Provincial health coverage for international students
Effective April 1, 2012, international students studying in Manitoba will be eligible for provincial health coverage from Manitoba Health.
Students are encouraged to apply as soon as possible to ensure coverage is in place. Below is a list of frequently asked questions. If you have additional questions, please contact Manitoba Health, 204-786-7101 or online. If you are travelling from your home country, it is advised to obtain travel health insurance to avoid costly health expenses if you get sick on your way to Manitoba.

Download the Manitoba Health FAQ for International Students (PDF)

Effective September 1, 2012, MISHIP coverage is no longer available to University of Manitoba students.  If you are not eligible for Manitoba Health coverage, you should apply for health insurance in your home country prior to you leaving for Canada.


Health Coverage for International Students

What has changed?

  • Effective April 1, 2012 international students in Manitoba are eligible for coverage under the Manitoba Health plan and do not need separate health insurance.

Who is eligible?

  • International students who:
    • have a study permit for Manitoba (or an open study permit) that is valid for a minimum of six months.
    • live or will be living in the province of Manitoba for a minimum of 6 months in a 12-month period.
    • In order to obtain a study permit, a student must be admitted to an educational institution.
  • Children and/or a spouse of an eligible international student, who are entitled to be in Canada for at least six consecutive months with visitor permits of their own, or who are listed on the study permit.

How do I apply for Manitoba Health coverage?

  • You can apply in person at Manitoba Health, 300 Carlton Street in Winnipeg, or by mail.
  • If applying in person, bring:
    • Copy of your study permit (which is valid for a minimum of 6 consecutive months)
    • Passport
    • Completed Manitoba Health registration form
  • If applying by mail, include:
    • Copy of your study permit (which is valid for a minimum of 6 consecutive months)
    • Copy of your passport (do NOT send the original)
    • Completed Manitoba Health registration form
    • Send your application to:
      Manitoba Health Registration and Client Services
      300 Carlton Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3M 3M9
  • The registration form can be obtained on the Manitoba Health website at: http://www.gov.mb.ca/health/mhsip/forms.html

What are students entitled to when they get coverage?

What other health and dental benefits should students consider getting and who can provide this coverage?

  • International students may already hold supplemental health care insurance, for example, international students at the University of Manitoba may already have private insurance through UMSU.
    • This private insurance provides additional benefits for services not covered by Manitoba Health and is already in place.
    • Find out more about this service at http://www.umsu.ca.

When does coverage take effect?

  • For students currently studying in Manitoba, coverage takes effect April 1, 2012.
  • If you arrive directly from your home country, coverage starts the day you arrive in Manitoba.
  • As soon as possible to ensure you are covered.
  • Manitoba Health coverage will be valid for the duration of the study permit.

What does "enrolled" mean when applying for Manitoba Health coverage?

  • Manitoba Health will not be taking into consideration whether or not the student is registered in courses or when classes begin. You just need to have been admitted to an institution and have a valid study permit.

When will coverage end?

  • Coverage ends on the date the student's study permit expires, or earlier if the student notifies Manitoba Health.

Can a student's Manitoba Health coverage be terminated for reasons other than expiration of the study permit?

  • In order to be eligible for Manitoba Health coverage an individual has to be present in Manitoba and residing in the province.
  • If a student were to have a study permit, obtain health coverage and then drop out of school and return home, the coverage would cease.
  • All individuals who are covered by Manitoba Health are also required to keep their address up to date with Manitoba Health within 30 days of a move and advise Manitoba Health when they are going to be temporarily out of country for extended durations of time.

What will happen during the transition period from the private insurance to Manitoba Health coverage?

  • Students who apply for Manitoba Health coverage will receive coverage effective April 1, 2012.
  • Coverage will be provided as long as a study permit was initially issued for a minimum of six months; regardless of when it was issued.
    • e.g. If a study permit was issued from January 1 to June 30, health coverage would be in effect April 1 to June 30.

What will happen during the transition period from the private insurance to Manitoba Health coverage?

  • Manitoba Health cards issued now will be effective as of April 1, but will not show the expiry date.
  • Students will receive a reminder from Manitoba Health when coverage is about to expire – based on the expiry date of the study permit.

What happens during transition periods related to the status a student has in Canada?

  • Regardless of the transition, Manitoba Health coverage will be valid for the duration of the study permit, unless Manitoba Health is advised otherwise.

What happens when a study permit holder obtains a work permit?

  • Students with work permits valid for at least 12 months are eligible for coverage, so Manitoba Health would require notification that the study permit is now a work permit and the coverage would continue for the duration of the work permit.

How will international exchange students and graduate students (visiting scholars) be treated?

  • Exchange students and graduate students that have valid study permits for a minimum of six consecutive months will be covered.
  • Students who do not have study permits may be covered under the existing MISHIP plan until the end of August 2012.
  • Students needing MISHIP from May to August must contact the Registrar's Office.

What happens to Manitoba Health coverage when an international student's study permit is about to expire and is in the process of being renewed?

  • Manitoba Health will require documentation that the student has applied for an extension. An extension of a maximum of 90 days will be provided.
  • This means you must show Manitoba Health that an application to extend your study permit is in process.

Will undergraduate students who elect not to register in the summer be covered?

  • Yes, as long as they have a valid study permit.
  • Students leaving Manitoba for an extended period are to notify Manitoba Health, just as all Manitoba residents must do.

How will international students who undertake a cooperative placement or program related internship be treated?

  • Students in co-op or internship placement will be covered for the duration of their study permit.

What if a student elects to undertake their cooperative program or internship outside of the Province of Manitoba?

  • Students leaving Manitoba for an extended period of time must notify Manitoba Health. Coverage with Manitoba Health is subject to physical presence in Manitoba.
  • As long as they maintain a home in Manitoba and intend to spend a minimum of 6 months in Manitoba in a 12-month period, they will be eligible to undertake cooperative programs or internships outside of the Province of Manitoba.
  • Proof of residency may be required.

I am here on a visitor's visa and enrolled in a short term language program. Am I eligible?

  • Only if you have a study permit (which is valid for a minimum of 6 consecutive months).

I am arriving in early August before my studies begin in September. Am I covered from the day I arrive?

  • You will be eligible on the first day of arrival in Manitoba or the first day that the study permit is effective (whichever date is later).
  • Once you arrive in Manitoba go to Manitoba Health to obtain a health card.

I have already paid for my health insurance which is valid until April 30, 2012 date. Can I get reimbursed for this?

  • No. MISHIP refunds are term based. Health fees assessed in January were adjusted to cover students under MISHIP for the Winter Term only.
  • The deadline to apply for a refund of Winter Term health fees was January 17, 2012.

I have a study permit that was issued for study in another province. I have since decided to study in Manitoba. Does my original study permit qualify me for Manitoba Health coverage?

  • No. It has to be a study permit for Manitoba or be an open study permit. It may not be for another province.

Where can you find more information about eligibility, benefits, and termination of coverage?