Healthcare in Montreal may look a little different than what you're used to, so it's important to plan ahead for coverage, prescriptions, care options, pre-existing health concerns and more.
All McGill students must have some form of health insurance coverage, whether it is a provincial or international plan.
- Canadian Students
- International Students
- Canadian Citizens Without Provincial Residency
- Opt-Out Options
Undergraduate students receive coverage through the SSMU Health & Dental Plan (for students studying downtown) or the MCSS Health & Dental Plan (for students studying at the Macdonald Campus). Both plans are administered by StudentCare.ca.
Graduate students, if you're a full-time, additional session, non-thesis extension, master’s or doctorate status student who registers before the McGill fee payment deadline, and who is a member of PGSS paying tuition fees at either the Canadian or Quebec rates, you are automatically covered by the PGSS Health & Dental Plan that is administered by Studentcare.
All international students (whether undergraduate or graduate) and your accompanying dependents must enroll in the compulsory McGill International Health Insurance (IHI) Plan, which is administered by International Student Services. When you begin your studies during the Fall term, you'll be billed an annual fee for this insurance.
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).
If you’re covered by alternative health insurance, you may be able to opt out of the SSMU, MCSS, or PGSS 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. Opt-out dates can be found on studentcare.ca for SSMU, MCSS, and PGSS, or call 514-789-8775 or 1-800-795-4435.
There are three primary healthcare options while studying at McGill:
You can access doctors, nurses, and mental health support through a variety of online platforms covered by your McGill health insurance.
- Undergraduate and graduate students covered through their student union (PGSS, SSMU, MCSS, MACES), along with their eligible spouse and/or dependent children, have access to virtual health care through the Dialogue Health mobile app.
- Undergraduate and graduate students covered through International Health Insurance can access virtual healthcare with Maple, who have partnered with Medavie Blue Cross to eliminate up-front costs.
- All students can access virtual mental health support for free, 24 hours a day, via keep.meSAFE.
Student Wellness Hub
The Student Wellness Hub provides a range of health services to support student's physical and mental health with a focus on awareness, prevention, and early intervention. The Hub has an array of health care professionals that provide clinical services, one-on-one appointments, referrals and resource sharing, including doctors, nurses, psychiatrists, dietitians, lab technicians, counsellors, social workers, sexologists, and health promotion professionals. The Hub also offers services for students who aren't sure what support they may need, through Access Advisors and Local Wellness Advisors.
The Hub also offers supports specifically for marginalized students to better support their unique needs, including:
There are many off-campus health providers available to you, but wait times and costs may vary so checking in with your insurance may be helpful.
Pre-existing health concerns
If you already have pre-existing health concerns that require regular attention, it's important to start planning now.
Do you take prescription medication? Prescriptions 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.
If you require long-term psychotherapy, there are many resources available off-campus; you can meet with one of our professionals at the Student Wellness Hub to connect you to an appropriate resource. Short-term episodic care, group therapy, and workshops are available at the Hub to support you through your wellness journey.