International Students Health Services

International Health Insurance

At CBU, all international students are required to have health insurance coverage through Guard.Me, which provides comprehensive medical, dental and vision coverage.  This plan is mandatory and please watch your CBU student email for important plan enrolment information.



Please note: Students on a Spring semester plan are not eligible for dental coverage.

The policy year runs from September 1 to August 31. If you are starting university at a different time of the year, the cost of your plan will be pro-rated (while in Canada).

International Health Insurance Process: Fall 2021 / Winter 2022

Step 1: Information will be sent to students’ CBU email account about their health plans and keep.meSAFE. Note, there will be no MSI opt out and students will not be able to opt out of health insurance until September. Students will only be able to opt out if they are out of country, however, students travelling to Canada before the end of September must stay enrolled to make sure they are covered. 

Step 2: Students register for Fall/Winter courses and all charges are added to their student accounts, except for international health insurance and keep.meSAFE. This is billed at the end of September when students receive their insurance cards.

Step 3: Classes begin on September 8. Students have until September 17 to make changes to their registration. The finalized list of registered students is then sent to

Step 4: The student portal opens for eligible students from September 21-24, 2021. Students can only opt out if they are no longer in Canada in September. Note, students who have insurance through their employers, or their spouse’s employers, are still required to carry This is mandatory for all CBU international students studying in Canada.

Step 5: The portal will close September 24 and process requests. Students are no longer able to opt out.

Step 6: Students will be notified when they log into their Compass Student Account that there is an important message regarding their insurance waiting for them. Students will receive information about their policy and can visit to print insurance cards, register dependents, etc. Once eligible students receive their insurance cards, they will be charged CAD$693.40 for health insurance and $50.60 for keep.meSAFE, an online mental health support program for all international students at home and in Canada. This is non-refundable. 

For a visual representation of the step-by-step process, click here: International Health Insurance Process

Questions? Check out FAQs for more information.

Using your Health Card

It’s important to make sure students show their health insurance card before receiving treatment from any health care provider, along with your MSI card, if you have one. If you don’t show your health insurance card when you visit a health care provider, they may require you to pay them directly, which can be very expensive. We recommend printing out your health insurance card and keeping it with you at all times.

If you have health insurance, but are asked to pay when you receive service from a health care provider, you can submit a claim to the insurance company for consideration. The insurance company will reimburse you based on the eligibility of the service under the insurance policy.

Where do I get my insurance card?

Health cards will arrive in your CBU email inbox. CBU’s International Student Advisors will email all students to notify them when their card has arrived. Should you need to see a doctor before you receive your card, please contact

How much is the plan?

The cost of the plan is $744.00 (CAD$693.40 for health insurance and $50.60 for keep.meSAFE) for individual coverage.

If you wish to have coverage for your family in Canada, you must visit the International Student & Study Abroad Centre to complete an application, no later than September 30. Once approved by the insurer, coverage will begin at a cost of $744.00 per family member.

Click here to learn about mobileDOCTOR by Guard.Me

Medical Services Insurance (MSI)

If you have been residing in Nova Scotia for 12 consecutive months and you have not left the province for more than 31 consecutive days, you may be eligible for provincial medical insurance known as MSI. An MSI card is available to Nova Scotia residents and provides hospital and physician treatment. Please note that MSI does not cover services such as: prescription drugs, dental, ambulance, or repatriation.  MSI may not cover you while travelling outside Nova Scotia, or outside Canada.

Getting your provincial health card

To submit an application and determine your eligibility, please contact the MSI office at 902-496-7008.

Annual renewal of MSI coverage

Once you are eligible for provincial medical coverage (MSI) you must apply for it annually as your card has an expiry date. You will be asked to prove that you have not left the province for more than 31 consecutive days (in addition to other requirements). This Government of Nova Scotia-sponsored program is subject to change without notice.

Health Care in Canada


The Max Bell Health and Counselling Centre is located in the Canada Games Complex (near Subway) and offers confidential health services to registered students, staff and faculty. The Max Bell Health and Counselling Centre is a collaborative health care centre with nurses (including a mental health nurse), physicians and counsellors on site. The hours of operation are Monday to Friday, 8:30am – 4:30pm.

To make an inquiry or appointment:

Call 902-563-1359 or email

If this is an emergency, please call the Nova Scotia Mental Health Crisis Line at 1-888-429-8167 or dial 911.

Services include:

  • Health counselling and education
  • Medicals (subject to fee)
  • Sexual health education
  • Birth control information and emergency contraception (subject to fee)
  • HIV education and testing (subject to fee)
  • STI education and testing (subject to fee)
  • Pregnancy testing
  • Free condoms
  • Injections (B12, immunizations, Depo Provera, allergy)
  • First Aid
  • Dressing and wound care
  • Blood pressure and glucose monitoring
  • Nursing information
  • Diagnosis, treatment and follow-up of medical conditions.

Need to find a clinic? Use Guard.Me’s Clinic Search.

Mental Health Services

Counselling services are available to all students of Cape Breton University. CBU offers, which provides 24/7 mental health services to all International Students. The Nancy Dingwall Health and Counselling Centre also offers Personal Counselling with Clinical Social Workers.

Health Forms

Health forms and information are available at Guard.Me.

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