Benefits Coverage for Dependent Children Studying Outside BC or Canada

If you have a dependent child who is studying outside BC or Canada, emergency medical expenses for physician and hospital services may be covered by the BC Medical Services Plan and, if they are enrolled as your dependent, your UBC Extended Health Plan.

The coverage provided by the BC Medical Services Plan is limited to covering physician and hospital services in the event of a medical emergency only. The coverage provided by the UBC Extended Health Plan supplements the costs covered by the MSP for emergency care, and will also pay for the costs of ambulance services and some non-emergency medical services outside BC or Canada.

You should be aware of the limitations and exclusions of coverage. Please review the Sun Life Extended Health booklet for your employee group before your child embarks on their studies.

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Is my dependent child covered for medical expenses while studying outside BC or Canada?

Yes, and coverage will depend on the expense.

BC Medical Services Plan

The BC Medical Services Plan (MSP) will cover some of your dependent child’s medical expenses incurred outside BC or Canada in the event of an emergency only. You (as the plan member) will be reimbursed for expenses that are typically covered by the MSP (such as physician and hospital services) in the event of an emergency only, if incurred outside of BC or Canada.

MSP will cover the cost of what the service or expense would normally cost in BC and considered the first payor. If your dependent child is also enrolled in your UBC Extended Health, this Plan will be the second payor. You will be reimbursed for 100% of the emergency medical expenses, less the annual deductible, up to your dependent child’s overall extended health lifetime maximum of $2,000,000. Only one claim form is required as the claim will be coordinated with MSP.

Your dependent child must maintain their MSP coverage while temporarily outside BC and they should contact Health Insurance BC prior to their departure from BC.

Extended Health Plan

If your dependent child is enrolled in your UBC Extended Health Plan, expenses incurred outside BC or Canada that are typically covered by UBC’s Extended Health Plan (such as ambulance services, prescription drugs, medical equipment and supplies, vision care and paramedical services obtained from qualified practitioners in Canada and the United States only) are also covered in the event of a medical emergency and non-emergency, subject to the conditions outlined in your plan and your dependent child’s overall extended health lifetime maximum of $2,000,000. Payment for these expenses will be limited to the reasonable & customary charge within BC, and in Canadian funds.

It’s a good idea to also review what costs are not covered.

Medi-Passport

If your dependent child is faced with a medical emergency while studying outside BC or Canada, the Medi-Passport supplements the emergency portion of your Extended Health Care by providing assistance and referral services. Medi-Passport coverage is provided through Allianz Global Assistance, Sun Life’s travel benefit provider.

See the Emergency Medical Coverage page for more information.

Dental care

If your dependent child is enrolled in UBC’s Dental Plan, you (as the plan member) will be reimbursed for any expenses based on the terms of the plan up to the BC Dental Association Fee Guide limits in Canadian funds.

Employee and Family Assistance Program

The Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) provides confidential, self-referred counselling or other assistance to you or your family members. While studying outside BC or Canada, your dependent child can arrange for telephone, email, chat (text-based) or video counselling through the EFAP services provided by Morneau Shepell.

For how long is my dependent child covered for?

Your dependent child is covered as long as they meet the definition of dependent child.

Coverage is provided for a period of 365 days at a time and it is expected that your child return to BC prior to the end of the 365 day period. The 365 days will restart when they leave BC to resume their studies. If your child will be outside BC for more than 365 consecutive days, please email benefitsinfo@hr.ubc.ca to request an exception from Sun Life.

Your dependent child should contact Health Insurance BC prior to their departure from BC. There is no need to contact Sun Life for Extended Health/Dental.

What medical expenses will not be reimbursed?

Not all medical expenses will be reimbursed. Before your dependent child leave BC or Canada, it is your responsibility to know whether they will be covered for the costs of a medical emergency or non-emergency situation. You are responsible for understanding any conditions and limits that apply, including conditions and limits of other coverage you may have through a spouse’s plan, or other plan purchased privately and not outlined on this website.

For complete details about the specific provisions of your plan, refer to the Sun Life Extended Health booklet for your employee group.

The following provides highlights of those exclusions that may apply while studying outside BC or Canada. Please see the appropriate links for further information.

Extended Health and Dental Plan

Any expenses related to the following situations are not covered:

  • trip cancellation (even if the reason for the cancellation is medically related), trip delay or lost luggage;
  • services that are not immediately required or that could reasonably be delayed until you return to BC, unless your medical condition reasonably prevents you from returning to BC before receiving the medical services;
  • services relating to an illness or injury that caused the emergency, after such emergency ends;
  • continuing services, arising directly or indirectly out of the original emergency or any recurrence of it, after the date that Sun Life or Allianz Global Assistance, based on available medical evidence, determines that you can be returned to the province where you live and you refuse to return;
  • services that are required for the same illness or injury for which you received emergency services, including any complications arising out of that illness or injury, if you had unreasonably refused or neglected to receive the recommended medical services;
  • where the trip was taken to obtain medical services for an illness or injury, services related to that illness or injury, including any complications or any emergency arising directly or indirectly out of that illness or injury;
  • illness resulting from the hostile action of any armed forces (military or police), insurrection, riot, civil commotion or terrorist activity that you participated in; and
  • services for an illness or injury caused by your participation in a criminal offence.

Medi-Passport: Emergency Travel Assistance Services

Medi-Passport supplements the emergency portion of your Extended Health Care by providing assistance and referral services. Medi-Passport coverage is provided through Allianz Global Assistance, Sun Life’s travel benefit provider.

Allianz Global Assistance, Sun Life’s travel assistance provider, will not provide services in the province where you live, or during any trip taken to seek medical attention.

In some situations, you may be required to reimburse Sun Life for expenses paid by Allianz Global Assistance on your behalf. This could include amounts that were paid for services or supplies that are not covered by your plan, exceed the maximum amount of your coverage under your plan, or that you are responsible for, such as deductibles and the percentage of expenses you must pay under your plan.

Allianz Global Assistance reserves the right to suspend, curtail or limit its services in any area, without prior notice due to the following conditions:

  • a rebellion, riot, military uprising, war, labour disturbance, strike, nuclear accident or an Act of God; and
  • the refusal of the authorities to permit Allianz Global Assistance to fully provide service to the best of its ability during any of the above occurrences.

Due to conditions such as war, political unrest, epidemics and geographical inaccessibility, travel assistance services may not be available in some countries. For an up-to-date list of countries where travel assistance services may not be available, please contact Allianz Global Assistance (1-800-511-4610) before your dependent child leaves BC. If conditions in the country, region, or city they are travelling to change while travelling, contact Allianz Global Assistance to determine if there are any changes to its ability to provide services.

Other excluded benefits

Under your UBC Extended Health Plan, you can only make claims for paramedical services provided in Canada and the United States if the practitioner meets the specific qualifications/designations for their profession and is also licensed/registered with an appropriate regulatory body or society where the service is received.

Allianz Global Assistance: Liability

Neither Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada nor Allianz Global Assistance is responsible for the availability, quality or results of the medical treatment you or your insured dependents receive, nor if you fail to obtain medical treatment.

Any physician or other health-care professional who provides direct services to a covered person will be acting on the person’s behalf only and will not be considered acting on behalf of Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada or Allianz Global Assistance.

Neither Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada nor Allianz Global Assistance assumes any responsibility or liability for:

  • any medical advice given by any physician or other health care professional, and
  • the negligence or other wrongful acts or omissions of any physician or other health care professional providing services under your plan.

No person will have any recourse against Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada or Allianz Global Assistance because Allianz Global Assistance suggested, or contracted with, a physician or other health-care professional.

Decisions by a physician or other health-care professional as to the need for providing any of the services covered by this benefit are medical decisions based on medical factors, and as such will be conclusive in determining the need for these services.

Should I purchase additional medical insurance?

You will want to consider whether you have other sources of coverage. These could include your spouse’s benefit plan or student benefits plan offered by the institution your dependent child is attending.

It is up to you to decide whether to purchase additional medical insurance. If you are speaking with a travel agent or insurance broker about additional coverage, have them refer to the Sun Life Extended Health booklet for your employee group. Since insurance coverage and exclusions and limitations vary across plans, it is important you read and understand your benefit coverage and conditions.

You may wish to purchase additional medical insurance if your dependent child’s Extended Health Plan balance is low (the most you can be reimbursed for your dependent child in their lifetime is $2,000,000). You can find out their Extended Health Plan balance by contacting Sun Life at 1-800-361-6212 or 1-800-661-7334.