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Your Health Insurance in Canada

There are two health insurance plans available to University of Guelph international students and their families, the University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP) and the Student Health & Dental Plan.

What is UHIP?

The University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP)

  • Mandatory insurance coverage for primary healthcare services, such as hospital, physician, surgery, and medical testing that international students may need during your stay in Canada while registered at U of G.
  • Charged as part of your tuition (can be viewed on WebAdvisor)
  • The fee is mandatory for all international students. Please do not buy your own medical plan.
  • UHIP reimbursement/coverage outside of Canada is severely limited. We strongly advise that you buy travel insurance to avoid significant out-of-pocket expenses. 

All international students (paying international fees) will automatically be enrolled in UHIP (single coverage). You can find out more information and view the rates here. If you have questions about your UHIP plan or what to do in terms of medical help, please contact one of our International Student Advisors

  • Provides coverage for basic health care services (i.e. hospital, physician, laboratory, ambulance, etc.) covered by OHIP (Ontario Health Insurance Plan  
  • Provides coverage comparable to OHIP for Ontario Residents 
  • Learn more at Coverage details - UHIP/RAMU 

Prescription drugs, dental, vision, physiotherapy, etc. These are covered by the Student Health and Dental Plan. 

Coverage starts on the date you arrive in Canada, or the 10th of the month before your studies start, whichever is later. If you arrive in Canada before you’re eligible for UHIP, you must buy private medical insurance until your UHIP start date.

Always carry a physical or electronic copy of your UHIP card on your person. Student Health Services on campus will accept your UHIP card and will bill UHIP directly. 

If you go to an after-hours walk-in clinic, you may have to pay for the visit initially, and then make a claim to UHIP to get reimbursed. There are also sometimes fees that cannot be reimbursed if you go to a provider that is outside of the UHIP Preferred Provider network. 

Always get health and medical attention in a timely manner but give thought to where you obtain your care and use healthcare services as required by the nature of the problem. Emergencies should go to the Emergency Department at the nearest hospital. For other healthcare issues, use your family physician when possible. 

You will receive an email in your U of G email from Cowan/Manulife, with instructions on how to download your coverage card, during the first week of class. You will not be able to use medical services, even emergency services, without your UHIP card. Make sure to save your UHIP card and carry a copy with you.

Always carry a physical or electronic copy of your UHIP card on your person. You will need to show the card to access medical services. You must be registered in courses to be enrolled/receive your UHIP coverage card. Your UHIP card will have the following information on it: 

  • Certificate number
  • Policy number
  • University ID
  • Coverage period
  • Dependent info

You may be eligible to get reimbursement for UHIP fees if employees hold at least one CUPE 3913 work assignment while insured. 

You must enroll your dependents (spouse and children) with UHIP within 30 days of their arrival to Canada. It is the student's responsibility to complete the UHIP - Coverage for Your Family application and submit it to Student Financial Services (University Centre, Level 3). An additional premium will be billed to your University student account. Contact the UHIP Administrator in Student Financial Services ( for more information or to enroll your dependents. If you do not enroll your dependents within 30 days of their arrival in Canada, you may incur a $500 penalty fee.  

If you are unable to come to Canada for the Fall semester, please contact indicating the reason, to determine if you are eligible to opt out of UHIP.

Student Health and Dental Plan

Student Health and Dental Plans are paid for by your student union fees, the Central Student Association (CSA) / and Graduate Students' Association (GSA). The Student Health Plan covers some medical costs that are not covered by UHIP, such as prescription drugs, physiotherapy, and vision care. The Dental Plan provides some coverage for routine dental care such as examination, consultation, and cleanings. For up-to-date information on the coverage visit the University of Guelph Student Plans website.

Note: If you arrive in May, your enrolment and coverage may vary. For more information, visit the University of Guelph Student Plans website.

Students with families can also add their dependents to their Student Health and Dental Plans for a fee. Contact the Student Benefits Plan Office in the University Centre (UC Room 108A) for more information and deadlines.

Students can pick up their myBenefits card from the Student Benefits Plan Office in the University Centre (UC Room 108A) or generate one from the University of Guelph Student Health Plan website.

You can opt-out of the dental plan if you have similar coverage from a different health plan. Please see website for deadlines.

UHIP vs Student Health and Dental Plan

Type of ExpenseUniversity Health Insurance Plan (UHIP)CSA/GSA Benefit Plan (Health & Dental Plan)
Hospital VisitsYesNo
Doctor AppointmentsYesNo
Diagnostic Lab Tests & FeesYesNo
AmbulanceYes (partial) – a small fee will be incurred by the studentYes
Prescription drugsNoYes
Dentist appointmentsNoYes
Optometrist appointmentNoYes
Eyeglasses/contact lensesNoYes


Healthcare Services

Health services available to you both on- and off-campus, and for emergencies.

For students and their families, Student Health Services on campus acts as your 'family physician' by offering comprehensive healthcare services including family physicians, nurses, a psychiatrist, a dietician, and a health educator on staff. If you visit a physician during regular office hours Monday to Friday (either with an appointment or in the walk-in clinic) the cost of the visit is considerably less than seeking care in an after-hours walk-in clinic or in the Emergency Department of a hospital. Family physicians also provide referrals for diagnostic services (laboratory work or x-rays) and to appropriate specialists when needed. Student Health Services is located in the J.T. Powell Building (168 Reynolds Walk). The following health services are also available and provided by Student Wellness:

When the on-campus Health Services are closed, you can go to an after-hours clinic. A list of after-hours resources is available on the Student Health Services website.

If there is an injury or illness that requires immediate medical attention, then you should go to the Emergency Department at the nearest hospital. You can get there on your own by searching for the nearest hospital with an emergency department or call an ambulance by phoning 911.