Health coverage

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You must have health insurance coverage for as long as you’re on your international co-op work term.

FEDS/GSA Health and Dental Plan at UWaterloo

Full-time undergraduate students who are enrolled in 1.5 on-campus credits and co-op students on an officially recognized work term are automatically enrolled in the Federation of Students/ Graduate Students Association (FEDS/GSA) Health and Dental Plan) unless you opt out of the plan because you have alternative coverage).

Full and part-time graduate students paying tuition to the university are also automatically enrolled in the FEDS/GSA Health and Dental Plan. The plan gives you international coverage for 150 days per trip.

FEDS/GSA Health and Dental Plan insurance is only valid if you also have Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) provincial coverage, or UHIP coverage.

Extending health and dental coverage for your international co-op work term

Additional insurance coverage under the FEDS/GSA Health and Dental Plan is required if you will be working internationally for more than 150 days.

You must purchase your additional coverage before leaving for your international co-op work term. Please allow at least 3 weeks for purchasing additional insurance.

You can make your payment by cheque or money order to the FEDS/GSA Health and Dental Plan Office.

The FEDS/GSA Health & Dental Plan office is located on-campus in Health Services, Room 1006. Or, you can call toll-free 1-866-369-8794 between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday to Friday. 

Don’t opt-out of Waterloo’s plan for an international work term

You and any other full-time Waterloo student have the choice to opt-out of the FEDS/GSA Health and Dental Plan, if you have proof of coverage by an equivalent health plan.

If you choose to opt-out of the plan, you will not have health or dental insurance coverage for your international work-term and will have to purchase an additional health plan, either from the visa sponsor, or from a third party insurance provider, which might be more expensive.

Opt-outs are valid for the whole policy year, from Sept. 1 to Aug. 31. To opt out and for more information about opt-outs, please visit ihaveaplan.

You can contact the FEDS/GSA Health and Dental Office for more information (see contact information above).

Travel health insurance card

Out of Canada for more than seven months in a 12-month period?

This would include if you have two international four-month co-op work terms, or one eight-month co-op work term.

Inform the local Ministry of Health Office

You must inform the local Ministry of Health Office in person, if you’re covered by OHIP and are leaving the province for seven months or more (including other provinces).

  • Complete the Change of Information Form (014-0280-82) and submit the form to the Ministry of Health Office in person.
  • If you don’t complete and submit the form, you may not be covered while you’re on your international work term and/or for up to three months when you return.

The local Ministry of Health is located at:

  • 1400 Weber Street East
    Kitchener, Ontario
    N2A 3Z8
    519-893-3966

Preparing for your visit to the Ministry of Health Office

1. Take these original documents with you.

  • A verification letter from Co-operative Education that proves your previous, current, or future international work term. Before your international employment specialist can create this letter for you, you need to complete a request for a Student letter of support.
  • A verification letter from the Office of the Registrar proving that you are: a full-time student, the purpose for leaving the province (i.e., co-op work term), and the length of your international work term.
  • An offer letter from your international employer stating your job title and start and end dates
  • Birth certificate and passport.
  • Driver’s licence bank statement, home utility bill, to prove name and address.
  • Social Insurance Number (SIN), ATM, or credit card.
  • Visa documentation.

2. Health card

  • If you have the old red and white health card, before you leave for your international work term, you must register for the new photo ID health card. Your return date will be printed on the new health card.

3. OHIP coverage

  • OHIP coverage has a set fee rate for medical emergencies outside of Canada and any higher cost not covered is your responsibility to pay.
  • Keep all medical expense receipts from outside of Canada, so you will be refunded.
  • You must send these receipts to the Ministry of Health within six months of your medical treatment.

4. Health insurance coverage under another province

  • Check with the Ministry of Health if you’re covered by another province’s insurance.
  • Inform Provincial Insurance Plan officials of your international co-op work term, to ensure medical insurance coverage.

If you have a medical emergency while on your international work term

  • You will have to call World Wide Assistance immediately to verify your medical coverage.
  • World Wide Assistance will direct you to a medical provider.
  • Arrange for the billing to go directly to the medical provider.

Call collect from anywhere 24 hours a day:

  • In Canada and the USA: 1-800-511-4610
  • In Mexico: 001-800-368-7878
  • Anywhere in the world: 202-296-7493

When you call, provide the following information:

  • The FEDS/GSA Health benefits group number: 83307.
  • Your UWaterloo student ID # (eight digits).

At this time you should also notify UWaterloo Police Services at 1-519-888-4911.

Submitting a claim from an injury on your international work term

For coverage of non-emergency medical services, you can submit a claim. You will get a refund in Canadian dollars. The refund is calculated with the Canadian exchange rate on the day the claim is processed. Processing takes about 1-2 weeks.

Claims may be co-ordinated with your provincial health care coverage (OHIP).

  • Submit detailed receipts for the medical services provided while on your international work term.
  • Fill out a claim form, which is available from the FEDS/GSA Health and Dental Plan Office.
  • Use photocopies or blank claim forms.
    • Group # for the FEDS/GSA Health Plan: 83307.
    • Group # for the FEDS/GSA Dental Plan: 50149.

Send claims to:

Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada                                     Group Claims Department
PO Box 11805 Stn. CV                                                                     Montreal, Quebec H3C 0H3

Verification of health coverage

Depending on the country of your international work term, it might be required to provide a Verification of Health Coverage Letter, in order to obtain a work permit or visa.

FEDS/GSA Health and Dental Office can send you the letter by calling, toll-free: 1-866-369-8794.