Are you Eligible?
All residents of British Columbia (B.C.) must enrol with the Medical Services Plan (MSP).
In order to enrol in MSP, you must meet certain eligibility criteria. These criteria fall under four categories:
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:
- must be a citizen of Canada or be lawfully admitted to Canada for permanent residence;
- must make his or her home in B.C.; and
- must be physically present in B.C. at least six months in a calendar year, or a shorter prescribed period.*
* 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 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:
- 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; and
- is supported by the beneficiary.
Dependent post-secondary student: A resident of B.C. who is:
- 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); and
- 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, 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.
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 please contact:
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, contact Health Insurance BC:
Health Insurance BC
Lower Mainland: 604 683-7151
Elsewhere in B.C. (toll free): 1 800 663-7100
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. Tourists or visitors to B.C. do not qualify.
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.