Health insurance

As an international student at the University of Waterloo, you have two health plans that cover different health related issues. You'll need to print out two health cards. 

1. University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP)

As a full time international undergraduate student in your first term, your student account will be automatically charged for UHIP coverage when you enrol in on-campus courses (even if they are currently delivered online only). Full-time and part-time on-campus graduate students are automatically charged for UHIP coverage on their student account.

Your registered status on Quest must be “Fees Arranged” for Student Financial Services to activate your coverage with Sun Life Financial. Sun Life Financial will send you a confirmation email with your updated UHIP card attached. You'll need to have your UHIP proof of coverage card accessible at all times in case of a medical emergency. If your old proof of coverage card expires, you'll need to print a new one. 

If you are a Canadian citizen or dual citizen who does not have provincial health insurance, or a new permanent resident, you'll not be automatically charged for UHIP because on Quest you are charged as a Canadian student. You'll need to apply for OHIP (Ontario Health Insurance Plan) through Service Ontario once you arrive. You'll get a letter indicating when your OHIP coverage will begin. As soon as possible, visit The Centre located in Needles Hall with your OHIP letter to self-enrol in UHIP to ensure you have coverage in the interim before your OHIP coverage starts. 

UHIP card holders can access the same medical facilities as domestic students. UHIP covers basic medical services such as hospital and doctor’s visits.

Paying my UHIP premiums

It's your responsibility to pay the UHIP premiums that are charged to your Quest account. It's important to check to make sure you are being charged UHIP and therefore covered in case of a health concern or emergency.

Undergraduate students

If you’re an undergraduate in a regular program, your annual UHIP premium is divided into two payments each year. Part of your annual premium appears on your fall term account statement (charge for 4 months) and part appears on your winter term account statement (charge for 8 months). You don't get a refund if you leave Canada during that time. If you're in a co-op program, you'll be charged for UHIP coverage each academic term to ensure coverage for the next upcoming co-op work term, regardless of your location. 

Graduate students or exchange students

If you’re a graduate student or an exchange student, your annual UHIP premium is divided into three payments. You'll be charged for four months at a time in each term’s account statement. 

How to submit a claim

If you require medical attention, it's recommended that you visit Health Services on campus. You always need to bring your UHIP card to the medical centre you visit. If you visit a clinic off campus, you should also bring a UHIP claim form for you and the doctor to fill out. If you are unable to visit Health Services on campus, it's recommended that you visit one of the Preferred Provider Network clinics, to avoid extra fees not covered by UHIP. You may be charged up front for your medical appointment. You'll then need to submit the completed UHIP claim form, along with the receipt for your payment, to the insurance company in order to get reimbursed.

Coverage during COVID-19

Information about coverage and support during COVID-19 can be found on the Coronavirus Information website.

Enroling your dependents in UHIP

If your dependents will be joining you in Canada, you must enrol them in UHIP within 30 days of their arrival to avoid a fine. To enrol your dependents, you’ll need to visit The Centre located in Needles Hall and bring their original passports. You need to complete the UHIP application form only once. The cost of UHIP varies according to how many dependents you enrol and the charge will be added to your student account.

Opting out of UHIP

Having health coverage is mandatory for all Waterloo students. However, you can opt out if:

  • you have coverage through one of the pre-approved plans listed on the UHIP website or have diplomatic status, you can provide proof of your health plan to The Centre to request a refund of UHIP.
  • your government is sponsoring your education and you are covered under a health plan they are providing. You may submit an application for exemption directly to Sun Life Insurance within 45 days of your UHIP eligibility date for review. In this case, details regarding applying for exemption can be viewed on the UHIP website. You must remain enrolled in UHIP and pay the required premium until an exemption is approved.
  • you're an international student who will not be in Canada for winter 2021. You can opt out of the UHIP coverage by completing the opt-out declaration in the “Optional Fees” section of your Quest account to have the UHIP charge removed from your bill.

2. Your supplementary Health and Dental Plan

Your WUSA/GSA student Health & Dental Plan supplements UHIP coverage by covering medical services that the UHIP plan does not, including prescriptions, physiotherapy, chiropractor, massage therapists, visits to the dentist or eye doctor, and travel insurance. Undergraduate students (both domestic and international) are covered under the WUSA Health & Dental Plan. Graduate students (both domestic and international) are covered under the GSA Health & Dental Plan.

You can also visit the Health & Dental Plan Office in Health Services room 1006 with any questions about the plan. Your WUSA/GSA Health & Dental Plan premium is part of the incidental fees you pay with your tuition. You can print the Pay Direct supplementary health card from the plan's website, or pick one up in their office.

Enroling your dependents

If you have dependents, you can enrol them in the WUSA/GSA Health & Dental Plan online or in person. All enrolments must be done during your first active term of the school/policy year from September to August, and must be done during the WUSA Change-of-Coverage Period or the GSA Change-of-Coverage Period. Your dependents must have basic health coverage under UHIP or OHIP in order to enrol for supplementary health and dental coverage. 

Manual self-enrolment

If you are an undergraduate student taking at least 1 on-campus course but taking less than 1.5 on-campus credits in a term, or you are a graduate student on an inactive term or a co-op term, then you have to self-enrol if you would like coverage. You must enrol during the change of coverage period for that term. There is also an option to apply for exemption for certain parts of this plan during the first change of coverage period of the policy/school year. 

Opting out of the Health & Dental Plan

Undergraduates and graduates can opt out of the health and/or dental portion of the Plan during the Change-of-Coverage Period at the beginning of the first term in which you are enroled.

How to submit a claim

If the service provider you visit requires you to pay for health services in full to them, keep the receipt and submit it afterwards through the Studentcare Mobile App available on the Google Play Store and Apple App Store. Alternatively, submit a claim to the Health & Dental Plan office on campus, or mail it and the original receipts to the address on the form.