iMED Fee Student Consultation

The university would like to gather your comments on the tuition for an iMED Fee increase.


We are seeking comments from individual students and student organisations on campus. Please review the information below and submit any comments to: by April 27, 2020.

If you have any questions about this consultation process, please contact the AVP Students Office:


Comments will be collected by the Office of the Associate Vice-President (Students), and only analysts within that office will know the identity of individual students submitting comments. At no time will anyone outside of the Office of the Associate Vice-President (Students) know the identity of individual students who submit comments to this consultation. Your comments will only be used for the purposes of the tuition consultation. Comments from individual students will be stripped of any identifying information to ensure confidentiality, but otherwise will be provided to the responsible Faculties and the Board of Governors verbatim.

Comments received from student organizations will be reported as coming from those organizations, and provided to the responsible faculty and the Board of Governors as received.

Program Overview

iMED is a temporary health insurance for all new international students at UBC who are assessed student society fees (including inbound exchange students). It covers new international students for the three-month waiting period for BC Medical Services Plan (MSP) or their entire period of study for one-term exchange students. iMED provides coverage that is comparable to MSP, including pre-existing conditions, and provides up to $2 million maximum coverage.

iMED Fees Rationale

The current iMED contract is ending on July 31, 2020, and as part of the renewal process, a new iMED fee was negotiated with a different underwriter. David Cummings Insurance Services, Ltd., as the insurance broker for iMED since 2005, continues to provide all student-facing insurance services.  The claims management company, MSH International (Canada) Ltd., also remains the same for iMED.

Since July 1, 2014, iMED fees have not increased. Concurrently, inflation of costs for in-patient and out-patient services, including ER ward, ER physicians, general physicians, and specialist physicians’ fees has had a significant impact on the iMED claims experience. Non-resident fees being assessed to students covered by iMED have also increased. Inflation is the main factor in the increase of the iMED fees.

When comparing 2014 and 2019 academic years, the total cost of claims that have been submitted, approved and paid by iMED has risen by 113%, while the number of claims has increased 42%.

As part of the renewal process, iMED coverage is being extended to provide a more comprehensive mental health and substance use treatment benefit, encouraging help seeking behaviour when needed, and reducing barriers and stigma for UBC students accessing these medical services. This is in line with UBC continuous commitment with our students’ health and wellbeing.

Additionally, access to Babylon by Telus Health is being incorporated to iMED coverage at no extra cost for a one-year trial period. Babylon is the digital healthcare provider for BC MSP covered residents and allows for digital consultation with a physician for care of minor health concerns. Babylon delivers more options for access to healthcare, and could reduce the waiting time to see a doctor.

The new fee, which is scheduled to take effect on August 1, 2020, is consistent with industry pricing and includes a fee guarantee for two years. The increase in fees will be applicable to students starting their programs in 2020 Winter Term 1 (September).


Proposed iMED Fees

As per what has been shared, iMED fees are proposed to increase as follows, effective 2020 Winter Term 1 (September):

Concept Current iMED fee Proposed iMED fee
iMED – International Student Medical Insurance (1 month) $60 $75
iMED – International Student Medical Insurance (2 months) $120 ($60/month) $150 ($75/month)
iMED – International Student Medical Insurance (3 months) $180 ($60/month) $225 ($75/month)
iMED – International Student Medical Insurance (4 months) $240 ($60/month) $300 ($75/month)
iMED – International Student Medical Insurance (One-Term Exchange Coverage: 126 days) $252 $315
iMED – International Student Medical Insurance (5 months) $300 ($60/month) $375 ($75/month)
iMED – International Student Medical Insurance (6 months) $360 ($60/month) $450 ($75/month)

By comparison, the BC MSP health-care coverage fee for an international student is $75 a month. For a three-month period, it is $225 in total.