Medical Insurance information for international students in academic, trades vocational, or esl programs at the Nanaimo Campus. Effective date January 1, 2018

Insurance Providers

 Upon Arrival

After One Term International Insurance


Greenshield Extended Health and Dental Plan

Green Shield

British Columbia Medical Services Plan (BC MSP)


How to Apply

All new students are automatically enrolled.

Academic, trades and vocational students are automatically enrolled when they register.

Students who have a study permit for 6 months or longer are eligible for BC MSP after 3 months in British Columbia. For assistance go to International Student Services in building 255.

Type of Coverage VIU is a short term primary medical insurance coverage for items such as: 

Medically required doctor and hospital visits, lab tests, x-rays, ambulance, taxi to/from clinic or hospital, prescriptions, paramedical services, eye exams, accidental dental, family transportation and emergency return home, and more, You can view your coverage online at

Extended Health and Dental Plan: 
Eye exams, dental, prescription drugs, naturopathic doctors and more.

Basic BC MSP: 
Doctor and hospital visits, lab tests, x-rays.

Visit this website to find out what is covered under this plan.

Coverage Period

Students are enrolled in their first term of study under* 

*NOTE: students will continue to be enrolled, and charged, for subsequent terms until proof of BC MSP is provided to

Your insurance policy will be emailed to you before classes begin; check your email for specific dates.

Coverage continues for a one-year term and is charged annually.

You are eligible for BC MSP after living in British Columbia for 3 months (the month you arrive counts as your first month). For example, if you arrive Aug 20, your 3 month waiting period will be completed Nov 1.

Approximate Cost

 $249.50 per semester

Charged to your student record account.

$275 per year

Charged to your student record account.

$37.50 per month for an individual.

$75.00 for a family of two.

You pay directly to BC MSP.

For More Information

Go to


Check the Greenshield Canada website for coverage information, forms and printable claim cards. Cards can also be picked up at the Students' Union Building 193.

Check the BC Medical Services Plan  or
visit our local 
BC Access Centre: 
460 Selby Street, Nanaimo, BC, V9R 2R7

More Information:

  • Your VIU Insurance ID Card and policy number will be sent to you via email before the start of classes. It will include your policy number, coverage details and start and end dates. Be sure to print it as soon as you receive it. If you do not receive your card check your spam box.  If it is not there, please contact VIU or go to to contact
  • If you have a study permit for six months or more you must apply for British Columbia Medical Services Plan (BC MSP). There is a three month wait period to be eligible for BC MSP and that is why you are covered under for your first semester. You should apply for BC MSP upon your arrival to Canada to avoid delays in obtaining your coverage. Note, BC MSP will take up to 21 business days to process; therefore, you will need to pay upfront for any medical services you need, until you receive your BC MSP insurance card. If you do need medical assistance before your BC MSP card arrives, be sure to keep your receipts and send them to BC MSP for a reimbursement as the following address: BC MSP, PO Box 9035, Station Provincial Government, Victoria, BC  V8W 9E3
  • Each term you will continue to be enrolled in the plan until you request, and are approved, to opt-out. Opt-out requests are done by submitting acceptable proof of BC MSP coverage directly to via your portal.

You may request to opt-out of a term of study during the following periods:

    • Sept 1 to 30 for Fall term coverage
    • Jan 1 to 31 for Spring term coverage
    • May 1 to 31 for Summer term coverage

Charges for any opt-out requests received after the above noted opt-out periods, and approved by, will not be reversed for the current term but will be applicable for your next VIU term of study.

  • If you already have BC MSP, you can opt out of the VIU plan before the opt out deadline (30 days from the date your policy is activated). You must opt out online at You must upload the BC MSP letter that you will receive with your MSP card in the mail. If you lose this letter, you can call BC MSP and obtain a new confirmation letter for free. 
  • With Greensheild Insurance, you must pay for each visit to see a doctor and then submit a claim form to Greensheild to be reimbursed; be sure to ask for a receipt.
  • With International Insurance, direct billing may be an option for eligible visits with a limited number of clinics in your region. Please check the website for search for direct billing clinics.
  • For BC MSP you do not need to pay for each visit, just present your MSP card.
  • Academic students, requiring information on Green Sheild Extended Health and Dental Plan, read details below or visit the VIU Students' Union website or go to the Students' Union, building 193. 

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