Frequently Asked Questions

The BC Medical Services Plan (MSP) is the provincial health program that allow residents in BC to access medically necessary services provided by physicians and midwives; it is required by law to have enrollment in this program if you are a resident of BC.  Under BC MSP, it helps pay for basic services deemed to be medically required and/or performed in a hospital.  BC MSP provides coverage for basic visits for primary care such as doctor/hospital urgent care, laboratory blood work, and x-rays.  BC MSP will cover baseline costs for basics such as seeing a doctor, and has limited partial coverage for some others services. (For more information of what is not covered by MSP see their Services not covered by MSP webpage.) 

For more information on BC MSP you can call toll-free at: 1-800-663-7100.  If you are in the lower mainland: 604-683-7151.  Or visit their website to see which services not covered by MSP.

UVic’s International Student Services have trained staff members that can also help answer questions about BC MSP.  You can email them at issinfo@uvic.ca

Guard.me or MTMI is temporary medical insurance coverage for international students new to UVic that have not established residency in British Columbia.  This coverage lasts for four (4) months until an application for MSP can be processed to allow international students to have access to physician or hospital acute visits for new and unexpected illness or injury that would normally be covered by MSP. New international students are automatically enrolled with their tuition and student fees. 

For more information on MTMI or BC MSP, please contact International Student Services at issinfo@uvic.ca.

Medical Services Plan (MSP) provides only the primary basics such as hospital and doctors visits it is not the same as extended health insurance.  The GSS Extended Health plan covers areas not included in BC MSP this means that the two plans are not the same.  The BC Medical Services Plan is not comparable alternative coverage for extended health because each covers different types of services. 

MSP allows you to see a doctor or visit a hospital, while Extended Health covers most of the cost of prescription drugs, local ambulance, and paramedical services.  As such, they are not considered to be equal or same in terms of services that are provided.

For some more details about the differences between public services and private extended health services, you’re welcome to see this article from our insurance provider. 

Yes!  Under the Graduate Students’ Society Plans, coordination of extended health and/or dental coverages through different sources/employers is allowed. For more information about coordination of benefits, please see the Pacific Blue Cross Advice Centre.

In most cases clinics/offices can take care of direct billing by submitting eligible claims to the insurance company on your behalf.  During the blackout period, you will have to pay for services upfront and submit receipts after the end of the blackout period.

If you paid for eligible services upfront, then there are two ways to submit eligible claims:

  1. Create an online account and set up direct deposit for reimbursement of eligible claims paid for upfront at clinics/offices
  2. Submit eligible claims by mail. Start by printing off a claims form from our Health and Dental forms page, and following the instructions on the form.

A deductible is the amount a member must pay out of pocket before insurance will pay any eligible expenses. 

There is a calendar year deductible of $10 per person or per family for extended health care and drugs combined (excluding vision care, eye examinations, or tutorial services).

A co-payment is the amount a person must pay out of pocket before insurance will pay any eligible expense amount. 

For paramedical practitioners such as physiotherapy, massage therapy, chiropractor, naturopath, podiatrist, acupuncture, speech therapy, chiropodist, psychologist/clinical counsellor, athletic therapy, the co-payment is $10 per person per visit.

Create you online insurance account.  On the main page after logging in, click on the View Details button on “Drug”.  Search by drug name or DIN (drug identification number) to see if it is covered. 

Prescription drugs are covered at 70% for eligible prescription drugs including contraceptives, life sustaining vitamins, anti-obesity drugs, and certain vaccines.  Pharmacare drugs are subject to the low cost alternative and reference drugs program in British Columbia.  Non pharmacare drugs will be subject to a low cost alternative pricing with a 15% mark-up cap.  All drugs under the GSS Extended Health Plan are subject to a $10 dispensing fee cap. 

Some prescription drugs may be covered by a government agency.  Please speak to your prescribing practitioner who may apply on your behalf.  If coverage is denied or not provided for your condition, you may need to provide a letter from your physician to indicate your medical condition and the reason coverage was denied/not approved. 

The Health and Dental Coordinator can submit your case for further review for eligibility under the GSS Extended Health Plan.  You can contact the Health and Dental Coordinator at gsoc@uvic.ca.  Include your student number and any relevant documentation.

To find and compare prescription pills and tablets at pharmacies in British Columbia, use the Pharmacy Compass

Pharmacy Compass will compare the generic equivalence price and list the locations’ dispensing fee.  All drugs under the GSS Extended Health Plan are subject to a $10 dispensing fee cap. 

To search for an extended health practitioners that offer direct billing to the insurance company in British Columbia, start by selecting the health provider service, and type in your city.  It will provide you with a list of clinics/offices that offer direct billing with the insurance company. 

In most cases clinics/offices can take care of direct billing by submitting eligible claims to the insurance company on your behalf.  Ask your dental office to send in pre-authorization forms for any dental services if you are unsure if the GSS Dental Plan will cover your appointment.

During the blackout period, you will have to pay for services upfront and submit receipts after the end of the blackout period.

If you paid for eligible dental services upfront, then there are two ways to submit eligible claims:

  1. Create an online account and set up direct deposit for reimbursement of eligible claims paid for upfront at clinics/offices
  2. Submit eligible claims by mail. Start by printing off a claims form from our Health and Dental forms page, and following the instructions on the form.