iMED: Temporary health insurance for international students
iMED is a temporary basic health insurance plan required for new international students, and will provide you with health insurance coverage during the three month waiting period for BC's Medical Services Plan (MSP)
iMED is a temporary basic health insurance plan required as a condition of registering as an international student who is new to UBC. All new international students who are assessed student union fees are automatically enrolled in iMED when they register for their first course.
Students in certain programs are not assessed student union fees and thus are not covered by iMED; check your Student Service Centre (SSC) to confirm coverage.
Why do I need it?
iMED provides you with basic health insurance during the three-month waiting period before you qualify for the BC Medical Services Plan (MSP) or for the duration of your study term if you are a one-term exchange student.
With your iMED card, you can see a doctor in any other clinic or hospital in British Columbia but you may be required to pay at the moment. You must keep the receipts in order to make a claim to be reimbursed.
iMED covers emergency hospitalization and medical services (including outpatient treatment at a doctor's clinic) for an unexpected sickness or injury. The full policy is available on the iMED website.
When am I covered?
One-term exchange students are covered for the four-month term as follows:
- Winter Session Term 1: August 27, 2014 – January 2, 2015
- Winter Session Term 2: December 27, 2014 – May 2, 2015
All other new international students are covered for the three-month waiting period before they become eligible for MSP. This waiting period includes the remainder of the month you arrive in BC plus two full months. For example, if you arrived in BC on August 25, you would be eligible for MSP on November 1.
iMED will ensure that you have adequate medical coverage from the time you leave home (up to 10 days prior to your arrival in Canada), with the earliest arrival date in Canada being:
- August 1 for Winter Session Term 1
- December 1 for Winter Session Term 2
- April 1 for Summer Session Term 1
- June 1 for Summer Session Term 2
How much does it cost?
iMED costs $180 for the first three months, or $252 if you are a one-term exchange student.
How do I enrol in iMED?
Once you register for your first class, the iMED fee will be assessed to your tuition account and you will be covered from the coverage starting date for the term you register. You will be covered even if you have not yet paid your fees.
How do I get my iMED card?
Your card will be sent to you from David Cummings Insurance Services via email about ten days after you register for your first class. Print it and keep it with you at all times.
How do I use my iMED insurance?
Your iMED card that is emailed to you will include instructions and contacts for emergency and claim assistance. Print the card out and place it in your wallet.
Change your iMED coverage
You have until the end of the third week of classes to change your iMED coverage dates.
Only the following students can opt out of iMED:
- Students already covered by iMED or MSP before iMED coverage starts
- Students covered by another Canadian provincial/territorial health plan
- Students whose tuition is sponsored by a third party (such as the Government of Canada, or the Canadian Bureau for International Education) and whose sponsor requires and provides mandatory health insurance
- Students who have become Canadian permanent residents with Canadian provincial/territorial health insurance before iMED coverage starts (August 1 for Winter Term 1 and December 1 for Winter Term 2)
If you have MSP or another Canadian provincial/territorial health plan, you can opt out of iMED using the DCIS Opt Out Form and faxing it along with supporting documents to David Cummings Insurance Services at 604.228.9807. You can also apply to opt out online.
Changing your iMED coverage dates
If you arrive in UBC after the iMED coverage start date, you can ask to have your coverage dates shifted so that you are covered for the first three months you're in Canada and waiting for your MSP coverage to kick in. Complete and submit the Date Change Form.
If you are at UBC on exchange for one term, you cannot change the dates; however, you can purchase additional days of coverage, as needed. To do so, follow the instructions provided by David Cummings Insurance Services.
If you arrive in BC before the iMED coverage start date, you can change your coverage dates by applying for 'Advance Coverage'. To do so, you need to download the Advance Coverage Application Form. You will directly purchase iMED from David Cummings Insurance Services and the iMED fee on your student account will be removed after David Cummings Insurance Services confirms your advance coverage with UBC.
Make sure you submit any date changes by the end of the third week of classes.
Enrol your family in iMED
Your spouse, partner, or dependent children can also be covered by David Cummings Insurance Services for the duration of their stay or until they qualify for MSP. Your family members' insurance is not administered by UBC, but you can purchase iMED for them directly through David Cummings Insurance Services. If you are not covered by iMED at the moment, you can inquire about other health insurance options for your dependents. More information is available on the iMED website.
Note: If you add your family member(s) to your iMED account, you cannot opt out or cancel your iMED unless you withdraw your family from the iMED plan before the coverage starts. This also applies to advanced coverage.
Last reviewed 12/19/2014 2:41:56 PM