University Health Insurance (UHIP)

University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP)

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In Ontario, there is a health plan offered by the province called the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP). This plan covers the cost of services such as: physicians' services, surgery, X-rays, hospital services, and emergency dental care in a hospital. (OHIP does not cover eye examinations unless you are under 16 or over 65 years old). Services that are not covered by the plan include: charges for dental care not approved by the plan, eyeglasses, and prescription medication. OHIP is available to Canadian citizens, landed immigrants, and temporary foreign workers (see section below for more details).

International students are NOT eligible for coverage under the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP). Because of this, Ontario universities have put together a MANDATORY health care package (University Health Insurance Plan or UHIP) for international students and their dependents. UHIP offers many of the same benefits as OHIP. Make sure to thoroughly read the description of coverage to ensure that you understand the details of the plan. The current UHIP premium will be included in your tuition fee bill. You should confirm that the correct premiums have been charged to your tuition account.

UHIP is a MANDATORY health insurance plan for all international students and their dependents (spouse/partner and/or children) who are here in Canada and they must be enrolled in the program. This includes individuals:

  • Paying international student fees
  • Attending Western through an International Exchange Program
  • Not eligible for provincial health care coverage (OHIP)

UHIP covers medical and hospital expenses during your stay in Canada such as: physicians’ services, diagnosis & treatment of illnesses, surgery, X-rays, hospital services, and emergency dental care in a hospital. Services that are not covered by the plan include: charges for dental care not approved by the plan, eyeglasses, and prescription medication. Make sure to thoroughly read the description of coverage to ensure that you understand the details of the plan.

NOTE: Please do NOT purchase an insurance plan from your home country for the period of time in which you will be covered by UHIP. UHIP exemptions are very rare and you will most likely be required to register and pay for UHIP coverage while you are studying Western.

How much does UHIP cost?

The cost for the 2012-2013 academic year is as follows:

  • Full-year undergraduate students: $684
  • Per term for graduate and exchange students: $228
    • Four month exchanges are $228
    • Eight month exchanges are two terms, which comes to $456
  • Full year coverage for one dependent (spouse, partner, child) $684
  • Full year coverage for two or more dependents: $1368

These premiums are included in your tuition fee bill automatically; make sure to check that the correct amount has been charged to your account. Visit http://www.uhip.ca to view the UHIP Premium Rate table for 2012-2013.

You will need to purchase coverage for all dependents accompanying you to Canada (late application in excess of 30 days for dependents costs an additional $500). Eligible dependents include spouses, common-law partners, and dependent children who are under 21 years of age or under age 25 and are registered in full-time studies. Visit http://www.uhip.ca to view the UHIP Premium Rate Table for 2012-2013. For more information on health insurance for your dependent family members, please see the information on "Health Insurance for Dependents" below.

 

When Does My UHIP Coverage Begin?

Under the provisions of the University Health Insurance Plan, an international student is covered by UHIP the day she or he arrives in Canada , but not earlier than the 10th day of the month before the month in which their university term begins. For example, if an international student arrives in Canada on August 2nd, and her term begins on September 7th, she would have UHIP coverage from August 10th. She would have to buy travel health insurance to cover the time period from August 2nd to August 9th.

International students may extend the coverage for a maximum of 60 days after the last period of academic study. This normally occurs when a student wishes to stay in Ontario past their academic term for travel or graduation purposes only. Students can apply for this extended coverage at the end of the term and pay at the Human Resources Office in the Support Services Building (SSB), 5th floor.

TIP: You are not covered by UHIP until you either arrive in Canada or begin your studies. To be covered during your journey to Canada, you may want to purchase travel health insurance.

How Can I Get UHIP Coverage?

As an International student, once you have registered for your courses, you are automatically enrolled in UHIP for the twelve month period (September 1st to August 31st) of the current academic year. Exchange students will be enrolled in UHIP for the duration in which they will be attending Western.

Soon after arriving at Western, you will receive an e-mail to your Western e-mail account directing you to a website where you will be able to download and print your UHIP card. You are no longer required to pick up your card at Student Central (Western Student Services Building Room 1120). You will also need to pay the UHIP fee (as listed on your Detailed Statement of Account on your Student Center).

NOTE: The fee cannot be paid by credit card and international debit cards must use the Interac network, not Visa or Mastercard networks.

NOTE: You will not be considered registered in your program of study until the appropriate UHIP premium has been paid in full. It is very important that you and your family have medical health coverage—health care in Canada is very costly! If you do not receive an e-mail regarding the status of your UHIP enrollment, please visit Student Central to determine whether or not you were properly enrolled.

What do I do if I need to see a doctor before my card is ready?

If you have not received an e-mail with information on how to print your card and you need to seek medical attention, please visit Student Central (Western Student Services Building, Room 1120) with photo identification and payment as stated above. Staff there will help you complete a temporary proof of coverage form that you can use until your card arrives

Where can I use my UHIP coverage?

There is a list of preferred hospitals on the UHIP website (http://www.uhip.ca) and a list of several walk-in clinics throughout London that is available at the IESC. Students at Western can also see a doctor at Student Health Services (Room 11, UCC).

Your UHIP card should be accepted at the hospitals and by most doctors. Some doctors may not be familiar with the UHIP plan however, so it is wise to inquire beforehand.

You should always carry with you a UHIP Claim Form whenever you visit a doctor or hospital. You can print off and complete the UHIP Claim Form (http:// www.uhip.ca/claim.aspx) prior to the visit and have it signed by the clinic physician.

If you have any questions about UHIP coverage please contact:

Human Resources
Support Services Building, 5100
Phone: 519-661-2194
Email: hr-communication@uwo.ca

Or contact:
University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP)

Phone: 1-866-500-8447
E-mail: askus@sunlife.com
Website: www.uhip.ca

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Health Insurance for your Dependents

UHIP

If you have a spouse/common-law partner or children accompanying you while in Canada, they must also be enrolled in UHIP while they are here. Dependants are not automatically enrolled.

To enroll them, please go to Human Resources (Support Services Building Room 5100) and complete an application form for your spouse and/or children. There is a $500 late fee charged if you fail to register your dependents within 30 days of arriving in Canada, so please be prompt and do not forget this important step. When their cards are available for printing, you/your dependents will also receive an e-mail with information on printing their card.

The cost of UHIP for dependents in 2012 - 2013 is: $684 for full year single coverage ($228 per single term); and $1368 for full year family coverage ($456 per single term). Dependents should be registered from the date they arrive in Canada (up to twenty days before your first month of study) and until the end of your study period.

Eligible dependents include spouses, common-law and same-sex partners, and dependent children who are under 21 years of age or under 25 and are registered in full time studies. Visit http://www.uhip.ca for more information.

Extended Health and Dental Plans

International students may also pay an additional fee to include their family members (spouses, common-law partners, and dependent children) in the extended health and dental plans offered by the University Students’ Council (USC) and the Society of Graduate Students (SOGS). International students and their families are also covered by the Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTA) Union’s health plan if the student belongs to the GTA and is working as a Teaching Assistant.

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Other Health Care Coverage: Undergraduate Students

In addition to UHIP, the University Students' Council (USC) offers a student health plan that covers up to 80% of medication costs as well as other services not included in your UHIP or OHIP coverage. The fees for this coverage are included on your tuition fee bill for full-time undergraduate international students. The plan is not a replacement for, but a supplement to the benefits provided by UHIP.

NOTE: Exchange and part-time students are NOT covered under the USC Health Plan.

The plan is effective from September 1st to August 31st each year.

Your policy card under this plan, which lists the policy number and period of coverage, can be printed from www.studentbenefit.ca under the “Online Member Registration” section. In some cases, such as when purchasing a prescription at a pharmacy, you will not need any claim forms for coverage as long as you present your card. Otherwise you will need to submit a claim form which can be found on studentbenefits.ca

DID YOU KNOW? At the beginning of each academic year your USC Health Card does not work until the eligibility list of who’s covered is completed. The Insurance company has worked with the USC to allow all eligible members to activate their card and avoid this Blackout Period. You will need to do this through the insurance website.

For more information consult your registration handbook or contact:

University Students' Council
Student Health Plan

Western Connections (formerly known as Info Source)
UCC Lower Level
Telephone: 519-661-3722
E-mail: ksans@uwo.ca
Website: http://studentbenefits.ca/sbta/?q=student&sch=USC

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Other Health Care Coverage: Graduate Students

In addition to UHIP, the Society of Graduate Students (SOGS) offers extended health benefits that cover up to 80% of medication, some basic dental and vision coverage, as well as other services not included in your UHIP or OHIP coverage. Every semester that you are registered as a full-time graduate student, you are automatically enrolled in the plan.

Your benefit card can be picked up at the SOGS office during the bus pass distribution period.

Part-time students, post-doctoral fellows, and dependents may opt into the program by submitting an application to the SOGS office by the last business day of the first month of each term.

NOTE: Exchange and visiting students at Western are not eligible for the SOGS health plan.

For more information contact:

Society of Graduate Students
Health and Dental Coverage
UCC, Room 260
Telephone: 519-661-3394
E-mail: sogs@uwo.ca
Website: http://www.uwo.ca/sogs/Benefits/ and www.ihaveaplan.ca

Graduate students who belong to the Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTA) Union and who have Teaching Assistantships receive additional health benefits for themselves and their dependents in addition to both UHIP and the SOGS health plans.

This is an extended health plan. Its purpose is to supplement your other health care plans (this may include the SOGS Supplemental Health Plan, UHIP, etc.) that provide coverage for health related services including prescription drugs, vision care, and dental care. It is also intended to provide coverage for services that may not be provided by your other health plans, including dental care not classified as essential under other health plans and some holistic healing practices.

For more information contact:

UWO GTA Union, The University of Western Ontario
Somerville House, Room 1313
Telephone: 519-661-4137
E-mail: gtaunion@gtaunion.com
Website: http://www.gtaunion.com/benefits/extended-health-plan

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Dental Plans

A dental care plan is not offered through the UHIP. However, some dental coverage is offered through the USC, SOGS and GTA Union health plans. For more details please see the contact information listed above.

If you require additional dental coverage, you may choose to include a dental plan option with your supplementary health insurance plan. For more information check the Yellow Pages of the Telephone Book under "Insurance-Life & Health".

Emergency dental treatment is available to the public at Western's Dental Clinic Services. An initial screening is conducted first. For subsequent appointments, patients must be prepared to spend approximately three hours per visit. The Dental Clinic is a teaching institution where you will be treated by dental students (who are under the direct supervision of qualified instructors). The dental treatment is not free; however, clinic fees run about two thirds of the amount a private dentist would charge.

Dental Clinic Services
Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry
Dental Sciences Addition (west of the Dental Sciences Building), ground floor
Telephone: 519-661-3326
E-mail: Dental.Clinics@schulich.uwo.ca
Website: http://www.schulich.uwo.ca/dentistry/patient

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Health/Travel Insurance

If you plan to arrive in Canada before your UHIP coverage begins, if you plan on traveling outside of the province of Ontario, or if family member or friends are coming to visit you, it is strongly recommended to purchase private Health Insurance (for Visitors to Canada or Travel Insurance) for that time period. The University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP) offers only limited coverage when traveling outside of the province of Ontario, and in most cases you may be expected to pay the hospital directly and then apply for UHIP to reimburse you.

For information on different Insurance Companies, check the Yellow Pages of the Telephone Book under the "Insurance-Life and Health" section.

NOTE: It is advised that you contact several companies to compare the cost as well as the health care coverage provided, as this can vary greatly from company to company.

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Health Care Coverage for Temporary Workers: OHIP

On April 1, 2009, changes to the OHIP (Ontario Health Insurance Plan) eligibility rules under Regulation 552 under the Health Insurance Act became effective.  

Open Work Permit holders (including those in CIC’s Post-Graduation Work Permit Program) and their spouses/dependants may be eligible for Ontario health insurance coverage provided they are employed full-time for an employer in Ontario for a minimum of six months, have a valid work permit during this time, and they:

  • maintain their primary place of residence in Ontario; and are

  • physically present in Ontario for at least 153 days in any 12-month period; and are

  • physically present in Ontario for 153 of the first 183 days immediately after establishing residency in the province.

Further information on the changes concerning Temporary Foreign Workers can be found on a fact sheet entitled “Temporary Foreign Workers”.

For more detailed information about OHIP eligibility and the changes to the OHIP eligibility rules:

If you have questions about your eligibility for OHIP coverage under the new policies, please contact INFOline at 1 800 268-1154 or visit your local Service Ontario – Health Card Services – OHIP office.

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Last Updated: September 18, 2012

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Confidentiality

All information disclosed by students to IESC will be kept confidential. It will not be shared with family, university staff, course instructors, or others without written permission and will not become part of academic records.

The International and Exchange Student Centre is experienced in working with diverse populations.


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