Eligibility for MSP

All residents of British Columbia must enrol with the Medical Services Plan (MSP).

Last updated: December 19, 2022

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B.C. residents must enrol with MSP

A person must be a B.C. resident to qualify for medical coverage under MSP.

A resident is a person who meets all of the following conditions:

  • A citizen of Canada or lawfully admitted to Canada for permanent residence
  • Makes their home in B.C.
  • Physically present in B.C. at least six months in a calendar year
    • Eligible B.C. residents (citizens of Canada or persons who are lawfully admitted to Canada for permanent residence) who are outside B.C. for vacation purposes only, are allowed a total absence of up to seven months in a calendar year

Dependents

Dependents of MSP beneficiaries are also eligible for coverage if they are B.C. residents as set out above. Dependents include a spouse, children and dependent post-secondary students.

Spouse

A resident of B.C. who is married to or is living and cohabiting in a marriage-like relationship with the applicant.

Child

A resident of B.C. who meets all of the following conditions:

  • Is a child of a beneficiary or a person who stands in place of a parent
  • Who is a minor
  • Does not have a spouse
  • Is supported by the beneficiary

Dependent post-secondary student

A resident of B.C. who meets all of the following conditions:

  • Older than 18 and younger than 25 years of age
  • In full-time attendance at a recognized post-secondary institution (this includes trade, technical or high schools)
  • Supported by a beneficiary who is the person’s parent or who stands in place of the person’s parent

A spouse or child of an eligible B.C. resident may also be deemed a resident provided that an application for permanent residence has been submitted to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and the sponsorship fee (if applicable), application for permanent residence fee and Right of Permanent Residence fee have been paid in full. Per IRCC, the dependent child of a sponsor is exempt from the Right of Permanent Residence fee.


First Nations' residents

Basic medical coverage

The First Nations Health Authority enrols and administers MSP to all Status Indians who are residents of B.C. (excluding persons who receive health benefits by way of a First Nations organization pursuant to self-government agreements with Canada).

Eligible B.C. First Nations currently receiving health benefits through Health Canada’s Non-Insured Health Benefits program living in B.C. should already be enrolled.

First Nations clients that have MSP account coverage through an employer, pension plan or other group, are encouraged to contact the regional office (1-800-317-7878) to ensure they are on or added to the First Nations Health Authority Eligibility List.

First Nations Health Benefits

The First Nations Health Authority provides Health Benefits (formerly Non-Insured Health Benefits) to eligible B.C. First Nations. For more information call:

First Nations Health Authority, Health Benefits Department

Toll-free: 1-855-550-5454

If you have a non-status family member who needs to obtain coverage, call Health Insurance BC:

Lower Mainland: 1-604-683-7151
Elsewhere in B.C. (toll-free): 1-800-663-7100


Study and work permit holders

Certain other individuals, such as some holders of Study and/or Work Permits, or Work Permits on Working Holiday Programs, which are issued under the federal Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and are valid for a period of six or more months, may be deemed residents. 

A working holiday is a visa program designed for those between the ages of 18 and 35 who may choose to work while travelling abroad. Learn more about working holiday program eligibility requirements.

Effective May 1, 2022, eligible individuals residing in BC with maintained status while waiting for a subsequent work or study permit may be eligible for an initial six months to temporary coverage, with addition temporary coverage provided is applicable.


Canadian Armed Forces members

Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members are not eligible for MSP coverage, but spouses and children of CAF members are eligible if they are residents of B.C. CAF members with one or more eligible family members should all apply together with their family.


Arriving under the Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET)

MSP for individuals arriving from Ukraine

A waiver of the wait period is in place for eligible returning Canadians, permanent residents and deemed residents from Ukraine.

MSP Enrolment and day of arrival coverage will be available for those arriving in British Columbia from Ukraine under the Canada-Ukraine authorization for emergency travel. To determine your eligibility, please submit your application for enrolment.

You can apply for MSP online, in person or by mail.

Coverage for the required CUAET medical test

If you are enrolled in the Medical Services Plan with a Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel document, the costs of the required medical test are now covered.

Effective October 1, 2022, individuals who are enrolled in MSP and who must complete the exam or diagnostic tests will not receive a bill.

If you already completed and paid for your medical test, you can submit the receipts along with a request for reimbursement.


I need help

If you have questions about eligibility, contact Health Insurance BC:

By phone

By mail

Health Insurance BC
PO Box 9035 St Prov Govt
Victoria, BC V8W 9E3