The importance of personal health care insurance is undeniable, but if you live in Canada then you’ve most likely been accustomed to our countries health care system and may have overlooked other options that are available. For the thousands of students who have just started a new term – did you know that student health coverage is available to you through your chosen college or university?
What’s Available to our Students
Student health coverage provides you with basic medical insurance, and is comparable with OHIP (Ontario Health Insurance Plan) and other province-specific plans. When I attended Algonquin College, I was offered health insurance through Sun Life at a reasonable cost which provides basic coverage such as doctor’s visits and hospital accommodations, as well as a comprehensive plan that includes prescription drugs. Although I didn’t need this service, all the international students who had travelled to Ottawa from other countries were required to include health care in their tuition. Did you know that a trip to the emergency room without valid health coverage can cost up to $1,000? That alone is enough to make sure you’re on the ball in case you get sick or run into a bad situation. There was an international student in my program and a few occasions where she went to the doctor, so without the student health coverage she would have definitely been in financial trouble!
If you’re attending a University in Ontario (excluding the University of Windsor) and are an international student or weren’t medically covered when enrolling, then UHIP (University Health Insurance Plan) has most likely been included in your fees. For a full year of coverage, this plan comes at a cost of about $650, but if you think about that trip to the emergency room then you’ve already saved a bundle of money. In terms of College education, the St. Lawrence campus in Kingston has made an example of a great health care plan for their students. Shoppers Drug Mart has partnered with them to provide 10% off prescription drugs and free delivery, as well as a discount on some of their products. How amazing is that? Students who are on this health care plan can also acquire coverage for their spouse and/or dependent(s) with the exclusion of dental benefits.
If you’re one of many who require glasses or wear contact lenses, then you’re in luck as these health care plans also include vision care benefits. Specifically, you’re eligible for one general optometric examination, a pair of standard eye glass lenses and frames as required when prescribed by a physician or replacement frames/contact lenses up to a maximum of $200 per year. These benefits can vary, but usually include an optometric examination as a minimum. Now that you’re aware of all these great benefits, you might be able to squeeze in those hot new shades you saw on Swift’s online store!
It’s important to remember that while you’re studying at a Canadian College or University campus, it’s required to have health care coverage. Not only is it important for you to stay healthy while moving towards your future, but for your school to keep you safe and on route to succeed.
We live in an amazing country, so make sure to cease all the opportunities you can and keep on learning. Here’s to a bright and healthy future!
Written by: Kaitlin Cartwright