Insurance During MSP Waiting Period

If you are coming to UBC from outside of BC (and within Canada) or outside Canada, you and your eligible dependents must complete a waiting period for MSP. The waiting period consists of the balance of the month in which residence in British Columbia is established, plus two months. Generally, the date residence is established is the date of arrival in BC, however this is determined by the Ministry of Health based on a number of factors, including the type of immigration status held. For more information, visit the Health Insurance BC website.

If you are coming to BC from another Canadian province or territory, you should maintain your coverage with your former provincial medical plan during this MSP waiting period. This will ensure you are covered for any medically necessary physician and hospital services by your former province as you wait for your MSP coverage to start.

If you are coming to BC from outside of Canada, you should arrange for private coverage during the MSP waiting period. Faculty and staff employed or appointed by the university from outside Canada can purchase private coverage during the waiting period through the David Cummings Insurance Services (DCIS) or Sun Life so that you will be reimbursed for medical claims.

Do I need private coverage?

If you are a new or returning resident coming to BC from outside Canada, you should arrange for private coverage during the period you are waiting for your BC Medical Services Plan coverage to become effective. Normally, the waiting period consists of the balance of the month of your arrival, plus two months.

When and how do I arrange for private coverage?

Make arrangements for private coverage as soon as you arrive in Canada. We have presented two options below, but you can make arrangements with other private insurance agencies. No matter which insurance policy you purchase, it is important that you familiarize yourself with the details of the plan before you buy it.

Purchasing private coverage through David Cummings Insurance Services

David Cummings Insurance Services (DCIS) is an insurance brokerage specializing in health insurance. DCIS offers a range of temporary private health insurance options to cover the MSP waiting period, including an emergency medical plan that is offered at a discounted rate for UBC faculty and staff (includes Visiting Faculty).

This plan does not cover pre-existing medical conditions and has restrictions on coverage for pregnancy and childbirth. (If this is an issue, the Sun Life plan below might be a better choice.)

To apply:

  • Submit a quotation request form or contact a DCIS agent for more information or to enrol in the plan.
  • Advise DCIS of your UBC employment/affiliation so they incorporate the rate for the discounted plan called the “Visitors to Canada Plan for Non-Student Affiliates of a Canadian Educational Institution.”

If you decide to purchase a plan from DCIS, you pay them the full cost. For information on rates, contact DCIS directly.

If you are a faculty member, you may be eligible for reimbursement from the UBC Relocation Fund. For more information, contact the Administrator in your hiring Department or Faculty.

If you are a staff member, you may be eligible for reimbursement depending on your employment group. For more information, contact 604-822-6823.

If you purchase this plan:

  • your private plan with DCIS will begin on the day you arrive in Canada.
  • your UBC Extended Health Plan that supplements your MSP coverage will begin once you have met the MSP waiting period.
  • your Dental Care coverage will begin the first of the month following your date of hire.

Purchasing private coverage through Sun Life

Sun Life is UBC’s Extended Health and Dental benefits provider. The company also offers a private health insurance plan, called the Inpatriate Plan, that covers medical expenses during the MSP waiting period, including coverage for pre-existing medical conditions and pregnancy and childbirth for UBC faculty and staff (excludes those who are ineligible for UBC benefits such as Visiting Faculty and Adjunct Professors).

If you decide to purchase a plan from Sun Life, your Department/Faculty will be charged the expense (Sun Life will not charge you). However, your Department/Faculty may require you to reimburse them for this cost. The current monthly rate is $174.25 (single); $348.50 (couple) and $522.75 (family).

If you purchase this plan:

  • your Sun Life Inpatriate Plan will begin on your first day of employment at UBC (if you apply within 31 days of arriving in Canada).
  • your UBC Extended Health Plan that supplements your MSP coverage and Dental Care coverage will begin on the first of the month following your date of hire.

In order to purchase the Inpatriate Plan, UBC Human Resources requires email confirmation from your Supervisor that they agree to payment option 1 or 2 below:

Option 1:

Your Department covers the cost of the Plan for you and reimburses Human Resources within 31 days of notification

Option 2:

Your Department submits payment on your behalf to Human Resources within 31 days of notification (in this event, you will be required to pay back your Department for these costs).

Your Department my confirm payment option (1 or 2) to stephanie.mah@ubc.ca.  Please note that without this confirmation you will be unable to purchase the Inpatriate Plan.

Once confirmation is received, you will be sent an application form. If you enrol within 31 days of arriving in Canada you do not need to provide a Health Statement. However, if you enrol late, you will be required to provide a Health Statement that is subject to review and approval by Sun Life. If you are applying for coverage for your dependents only, they will need to provide a Health Statement regardless of the timing of the application.

When should I apply for MSP coverage?

You should apply for MSP coverage as soon as you arrive in BC rather than at the end of the waiting period. It is very important that you apply as soon as your arrive in BC to allow time for your application to be processed.

Please remember to complete an MSP enrolment form when you complete the online process to sign up for payroll, benefits and pension. This process will be explained in your letter of offer from the University and all forms should be returned to UBC Payroll for processing.

If you are eligible for UBC benefits and complete the UBC MSP enrolment form, you will be enrolled in MSP through UBC at the end of your waiting period. Depending on your employee group, you may be responsible for paying some or all of the cost of MSP premiums. If this is the case, the cost of the premiums will be automatically deducted from your payroll.

If you are not eligible for the UBC benefits, complete an MSP enrolment form and return it directly to MSP. MSP will set up an individual account and you will pay monthly premiums to MSP directly. You are responsible for 100% of cost of MSP premiums.

After your application has been processed by MSP, you will receive a health card called a BC Services Card with a unique lifetime identifier for health care called a Personal Health Number. If you are re-establishing residency in BC and previously received a Care Card, you will not receive a new one, as your former coverage will be reinstated.

Also, if you are submitting a new/renewed work permit and have enrolled in UBC’s group MSP coverage and have a dependent spouse or common-law partner enrolled as a dependent, be sure to submit a copy of the work permit for yourself and your spouse or common-law partner to the Benefits Representative in Payroll in order to ensure that MSP coverage continue uninterrupted.

Who do I contact for more information?

For information on MSP:

You can visit the MSP website at www.health.gov.bc.ca/msp.

David Cummings Insurance Ltd.:

David Cummings Insurance Ltd.
Telephone: 604-228-8816
Toll-free (within North America): 1-800-818-3188
Fax: 604-228-9807
Email: info@david-cummings.com

For information on the Sun Life Inpatriate Plan and all other questions:

UBC Human Resources, Benefits Administration
Telephone: 604-822-6823
Email: stephanie.mah@ubc.ca