Medical Insurance - Academic, Trades, Vocational, or ESL Students at Cowichan, Parksville, and Powell River Campuses

Medical Insurance information for international students in academic, trades vocational, or esl programs at the Cowichan, Parksville, and Powell River Campuses.  Effective date January 1, 2018

Insurance Providers

 Upon Arrival

After One Term International Insurance


British Columbia Medical Services Plan (BC MSP)


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 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

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 for each term of study under 

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

 $249.50 per semester

Charged to your student record account.

$75.00 per month for an individual as of September 1, 2019. For details, please refer to the BC government webpage.

You pay directly to BC MSP.

For More Information

Go to


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 received 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 3 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 tthe following address: BC MSP, PO Box 9035, Station Provincial Government, Victoria, BC  V8W 9E3
  • Each term you will continue to be enrolled in the VIU plan as this plan provides comprehensive coverage above and beyond BC MSP. The plan is designed to keep you protected during your studies, and you can learn more about's services, plan and more online at
  • 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.