FAQs

I. Enrollment, Opt Outs, coverage date changes, and extensions

  1. How do I know if I am enrolled?
  2. How much does iMED cost?
  3. What if I already have other insurance?
  4. Can I Opt Out of iMED, and if so, how?
  5. When my iMED coverage expires, am I automatically covered by BC MSP?
  6. If I am not eligible for MSP, how can I extend my iMED coverage?
  7. How can I change my coverage dates if I arrive in a calendar month LATER THAN my iMED start date?

II. Coverage for dependent family members

  1. Can I get coverage for my family members?
  2. How much does iMED cost for my dependents and how do I pay for it? 

III. The iMED Card

  1. Where do I get my iMED card?
  2. What should I do if I need to go to the doctor or hospital, but haven't received an iMED card?
  3. What should I do if there is incorrect information on my iMED card?

IV. Claims and Direct Billing

  1. If I paid for a doctor visit or for prescription medication, how do I get my money back?
  2. Which clinics can bill iMED directly, so that I don’t have to pay up front? 
  3. Which pharmacies can bill iMED directly, so that I don’t have to pay up front?

V. Coverage (iMED vs. MSP vs. AMS/GSS)

  1. What does iMED cover?
  2. If I need help understanding what is covered by iMED, whom may I address?
  3. What is the difference between iMED and MSP?
  4. What is the difference between iMED and the AMS/GSS Health and Dental Plan?
  5. Are birth control medications covered? 
  6. Am I covered while playing sports or participating in recreational activities?

VI. Information Resources

  1. Where can I get more information about iMED?


Answers to FAQs

I. Enrollment, Opt Outs, coverage date changes, and extensions

  1. How do I know if I am enrolled?

    Once you have registered for your first class, log in to your account on the UBC online student service centre and look for IMED or IMD1 in your statement of fees. If you do not see either fee but think you should have iMED, contact an international student advisor for assistance. (Please note: Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada are not covered by iMED.)

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  2. How much does iMED cost?

    New international and exchange students are automatically billed their iMED fees by UBC at the time they register for their first class. One-term exchange students are billed $315 for iMED coverage for the duration of their four month exchange. All other new international students are billed $225 for iMED coverage during the three month waiting period before they become eligible for MSP.  New students in certain programs are enrolled for between 1 - 6 months coverage to match the duration of their program, at the rate of $75 per month.

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  3. What if I already have other insurance?

    If you are already covered by MSP, by another Canadian provincial health plan, or by mandatory health insurance provided by third-party sponsors with whom UBC has an agreement, you can Opt Out of iMED before the end of your third week of classes at UBC. After the third week of classes you cannot Opt Out. Please note that having other private insurance does not make you eligible to Opt Out of iMED. For Opt Out instructions and forms, visit the Opting Out page.

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  4. Can I Opt Out of iMED, and if so, how?

    Go to the Opting Out page to find out if you are eligible to Opt Out of iMED. Depending on your reason for opting out, you will either need to submit your request to DCIS or to UBC.

    If eligible for an opt out be sure to:

    1. Use the form that matches your reason for opting out
    2. Include the required proof documents
    3. Read the directions on your opt out form about where to send your request
    4. Submit your Opt Out form before the end of your third week of classes at UBC.

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  5. When my iMED coverage expires, am I automatically covered by BC MSP?

    No, you are not automatically covered by MSP; eligible students must apply for it by mailing or faxing an MSP application form to the BC Ministry of Health Services. Application forms are available at International House and at the MSP website. (Note: One-term exchange students are not eligible for MSP and do not need to apply for it.)

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  6. If I am not eligible for MSP, can I extend my iMED coverage?

    Students who are not eligible for MSP may extend their iMED coverage if they remain registered UBC students during the extension period. To apply, submit the iMED extension application form to DCIS with your payment.

    Please note:
    • If your iMED coverage has already expired, you may not be eligible to extend iMED. In that case DCIS can offer you alternate medical insurance options.
    • iMED coverage extensions are not offered for more than one month for travel after a student's study term. Other insurance options are offered by DCIS for leisure travel.

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  7. How can I change my coverage dates if I arrive in a calendar month LATER than my iMED start date?

    Read the Coverage Dates page, and submit the Arrival Date Confirmation / Date Change Request Form to DCIS with proof of the date you arrived in BC/Canada. Submit the form up to 3 weeks prior to your arrival or immediately after your arrival.

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II. Coverage for dependent family members

  1. Can I get coverage for my dependent family members?

    Yes. You may purchase iMED coverage for your spouse/partner and/or eligible dependent children. Read the Family Members page , and submit the appropriate application form with your payment to DCIS.

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  2. How much does iMED cost for my dependents and how do I pay for it?

    The cost depends on whether you have:

    a) enrolled your dependent(s) for the same coverage dates as yours or;

    b) enrolled your dependents for a different period

    The rates are listed on the two types of application forms for enrolling dependent family members:

    a) Add Dependents to Same Coverage Dates Form;
    b) iMED – Custom Order for Family Members Form

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III. The iMED Card

  1. Where do I get my iMED card?

    Your iMED card will be emailed to you at the email address provided to DCIS by UBC. You will need to print the document attached to that email and cut out your iMED card.  You can also keep a soft copy on your mobile device.

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  2. What should I do if I need to go the doctor or hospital, but haven't received an iMED card?

    In a medical emergency, the priority is to get medical treatment as quickly as possible. In this case you would be billed for the medical service.  As soon as you are able to, notify DCIS or an international student advisor that you have received medical treatment and need your iMED insurance documents to make a claim.

    If it is not an emergency, first check whether you are covered by iMED by going to the online student service centre (SSC) and looking for IMED or IMD1 in your statement of fees.

    If you do not see either fee code in your statement of fees, contact an international student advisor to confirm that you are eligible for iMED coverage.

    If you see one of these fee codes in your statement of fees, contact DCIS to request your iMED card and to confirm that DCIS has your correct email address.

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  3. What should I do if there is incorrect information on my iMED card?

    Contact DCIS. In the email, please write “Incorrect iMED card” as the subject.  In the message, include your name, student number, date of arrival in Canada, and description of the error you detected on the card.

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IV. Claims and Direct Billing

  1. If I paid for a doctor's visit or prescription medications, how do I get my money back?

    You must send all medical expense receipts, along with a Medical Claim Form, to MSH International (Canada) Ltd. The reason / medical diagnosis for each medical expense must be indicated, be it on an itemized receipt or else on the claim form itself.

    If your claim is under $10,000 it may be faxed or emailed to initiate processing, however the original hard copies must be retained by you for a period of 24 months after the claim was incurred. MSH may request copies of the original receipts at any time to validate your reimbursement.

    To process a claim of over $10,000 MSH must receive your original claim documents in hard copy and before mailing original documents, make copies for your own records.

    The deadline for submitting claims is 365 days after the date of the medical expense or 90 days after the end of your insurance policy, whichever is earlier. Submit all claims as quickly as possible.

    Tip! Write your name on the claim form exactly as it appears on your insurance ID card.

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  2. Which clinics can bill iMED directly, so that I don't have to pay up front?

    See the full list of direct billing medical providers here.

    On UBC Campus (University Endowment Lands):

    Off Campus

    Vancouver:


    • More coming soon

    Please Note:
    • International Student Medical Insurance does not cover routine dental care. It only covers certain types of Emergency Dental Services for unforeseen incidents such as:
      - Dental injury from an accidental blow to the face
      - Sudden onset of acute dental pain (for example an abscess or infection) that requires treatment within 48 hours of the onset of pain
      - Some plans include $100 coverage for treatment of an impacted wisdom tooth
    • These clinics will bill your iMED insurance only for expenses that are covered on the iMED plan.
    • You are not required to receive treatment at the clinics named above. The clinics and doctors listed above offer the added convenience of billing your medical expenses to your iMED insurance directly so you do not have to pay up front.

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  3. Which pharmacies can bill iMED directly, so that I don't have to pay up front?

    • University Pharmacy located in the UBC Village
    Please Note:
    • These pharmacies will bill your iMED insurance only for expenses that are covered on the iMED plan.
    • You are not required to purchase your prescription medication from the pharmacies listed above. The pharmacies listed above offer the added convenience of billing your prescription expenses to your iMED insurance directly so you do not have to pay up front.

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V. Coverage (iMED vs. MSP vs. AMS/GSS)

  1. What does iMED cover?

    iMED covers emergency hospitalization and medical services (including out-patient treatment at a doctor's clinic) for an unexpected sickness or injury.  The full list of benefits and coverage limits, conditions, and exclusions are in the iMED Wording which is available to download from the Coverage page.

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  2. If I need help understanding what is covered by iMED, whom may I address?

    You can phone a representative at DCIS at 604-228-8816 or email your questions to: DCIS. To request formal pre-authorization of a medical procedure or specialist, contact the iMED Claims Administrator, MSH INTERNATIONAL. Use contacts on the back of your iMED Card, or from Step 3 on the Claims Page.

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  3. What is the difference between iMED and MSP?

    Both iMED and MSP are basic health care plans that cover primary health services including hospital and physician care and most medically necessary diagnostic services.

    iMED is a temporary private health plan to cover students during their waiting period for MSP, or for the full length of their study period if they do not qualify for MSP (e.g. one-term exchange students).

    • iMED includes some benefits not offered by MSP (such as coverage of ambulance services and prescription medication)
    • The coverage for hospital and doctor fees under iMED is very comprehensive, but is subject to limitations and exclusions.

    MSP is the public (BC government’s) health plan; if you live in BC for six months or longer, you are required by law to enroll in this plan.  You become eligible after living in BC for three months, but you should apply as soon as you arrive, as processing times can be long.

    • The coverage for hospital and doctor fees under MSP is subject to different limitations and exclusions than the iMED plan. Also, medical expenses covered under MSP are billed direct to an MSP "Personal Health Number" whereas under iMED in some circumstances you may need to pay first for medical expenses and then claim for reimbursement.
    • Visit www.health.gov.bc.ca/msp for more detailed information.

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  4. What is the difference between iMED and the AMS/GSS Health and Dental Plan?

    The AMS/GSS Health and Dental Plan is an extended plan, and unlike iMED it does not cover basic health services at a hospital or doctor clinic. The AMS/GSS Health and Dental Plan is a supplement to the basic health coverage of iMED and MSP.

    The AMS/GSS Health and Dental Plan covers you for the duration of your study program, for expenses such as routine dental care, prescription drugs, vision care, medical supplies, and other types of medical expenses.

    For full information about the AMS/GSS Health and Dental Plan, visit www.ihaveaplan.ca and select “University of British Columbia (AMS/GSS).”

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  5. Are birth control medications covered?

    No. For reference see the list of General Exclusions in the iMED Wording

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  6. Am I covered while playing sports or participating in recreational activities?

    You are covered for most recreational sports, but you are not covered for the following sports and activities:

    Scuba diving at a depth greater than 15 meters, rock or precipice climbing at a height greater than 15 meters, hang gliding, paragliding, sport parachuting, sky diving, athletic or sports activities for remuneration or prize money, or while riding or driving in or on any motorized vehicle or device in any race of speed contest.

    For reference see the list of General Exclusions in the iMED Wording.

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VI. Information Resources

  1. Where can I get more information about iMED?

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