Medical Services Plan (MSP) B.C. – A Complete guide

In this article, we will discuss Medical Services Plan(MSP) here in British Columbia. Read this article to learn about how to apply and discover what the Medical Service Plan (MSP) covers.

The read time for this article is 7 – 9 minutes

British Columbia’s Medical Services Plan (MSP) Explained

Are you looking for healthcare coverage in British Columbia? Firstly, you’ll need to enrol in BC’s Medical Service Plan, known as MSP (Medical Service Plan). MSP is a government-paid health insurance plan. It pays for medically required services of physicians and surgeons. Additionally, it also includes dental or oral surgery. However, only when medically required to be performed in a hospital.
Furthermore, MSP is a mandatory public health insurance plan for everyone who lives in BC for six months or longer. Therefore, residents of BC are required to enrol themselves and their dependents with MSP at their earliest.

Apply for Medical Service Plan

Canada Medical Exam Society aims to create a healthy and safe Canada. Thus, CMES strongly urges everyone, including international students, to Apply for MSP instantly after arriving in Canada. Read further to learn more about MSP, eligibility, coverage and application submission options. Additionally, we have gathered the information below to help you learn and apply for PHN and SIN as well.

Team CMES and our proud Operational Partner Team IME Clinic Inc. is happy to welcome all questions and queries relating to MSP, and all other medically related services in Canada. Feel free to Email us.

What is Medical Service Plan and who is eligible?

British Columbia’s Medical Services Plan covers medically required healthcare. The Medication Protection Act requires that all eligible residents and their dependents be enrolled with MSP. If you are an International Student, you should apply as soon as you arrive in Canada.

People who are eligible for MSP include:

  • All Residents who are either a citizen of Canada or lawfully admitted into the country for permanent residence. To be eligible you must live in BC for at least six months in a calendar year
  • Dependants (including spouses, children, as well as dependent post-secondary students)
  • Status First Nations residents of BC
  • Certain individuals with Study Permits or Work Permits who may be considered BC residents

What Does MSP Cover?

BC’s Medical Services Plan covers medically required medical services with physicians and surgeons. This includes:

  • Dental and oral surgery performed in a hospital
  • Some orthodontic services
  • Eye examinations if medically required
  • Maternity care, including midwives
  • Diagnostic services, including x-rays
  • Supplementary healthcare services for eligible individuals, including physical therapy, acupuncture, massage, chiropractic, naturopathy as well as non-surgical podiatry

What is NOT Covered by MSP?

  • Prescription drugs
  • Cosmetic surgery
  • Dental services, except for surgical procedures performed in hospitals
  • Eyeglasses and contact lenses
  • Preventative screenings
  • Counsellors or psychologists
  • Medical examinations required for: immigration, driving a vehicle, employment, life insurance, school or sports
  • Routine eye examinations for people aged 19 to 64
  • Supplementary healthcare services for non-eligible individuals, including physical therapy, acupuncture, massage, chiropractic, naturopathy as well as non-surgical podiatry

Ways to Apply for MSP

New Canadian residents should apply for MSP as soon as they arrive. But your coverage may start three months after arriving in BC; you should get private healthcare insurance until then. International Students also need to get a private Student Medical Exam if they study in one of our partnered schools, even if they are still in the process of applying for MSP.

Applying for MSP online takes about 15 minutes. Firstly, you will need identification for everyone on your application, as you will have to include digital images of documents that show your name and immigration status. You can apply here

If you wish to apply by mail, print and fill out the form found here and mail it to this address:

Health Insurance BC

Medical Services Plan
PO Box 9678 Stn Prov Govt
Victoria, BC V8W 9P7

How to get a Personal Health Number (PHN)

Your Personal Health Number is the unique identification number you will receive when you enrol with MSP. It stays with you for your entire life. And will remain the same regardless of where you live or any changes to your personal status. Furthermore, It can be found on BC Services Card, which one should have whenever healthcare services are required.

How to get a Social Insurance Number (SIN)

Social Insurance Number is a nine-digit number that you need to work in Canada. It is also necessary to have access to federal programs and benefits. Canadian citizens, permanent residents and temporary workers must apply for one before receiving government services, including healthcare.

You may apply for a SIN online here. You will need a primary identity document to prove;

  1. Your status in Canada (such as a Permanent Resident card)
  2. A secondary document (such as a passport or other government-issued ID)
  3. Proof of address (such as a lease)

Note that if the name on one of your documents is different, you will also require a supporting document.

How to get healthcare coverage in BC?

One of the benefits of being a permanent resident in Canada is having access to the country’s universal healthcare, which covers essential healthcare services. That’s why when coming to Canada, you will need to prove that you are not:

  • A danger to public health (carrying an infectious disease)
  • A danger to public safety (violent behaviour or physical/mental incapacity)
  • Also, some people sponsored by family members like dependent children or spouses are exempted.

Thank you for reading our blog. We have more Medical Resources for you to read, gain information and stay healthy in Canada.

Feedback and Suggestions for other blog topics are warmly welcome.

If you have any further queries relating to MSP, please feel free to discuss it further with our Registered Doctor during your Student Medical Exam. Alternatively, you can Email us your query and we will provide you with all the necessary information you request.

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