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

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

Insurance Providers

 Upon Arrival

After One Term International Insurance


British Columbia Health-Care Coverage (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 Health-Care Coverage (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

BC Health-Care Coverage (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 Health-Care Coverage (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.

Effective September 1, 2019 until December 31, 2019, International students will begin paying a new monthly health-care coverage fee of $37.50 per student in addition to any MSP premiums they are currently paying. Effective January 1, 2020, BC MSP premiums will be eliminated; however, the health-care coverage fee for International students will continue to be charged and increase to $75 per month per student. For details, please refer to the BC government webpage

New Health Fee FAQ Sheet

You pay directly to BC MSP.

For More Information

Go to


Check BC Health-Care Coverage (MSP) 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 Health-Care Coverage (MSP). There is a 3 month wait period to be eligible for BC Health Care and that is why you are covered under for your first semester. You should apply for BC Health Care prior to the end of your three month wait period to avoid delays in obtaining your coverage. Note: BC Health Care will take up to 21 business days to process; therefore, you may need to pay upfront for any medical services you need that may not be covered by, until you receive your BC Health-Care insurance card. If you do need medical assistance before your BC Health-Care card arrives, be sure to keep your receipts and send them to BC Health Care for a reimbursement at the following address: Health Insurance BC, 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 Health Care. 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.