Canada has a universal healthcare system,
but navigating it as a graduate student can be tricky.
The good news is that we have created a set of slides to help you!
You can find them
In summary, there are three cogs in the health system
that you should be aware of:
- Medical Services Plan (MSP),
which covers medically-required services
(like visits to general practitioners and surgeries)
and emergency care.
If you have a study permit,
you have to pay $75/month,
but services are otherwise free.
- AMS/GSS Studentcare,
which covers private medical services not covered by MSP.
These include mental health, dental, vision, and other health services
Generally, you get 90% off of dental cleanings,
one free eye exam and $100 off of eyeglasses or contacts every two years,
100% off of therapy sessions with mental health providers
(for up to 10 sessions a year)
and you only pay $15 for visits to many other health providers.
The yearly premium of this insurance is $277.50
and it’s included in your September tuition fees.
- Fair Pharmacare,
which covers (part of) the cost of prescriptions.
The way the coverage works is slightly nuanced,
but check the slides or the link for an example.
It’s free to enrol but you have to show proof of income
for the last two years.
If you’re new to Canada, don’t worry!
You can fill out a form
so they can assess your coverage.
Mental health resources
Pursuing a graduate degree can often feel like both a sprint and a marathon,
but it’s important that you prioritize your mental (and physical) health!
As a graduate student,
the AMS/GSS Studentcare insurance includes generous mental health coverage:
you get 100% off of the cost of therapy sessions up to $1,250 per year.
Check the Studentcare website
for more details.
Generally, you can visit any mental health practitioner you want,
but Studentcare is partnered with a provider called
that provides online therapy sessions at $130 /session.
This way, your AMS/GSS Studentcare insurance covers
the entire cost of over 9 sessions a year.
If you need more support, UBC offers some additional services and resources:
For more information about these or other resources,
the Student Services webpage and
the resources for graduate students webpage
are a great place to start.
If you are just feeling a little down and would like to talk to someone,
reach out to any of the graduate student executives!
We’d be happy to chat and to help if we can :)
Last updated: April 6, 2023