While studying at McGill, it is a requirement that you have some form of health insurance coverage, whether it is a provincial or international plan. Information about your plan is different depending on your citizenship status and then if you already have additional provincial coverage (e.g., from a parent, employer, etc.). It is important you understand how your plan works and how to use it to access care on and off campus.
Upon payment of tuition, full and part-time undergraduate students with Canadian residency are automatically enrolled in the SSMU Health & Dental Plan that is administered by StudentCare.ca. The plan fees will be charged to your student account. Students arriving in January can enroll themselves during the January Change-of-Coverage Period.
Out-of-province Canadian students can take advantage of the SSMU Plan's Pay Direct Card, which allows pharmacists to process claims for prescription drugs immediately, so you won’t have to pay the full amount up front. Quebec residents must first submit drug claim receipts to a spouse’s employee/parent’s drug plan or to the Public Prescription Drug Insurance Plan (RAMQ).
For more information about Change-of-Coverage dates, enrollments and opt-outs, as well as what is covered by your plan, visit Student Care's website.
Mac students: Canadian students studying on the Macdonald Campus also have a health plan with Student Care, but this plan is negotiated through the Macdonald Campus Students’ Society (MCSS). If you have questions, contact MCSS.
Non-Residents (Canadian citizens without provincial residency)
If you are a recent permanent resident of Canada or a Canadian citizen who has been living abroad, you may not be eligible for provincial health insurance coverage, or you may have to wait for three months after your arrival to qualify. If you have no insurance coverage or your private insurance is not adequate, you may enroll in the group plan offered through International Student Services (ISS).
Alternative Health Insurance
If you’re covered by alternative health insurance, you may be able to opt out of the SSMU or MCSS Health Plans and have the fee credited to your student account. You can opt out permanently or annually. If you choose the latter, you’ll have to opt out each year.
To confirm Opt-Out dates, visit studentcare.ca or call 514-789-8775 or 1-800-795-4435.
McGill requires all international students and their accompanying dependents to participate in the compulsory McGill International Health Insurance (IHI) Plan, which is administered by International Student Services. Certain students may be eligible for an exemption from the plan; details are provided here. Please note that International students covered by private health insurance are not eligible for exemption from the McGill International Health Insurance Plan. Students who begin their studies during the Fall term are billed an annual fee for the international health insurance.
Students starting in the Fall semester must confirm their coverage on Minerva as of August 1st and students starting in the Winter semester must confirm their coverage as of December 1st. All students must print themselves a coverage card. For more information, visit the International Students Health page. All inquiries about the IHI plan should be directed via email to international.health [at] mcgill.ca (International Student Services) and inquiries about the Dental Plan should visit studentcare.ca
Recent permanent residents of Canada or Canadian citizens who have been living abroad may not be eligible for provincial health insurance coverage, or may have to wait for three months after arrival to qualify. If you have no insurance coverage or your private insurance is not adequate, you may enroll in the group plan offered through International Student Services (ISS).
In addition, all international students are automatically covered by the SSMU Dental Plan (Downtown Campus) or the MCSS Dental Plan (Macdonald Campus). Inquiries about the Dental Plan should be directed to studentcare.ca.
Other Health-Related Resources
Make sure you are protected by keeping up-to-date with your vaccinations, including HPV and Meningitis ACWY & B vaccinations. The Student Wellness Hub has detailed instructions for staying on top of your vaccinations.
Pre-Existing Health Concerns
If you already have pre-existing health concerns that require regular attention, it's important to line up the resources you'll need once you arrive in Montreal. Start planning now if you take prescription medication, need follow-up care from a specialist, require long-term psychotherapy, or want to make arrangements for care off-campus.
Do you take prescription medication? Prescription from outside Quebec cannot be filled here, so bring at least a six month supply of medication. If you're from Quebec, bring a prescription with at least six renewals. If you need a follow-up, provide the Student Wellness Hub with a referral from your family doctor as soon as possible.
If you need follow-up care from a specialist, your family doctor should provide you with a referral before you arrive at McGill. The sooner you get on the waiting list, the better. Wait times can be long in the Quebec healthcare system, and the Hub does not offer specialist care.
Students can register with the Office for Students with Disabilities (OSD) if they are experiencing academic or physical barriers and have a documented disability, mental health disorder, chronic illness, or other impairment. It may be temporary (i.e. concussion, broken bone), permanent (i.e. dyslexia, diabetes), or episodic (conditions that may have fluctuating symptoms or variations in impairment). The OSD can also support students in identifying barriers they are experiencing and provide them with support through accommodations if appropriate.
If you require long-term psychotherapy, there are many resources available off-campus; you can meet with our professionals in the Student Wellness Hub to connect you to an appropriate resource. Short-term counselling, group therapy, and workshops to help you work through specific issues are available in the Hub.
Off-campus clinics often cater to more specific needs and target populations. You can use our Health & Wellness Resource Map to explore off-campus options. Please note that these clinics may charge a fee to open a file if you are not a Canadian resident.
Students can obtain a medical note from a clinician should an illness or mental health concern prevent them from completing an assignment, exam, or class on time. It is important to consult with an academic advisor before requesting any notes for extensions, deferrals, or withdrawals. To find out more about obtaining a medical note from a doctor/nurse, a psychiatrist, or a counsellor visit the Student Wellness Hub website.