-Enrolment form, found on the right side of the StudentCare webpage.