Basic Information

Basic Information – This is your extended health and dental plan while in graduate studies at UVic. Find out more here.

There are two types of health insurance in Canada: primary and secondary. All UVic students must have both primary and secondary insurance.

Primary insurance covers physical visits and diagnostic services, like x-rays and laboratory testing. Primary insurance coverage is provided by your province of residency for domestic students (e.g. BC Medical Services Plan) and by Mandatory Temporary Medical Insurance (MTMI) for newly arriving international students. The GSS does not administer BC MSP or MTMI. For issues relating to primary insurance for international student, please contact International Centre for Students at

For more information on BC MSP, visit BC Government’s health care system website. If your residence is in a different province or territory, contact your home province/territory health service about maintaining your coverage while studying out of province.

Secondary insurance, like the GSS Extended Health and Dental Insurance Plan, covers prescription drugs, dental and vision care, and paramedical services. The GSS Extended Health and Dental Insurance Plan does not replace BC MSP. All residents of BC must have basic insurance coverage, BC MSP or equivalent Canadian Personal Health Number while in Canada.  All UVic students are required to have comprehensive coverage for the entire duration of their studies in Canada.

GSS Extended Health and Dental coverage, like the academic year, runs from September 1 to August 31.  Online Accounts and Direct Billing will be available after mid-October following the annual blackout/enrolment period.

  1. Our extended insurance company is Pacific Blue Cross.
  2. Our group policy number is 43222.
  3. Your personal ID number is the last seven digits of your student number.

Full coverage details are in the Health and Dental Insurance coverage booklet found on our Forms and Booklet Page. Hard copies of the booklet are available at the GSS office.

The GSS Health Plan Coordinator is Glenda Beecham. She can be reached by email at or by phone at 250-721-8816.  Please include your full name and UVic student number when sending your email.  Her email workdays are Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10 am – 1 pm; and 2 – 4 pm.  Phone appointments are available and booked by email only.

Every year, from September 1 to roughly mid to late-October, the insurance plan goes into a period of blackout, during which no claims can be submitted to Pacific Blue Cross. Visit the Blackout section of this website for more details.

You are automatically a member of the GSS Extended Health and Dental Insurance Plan if you register in:

  1. 3.0 or more units in September or January (including thesis or dissertation)
  2. a graduate co-op program

Consult your tuition account summary on your My Page to confirm that you have been assessed insurance fees.

Changes to your registration status at any point during the school year may result in changes to your insurance coverage. Contact the Health and Dental Coordinator to know how changes to your registration will affect your coverage.

Change in registration includes:

  1. Leave of Absence (as outlined and approved by Graduate Admissions & Records Office)
  2. Dropping below 3.0 units in one or more terms
  3. Withdrawal from program

Part-time students are not automatically included in the GSS Extended Health or Dental Insurance Plans, but are eligible to join before the September 30 for students in September, or January 31 for students starting in January.  Visit the Opt-in section of the website for more details.

All opt-ins/outs need to be renewed each September for students registered in the Fall term.  For more information the GSS Health Plan Coordinator at

Graduate students registered full-time (3.0 units or more) in September, the start of the academic year, are assessed with insurance premiums for a full year of coverage.  This coverage is effective September 1st – August 31st

It is charged with your tuition once per academic year in September (in January for January start students, see more for January students below).  It is the students’ responsibility to monitor and maintain their registration status in order to remain eligible for the GSS Extended Health and GSS Dental Plans.

January start students are only charged for 8 months in their first year of their program.  The start of insurance coverage for January start students is January 1st and coverage ends on August 31st.  January start students have a blackout period from January 1st until mid-February.  After the blackout period ends, students will be able to submit eligible receipt claims for services that were paid upfront by creating an online account or by filling out a form and submitting through mail.

Students that started in January, and later register for courses in the following September will be assessed to rejoin the GSS Extended Health and GSS Dental plans in that following September for the whole academic year (12 months).

Students who start their graduate program in May are not automatically added to the insurance plans, but they have the possibility of opting themselves in (as well as their family) for the summer semester. The opt-in deadline for the summer semester is May 31st. Opt-ins are available for the Extended Health plan, Dental, or both. Contact the GSS if you wish to join our insurance plans.

Please note that students enrolling in the dental plan after March 1st get a reduced financial limit on their dental claims.  Make sure to speak to the GSS staff for full details.