Medical Insurance

It's critical to arrange medical insurance coverage that meets your needs and that you understand your options. Without adequate medical insurance, you'll have to pay the full cost of any medical treatments, which can be very expensive. Learn more about your options and the steps you need to take below.

Travel/emergency medical insurance

We encourage all international and exchange students to purchase travel/emergency medical insurance for coverage while you're travelling to Alberta. Please make these arrangements before you travel. The recommended length of your plan depends on your situation. Please consider: 

  • when are you arriving in Alberta and when does your GSA/SU health and dental plan coverage start, if you're eligible?
  • do you have specific medical requirements that may require more than a basic plan?  
  • how long and where is your travel route? If you're making multiple connections or transiting through several countries, ensure you have a plan that accounts for those locations as well as Canada.



Purchasing an insurance plan

We encourage students to purchase an insurance plan that provides you with a few weeks "buffer" so that your coverage continues while you're getting settled and applying for AHCIP, if you're eligible. Exchange students would likely purchase one plan that covers the duration of their travel, study in Canada, and travel home. 

Students often find it easier to purchase travel insurance from a provider in their home country or current country of residence. Some airlines, travel agents, credit card companies, and employers provide travel insurance. 

Exchange or visiting students

All international exchange and visiting students studying at the university must arrange adequate medical insurance to cover any medical care while they're in Canada. If students don't have medical insurance, they're responsible for paying all costs for medical treatment themselves.

As you'll be staying for less than one year in Canada, you're not eligible for the free provincial plan for Alberta residents (the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan). You must purchase a private plan through an insurance company or agent either in your home country or upon arrival in Canada.

For most exchange and visiting students, the simplest choice (recommended strongly by International Student Services) is purchasing a medical insurance plan in your home country. If you're in Calgary and haven't purchased a plan, please contact for a list of options to explore as soon as possible.

A private medical insurance plan should at least cover doctor visits, hospitalization, prescription drugs, vision care, and dental care.

When you have a private health plan, typically the process is:

  1. You pay for a medical service
  2. You submit receipts to your private insurance company
  3. You are reimbursed a portion of the service according to your plan 

It is important that you check how much a service may cost before using that service.