Medical Services Plan (MSP) – Care Card

MSP (Medical Services Plan) is British Columbia’s provincial health insurance plan. Anyone living in BC for six months or longer (including international students) is required by law to enroll in MSP and pay the plan’s premiums.

All international students are required to have medical coverage. To get started, students bring their passport and Study Permit to the International Education Program office as soon as possible after arrival in British Columbia. After a waiting period of three months, Health Insurance B.C. – Medical Services Plan (MSP) will cover students with study permits of 6 months or longer. At the end of the waiting period, MSP will issue a Care Card which will provide medical services in the same manner as all British Columbians. The card will be sent to our office where we will contact the student to receive it. We recommend students take a picture of their card when received and to keep the card with them at all times. There is a fee to replace a lost or stolen Care Card and it often takes considerable time to receive the new card. When visiting a doctor for services covered under MSP a payment is not required for the visit. However, the patient must present their card to be able to receive services.

Each Care Card has an expiry date which is usually the same expiration date as the Study Permit. The International Education office will pay premiums to MSP on behalf of its students through its group program. However, when the student ceases to be part of International Education Program, the student and his/her parent/guardian is responsible to maintain their MSP coverage. To ensure continuous MSP coverage, students must provide a copy of their Study Permit to the International Education Program Office whenever their Study Permits are renewed.

Private Coverage

Students with Visitor Permits: The International Education office will purchase private medical coverage for short-term students for the duration of their studies at the district known as Guard Me K to 12.

Students residing more than five months with a Study Permit: The International Education office will purchase private medical coverage for the three-month waiting period for MSP. The three-month medical coverage will be provided through Guard Me K to 12. Following the three month waiting period when students begin the British Columbia Medical Services Plan (MSP) they will also be covered by Guard Me with the Guard Me K to 12 Plus plan.  This plan provide additional coverage for areas not supported by MSP.

Please note: Unless specifically advised of an earlier arrival or later departure date the Guard Me student insurance plan will be in effect from the Saturday before an orientation program begins and will end on the last day of the month of the student program of study. Students residing in British Columbia well before the program start date are advised to arrange their own medical insurance to be in place until the insurance plan with the New Westminster School District comes into effect.

Shortly after arrival, each international student (visitor and study permit) will receive an envelope from Guard Me Insurance with an ID card, Policy and Claim Form. We recommend that students take a picture of their insurance cards and keep them with them at all times. Some medical clinics will bill Guard.Me directly. If direct billing is not available, the student must pay the clinic directly and ask the doctor to complete the claim form including the doctor’s stamp and signature. The international program can assist students with making a claim. If the student is hospitalized, the student (or host family/guardian) or hospital should contact Guard.Me immediately at the numbers listed on the back of their ID card (24 hour Emergency Procedures). Should you have any concerns or questions, please contact our office at 604-517-6285.

The nearest clinic which provides Direct Billing to Guard.Me is Elicare: Royal City Medical Clinic on the second floor of the Royal City Shopping Centre located on the northwest corner of 6th Avenue/6th Street.

228B-610 Sixth Street, New Westminster, BC
Tel: 604-545-0420