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IHI Coverage

1. I am arriving in Canada before the beginning of my first term, can I opt-in into McGill’s International Health Insurance (IHI) plan?

Yes: New students get  2 complimentary weeks of coverage prior to the start of their first term at McGill. To obtain the complimentary coverage please activate your IHI coverage on Minerva.

2. If I arrive in Canada early, can I purchase private health insurance coverage?

If you are an international student and/or your dependents who is/are arriving in Canada more than 2 weeks before the start of your first term and require health insurance coverage, you may purchase a plan for visitors. This plan can be purchased from Quebec Blue Cross. For more information and to purchase this plan, please review the Blue Cross website .

3. I am coming to Canada with my dependents, when do I add them to my plan?

You may add your dependents upon arrival in Canada by contacting [at] (ISS).

4. I am a first-year international student and my spouse is pregnant. Will the Dependent coverage plan cover any maternity expenses once we arrive in Canada?

Yes, but coverage is limited. If you or your spouse were not insured by the Medavie Blue Cross International Health Insurance plan or by a similar benefit from a group insurance plan offered by a recognized Canadian educational institution during the previous academic year, maternity benefits including delivery - are insured if normal delivery takes place during the first 30 weeks following initial registration in the plan up to a maximum of $20,000Please be aware that medical and hospital costs are extremely high for non-residents of Canada and financial plans should be made prior to your arrival to Canada.

5.Is pregnancy covered under the international health insurance plan?

YES. Most prenatal-related expenses and delivery, including midwife services, are covered under the international health insurance plan if the normal delivery takes place after the first 30 weeks of the initial registration to the international health insurance plan. For more details on the coverage related to pregnancy, please refer to page 10 of the Medavie Blue Cross Handbook.

Please take note it become common practice in Quebec that hospitals, clinics and birthing center to request upfront fees for maternity care and deposit for delivery.

6.I have a pre-existing condition, are there any limitations to the insurance coverage that I should be aware of?

YES. Any expenses directly or indirectly related to a pre-existing condition are payable to a lifetime maximum of $20,000 for each pre-existing condition. Please refer to the Medavie Blue Cross Handbook page 6 for more details.

7.Are international students covered by a dental plan?

Yes, undergraduate international students are automatically covered by the SSMU Dental Plan or, for students enrolled in a program at the Macdonald Campus, the MCSS Dental Plan. Graduate international students have the PGSS Dental plan. Students wishing to opt out of the dental plan may do so at International Student Services is not involved in the administration of Student Societies dental plans. Please note that exchange students are not eligible to opt-in to McGill's dental plan.

8. Is there a co-payment or deductible amount that students have to pay?

Medavie Blue Cross (insurance company) reimburses students’ medical expenses according to the Quebec rate meaning that if you use a “public” hospital or the Student Wellness Hub, Medavie Blue Cross will reimburse that expense according to the Quebec rate. If you go to a private clinic or off-campus clinic the rates tend to be higher than what a “public” institution would charge therefore you will not get full reimbursement for your medical expenses. We recommend always checking your coverage limitations with the Medavie Blue Cross insurance provider before setting up your visit at an off-campus clinic. Medavie Blue Cross customer service can be reached at 1-888-873-9200.

Please note, that hospitals in the Montreal area and the Student Wellness Hub invoice Medavie Blue Cross directly.

9. My doctor advised me that I will need minor surgery, is there anything I should be aware of before the surgery takes place?

YES. A pre-authorization is mandatory in order to confirm coverage and validate the terms of payment. A Pre-Authorization Request form must be filled out prior to any planned hospitalizations or surgeries and sent to Medavie Blue Cross. Failure to submit this form will automatically result in a denial of the claim.

10. I am a Canadian citizen but I have been living abroad. Is it mandatory for me to obtain International Health Insurance? Can I opt-in if I choose to?

If you are a Canadian citizen you do not need to be covered by the International Health Insurance plan, regardless of your place of residence.

However, non-resident Canadian students who are not eligible for a Canadian health plan and have no insurance coverage or whose private insurance is not sufficient, have the option of enrolling on McGill's International Student Health Insurance Plan. To do so, they must complete an online registration form no later than September 30 (Fall Term) or January 30 (Winter Term) or May 31 (Summer term).

11. Why do I need to be covered during the summer term if I am not registered in any classes? (undergraduate student)

It is a requirement from Immigration Quebec that all international students maintain health and hospitalization insurance in Quebec during the entire validity period of your CAQ. All undergraduate students maintain active student status during the summer term, regardless of whether they are registered in courses or not during the summer term.

12. What is the deadline to submit my claims to Medavie Blue Cross?

All claims must be received by Medavie Blue Cross Insurance no later than 90 days after the end of the policy year in which the claims were incurred or 90 days after the end of your coverage, whichever is sooner. Full-year coverage ends Aug. 31 of the current academic year. If you are submitting claims for services incurred before Sept. 1, your claims must be received by Medavie Blue Cross Insurance by Nov. 29 of the same year. If you are submitting claims for services incurred on Sept. 1, and onwards, your claims must be received by Medavie Blue Cross Insurance by Nov. 29 of the following year. For more information, please see page 19 of the Medavie Blue Cross Handbook. For information on how to submit a claim, please see our eClaims page.  

Accessing Health Care

1. Where can I see a doctor?

The Student Wellness Hub has clinicians including doctors for you to see. Telehealth is also a great option as an International student. To learn more about support and services, or to book an appointment call the Student Wellness Hub during business hours. For off-campus support and resources, visit the off-campus care page for the Health and Wellness Map, information on navigating healthcare in Quebec and a list of service providers. Please be aware, due to government policy that a limited number of appointments with Hub doctors are available to students. Please explore the wide variety of all the resources the Hub has to offer.

If you’re unsure where to start, Access Advisors and Local Wellness Advisors offer a great first step towards accessing care, whether on or off-campus.

Please be aware, due to government policy that a limited number of appointments with Hub doctors are available to students. Please explore the wide variety of all the resources the Hub has to offer.

If you’re unsure where to start, Access Advisors and Local Wellness Advisors offer a great first step towards accessing care, whether on or off-campus

2. I need a prescription right away. Are there online doctors available?

Yes, Connect with Canadian doctors for online medical care from your phone, tablet or computer through Maple.

RAMQ (Quebec Health Insurance)





1. As a French national, I am eligible for RAMQ and the prescription drug plan. Is it advisable to opt-in to my Student Society's Supplemental Health plan?

YES. We recommend opting in to your Student Society's Supplemental Health plan (SSMU, PGSS or MACES) as it is a supplemental health insurance plan that will cover other expenses that are not covered under the RAMQ provincial plan. You can also review what RAMQ provincial plan actually covers and what the Student Society's Health plan covers additionally.

Opt-in to the SSMU, PGSS or MACES plan normally happens at the end of August and throughout September - online (, but be careful because if you miss the opt-in period you will not be able to opt-in until the next academic year.

There are actually, 10 other countries in addition to France that have a reciprocal social security agreement with the province of Quebec and students from these countries are eligible for the provincial health plan. However, international students are NOT eligible for the prescription drug plan, with the exception of French students.

IHI Travel Coverage Updates

All international students who are currently residing in Canada have access to full travel benefits.

Please note that to qualify for travel coverage, before departure you must not have COVID-19 symptoms, have not tested positive (or be awaiting a test result), and have not been in contact with anyone who tested positive in the last 14 days.

If you plan to travel outside of Canada, here are some important things to note about your travel health insurance coverage under the IHI plan:

Leisure Travel:

This refers to any travel, for leisure purposes, outside of Canada and outside your country of origin.

For leisure travel of up to 4 consecutive weeks per trip, you are covered for emergency medical expenses and hospitalization. All details of the leisure travel benefits can be found on our website.

For any leisure travel for more than 4 weeks, you are only covered for emergencies resulting in hospitalization (must be admitted as an in-patient), up to $2,000 CAD funds per day for all services combined as specified in the Medavie Blue Cross contract.

Country of origin travel:

This refers to travel to your country of origin, for some students this will be your country of citizenship. If you are a dual citizen, your country of origin will be the country where you were last residing before entering Canada.

For travel in your country of origin, you are only covered for emergencies resulting in hospitalization (must be admitted as an in-patient), up to $2,000 CAD per day for all services combined as specified in the Medavie Blue Cross contract.

University Sanctioned International/National Activity Trip:

Your IHI plan can be extended at no additional cost to the student to cover expenses related to Emergency Medical Care, Basic Health and Supplementary Health benefits, as well as Accidental Dismemberment and Repatriation, for international students participating in a University Sanctioned International/National Activity. In order to extend your IHI benefits, please fill out and submit University Sanctioned International/National Activity webform prior to your travel. 

International students are eligible if they meet the following criteria:

  • You are a student registered at McGill University, covered under McGill’s International Student Health Insurance plan - contract no. 95258
  • You are participating in a University Sanctioned International/National Activity* in a country other than Canada or your country of origin.

You may also enroll your dependent(s) in the Plan, namely your spouse and dependent child(ren).

“University Sanctioned International Activity”*: means curricular activities (i.e., credit or non-credit course work, exchange programs, field work, music performances and research) and co-curricular activities (e.g. University funded internships, varsity sports) that are officially approved or endorsed by McGill and for which international travel is an essential part of the activity, whether or not the student is pursuing the activity for academic credit or recognition, or receives University or third-party funding.

University sanctioned international activities exclude:
• Activities sponsored or organized by student clubs or associations,
• Activities organized solely by a student or group of students.

Coverage outside of Canada

If you opt to travel internationally, we recommend you carefully review the guidance available at around international travel and requirements around returning to Canada, and to regularly check the site for any new or updated information.

Any plan members with travel coverage should carefully consider the following:

1. All standard Medavie Blue Cross travel plans will now cover eligible emergency hospital and medical expenses related to COVID-19, subject to existing maximums and all other terms, conditions and limitations of your policy. As with other health conditions, any illness must be considered “sudden and unexpected” in order to be eligible, meaning that if you depart with a confirmed case of COVID-19 you will not be covered for any related costs.

Please note: due to the impact of COVID-19 on health and travel resources in foreign countries, although we will endeavor to provide access to health resources in case of an emergency, we may be limited in the support that can be accessed.

2. Medavie Blue Cross travel insurance does not cover:

  • Any COVID-19 testing, including those required by governments to re-enter the country
  • Any costs related to delays caused by testing requirements
  • Any costs related to quarantines, including those mandated by governments, such as meals & accommodations during quarantine, trip interruptions, delayed returns, trip cancellations, and possible exposure PCR tests.


1. Does my IHI plan cover COVID-19 in Canada?

The International Health Insurance (IHI) plan covers hospitalization and treatment for COVID-19 in Canada. Please refer to the Basic Health Benefits on pages 7-9 in the Medavie Blue Cross handbook for details on this coverage.

Please note, COVID-19 testing is offered free of charge in Montreal at public testing sites. COVID-19 tests at private clinics are not covered under the IHI plan. COVID-19 tests for travel purposes are not covered under the IHI plan.

2. Can I get the COVID-19 Vaccine booster shot in Quebec if I got my other doses outside of Quebec?

Yes, on the website under “Select a Service” you must select the COVID Vaccine – Troubleshooting. Here they explain that you can use this service to book a 3rd dose appointment when the portal cannot identify you.

Clic Sante Screen Shot

You can select this option and should be able to proceed to book an appointment. When filling out your personal information, please be sure to note that students that are covered under the IHI plan do not have a Quebec Health Insurance Number.

Please note there are several walk-in vaccinations clinics around Montreal that are offering the booster. You are not required to book an appointment in this case. Please be sure to bring your passport and proof of previous COVID-19 vaccine to your appointment.

3. I have received my first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine outside of Canada, can I receive the second dose in Canada?

If your first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine was administered outside Canada or Quebec, you can sign up at the Québec Vaccination Registry to receive the next dose in Québec if necessary. For more information, see the Vaccinated for COVID-19 outside Québec: using the Vaccination Registry page.

If the vaccine that was used for the first dose is not available at the vaccination centre at the time of the appointment, a different product may be used (ideally a vaccine based on the same technology. For example, if your first dose was with a Messenger RNA vaccine such as Moderna or Pfizer, the second dose should be with a Messenger RNA vaccine to the extent possible, and within the timeframe recommended by the Québec Immunization Protocol. The recommended timeframe window is available at COVID-19 vaccination.

Please note, Canada does not currently have data on the effects of mixing vaccines approved in countries outside of Canada with the vaccines available in Canada (Pfizer and Moderna).

4. Where can I find more information about COVID-19 vaccinations in Quebec?

This webinar recording provided by the Medical Director of the Student Wellness Hub, gives information on the COVID-19 Vaccines, specifically on the vaccines available in Canada and the rollout plan in Quebec.

Please visit the Quebec Government COVID-19 Vaccination Campaign website to find out more about how and when to make an appointment to get vaccinated.

5. When can I get vaccinated?

The Quebec Government COVID-19 Vaccination Campaign website has announced that all residents 5 years old and over are able to get vaccinated in Quebec.


6. I don't have RAMQ. Can I still get a vaccine?

Yes. When you sign up for a vaccine appointment on clicsante, the form will ask you for a RAMQ number. Instead, please click the box below that confirms that you do not have a RAMQ number.


clicsante sign up screen shot

Please note that in order to schedule a second dose through the Clicsante website without a RAMQ number, you will need to choose the "COVID-19 Troubleshooting" service instead of the "COVID-19 Second Dose" service. You can also find out more information about second doses from the McGill Vaccination page.

clic sante registration

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