Medical Insurance and Coverage - Frequently Asked Questions
Am I enrolled automatically with MSP?
No, all individuals must complete an application. The easiest way to apply is online and you should apply for MSP coverage soon after arriving in B.C., rather than at the end of the wait period because processing takes about 21 business days. See our guide: 'How to Apply for MSP".
What is the MSP wait period?
New residents (international students) are required to complete a wait period consisting of the balance of the month in which residence in British Columbia is established, plus two months before benefits can begin.
An example of the wait period is, if you arrived in BC on Aug 28, your wait period would be August, September, October. Your MSP coverage will start as of November 1st.
What happens if I do not apply for MSP?
Okanagan College will auto-enroll you with Guard.me medical insurance each semester.
If I applied for MSP a month ago and haven’t received my MSP card. What should I do?
Contact Health Insurance BC (MSP) at 1-800-663-7100 and check if they have your correct mailing address.
What is the International Student Health Fee?
As of January 2020, MSP premiums have been eliminated. But international students on a study permit will now pay $75 per month for the International Student Health Fee. Service BC will send the bill to your residential address. If you change your address, please update your new address with MSP at https://my.gov.bc.ca/msp.
Why do I need Guard.me medical insurance if I am eligible for MSP?
The Guard.me medical insurance is designed to cover you while you are on the MSP 3 month wait period and not yet covered by MSP.
What if I already have MSP when I arrive at OC? Can I cancel my Guard.me coverage and get a refund?
Yes, you will need to upload proof of MSP coverage to www.guard.me/oc. Your MSP coverage must be effective before the start of the semester. The deadline to submit is the last day of the 1st month in the semester. For more information, please go to www.okanagan.bc.ca/intedmed. Once your submission is approved, the Guard.me insurance fee will be reversed on your student account 6 weeks after start of semester.
If I did not make any claims on my guard.me policy, can I get a refund?
No. The policy is considered used because you had the benefit of the coverage even though no claims were made.
What do I need to do when I am planning to leave and then return?
If you are planning to leave BC for more than 6 months, you should contact MSP to confirm continued eligibility otherwise they may suspend your MSP. Please note that you must reactivate your MSP account after returning to BC from the extended leave. For more details, visit MSP website.
Leaving B.C. Permanently
If you will no longer be a resident of British Columbia, you must notify Health Insurance BC (HIBC) of the date of your departure and your new address. For more details, visit MSP website.
What do I need to do when I renew my study permit?
You will need to upload your new study permit to https://my.gov.bc.ca/msp/. It will take about 21 business days for MSP to process this information. Please renew your MSP card before the expiry date to avoid a gap between coverages.
What are the Extended Health and Dental plan charges on my student financial account?
The Extended Health and Dental Plan (Green Shield/ Great-West Life) is additional coverage administered by your Student Union office (OCSU or VSAOC in Vernon). Enrollment and fees are mandatory for all full time academic students. However, if you are covered by an equivalent plan (such as by your employer), you can opt-out by going online. Note that Guard.me or MSP do not replace the Extended Health & Dental Plan.