VIU International students

Medical Insurance - English as a Second Language Students

Medical Insurance information for English as a Second Language (ESL) students.

Insurance Providers

Upon Arrival

After 3 Months

TIC-Island Savings Travel Insurance

British Columbia Medical Services Plan

How to Apply

All new students are automatically enrolled.

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

Basic TIC-Travel Insurance: 
Doctor and hospital visits, lab tests, x-rays, local ambulance, professional services, eye exams, emergency transportation home

Doctor and hospital visits, lab tests, x-rays.

Coverage Period

  • Long-term English as a Second Language students are covered for four months  
  • Your insurance policy will be emailed to you before classes begin; check your email for specific dates.
  • 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


  • $40 a month

Charged to your student record account

  • $72.00 per month for an individual
  • $130.50 for a family of two
  • $144.00 for a family of three or more

You pay directly to BC MSP.

For More Information

More Information

  • Your TIC-Island Savings Travel Insurance 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, email Jodi Meldrum at Island Saving Insurance Services at See the VIU International Student Basic Insurance policy.
  • 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 3 month wait period to be eligible for BCMSP and that is why you are covered under TIC for your first semester. You can apply for your BCMSP when your TIC expires. Note, BCMSP 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 BCMSP insurance card. If you do need medical assistance before your BCMSP card arrives, be sure to keep your receipts and send them to BCMSP for a reimbursement at the following address:
    • BCMSP, PO Box 9035, Station Provincial Government, Victoria, BC V8W 9E3.
    • Note, once you have your coverage with BCMSP, you will no longer need to pay upfront.
  • If you already have BC MSP, you can opt out of TIC-Travel Insurance before the opt-out deadline (30 days from the date your policy is activated). Opt out forms are available at the Centre for International Education, Building 255.
  • During orientation week a representative from TIC-Island Savings Travel Insurance Services will be available on campus to assist students with questions regarding their TIC-IS Ins insurance. For more detailed information on basic coverage please visit TIC-Island Savings Travel Insurance, or email
  • With TIC-Island Savings Travel Insurance, you must pay for each visit to see a doctor and then submit a claim form to TIC-claims department; be sure to ask for a receipt.
    For BC MSP you do not need to pay for each visit, just present your MSP card.