Regarding health care coverage, there are a few things to be aware of. First, there are two types of coverage. One, is your basic healthcare coverage through the province's Medical Services Plan (MSP). Basic medical services covers things like doctor and hospital visits, lab work, xrays etc. Everyone should have this coverage. The second type of coverage is extended health. These benefits are additional healthcare services and provide full or partial payment of things like prescriptions, dental services, and paramedical services. Okanagan College has a medical and dental extended health plan for students through the Student's Union.
Basic Medical Coverage
For students who are residents of BC and turning 19, MSP will send a letter to your parents. The letter advises your parents that their coverage of you, as a dependent, will end on the the last day of the month you turn 19. Unless the parents request otherwise, MSP will automatically set up a new, self-administered account for you. Initially, 100 per cent premium assistance will be provided (if the residency requirements for premium assistance are met). Your parents have the option of continuing to cover you as a dependent if you are single, supported by them and attending school full-time, but will need to contact MSP with details.
If you are coming from out of province, you or your parent(s) can continue paying the healthcare insurance premiums (monthly payments) in your home province or country to maintain your coverage. Alternatively, if you plan on living in BC for over 3 months, then you can apply for BC Medical by filling out the Application For Enrollment. This process takes up to 3 months so you should apply soon after arriving in BC. Out of province medical services will often cover you for those first 3 months during the transition, but check with your individual plan for details.
If you earned less than $28,000 in the previous tax year, you can also apply for premium assistance. If this is the case, whether you are new to BC or have existing coverage, fill out the premium assistance application.
As well, once you are a B.C. resident and enrolled with the Medical Services Plan (MSP), register yourself with Fair Pharmacare to receive your maximum assistance. Fair PharmaCare is the largest of the drug coverage plans under the BC PharmaCare program which assists B.C. residents with the cost of eligible prescriptions and medical supplies.
Extended Health Coverage at OC
Okanagan College has an extended health plan for students through the Student's Union. All full time students are automatically registered with the Extended Medical and Dental Benefits through Greenshield. For the benefits covered under this plan check the Greenshield Plan website. If you already have extended health coverage, then you can obtain a waiver form through the student's union to get a refund for the fee that you have paid. If you choose to carry on with the plan, then obtain a health card and pamphlet regarding this coverage from the student's union at the beginning of the semester. For more information you can email the student's union at firstname.lastname@example.org. Vernon students can contact VSAOC for the information regarding coverage (not OCSU).