International Students Health Services

International Health Insurance

At Cape Breton University, all international students are required to have international student health insurance coverage through, the number one international health insurer in the world. This coverage provides comprehensive medical, dental and vision coverage and comes in two tiers.

Tier 1 is mandatory for students without a Nova Scotia Government health insurance (MSI) card and Tier 2 is for students who have MSI coverage (valid until August 31). The policy year runs from September 1 to August 31, however, if you are starting university at a different time of the year, the cost of your plan will be pro-rated (while in Canada). Please watch your CBU student email closely for important enrolment information.

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


International Health Insurance Process: Fall 2022 / Winter 2023

Step 1: Information will be sent to students’ CBU email account about their health insurance plan and keep.meSAFE.

Step 2: Students register for their fall/winter courses. All charges will be added to their student account, except for their international health insurance and keep.meSAFE. This is billed on September 30 when they receive your insurance card.

Step 3: Classes begin on Wednesday, September 7 and students will have until Friday, September 16 to add/drop courses and finalize registration. The finalized list of registered students is then sent to by Sunday, September 21.

Step 4: The student portal opens for eligible students (who have MSI valid until August 31, 2023) from September 26-30, 2022. Click here to opt out. Please note, students who have insurance through their employers or their spouse’s employers may also be eligible to opt out. Student’s should contact their International Student Advisor via their Compass Student Account for more information.

Step 5: The portal will close on Friday, September 30 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 who do not have MSI receive their insurance cards, they will be charged CAD$1,283 for health insurance, including keepme.SAFE, an online mental health support program for all international students. Students with MSI who are were eligible to opt out will be enrolled in Tier 2 of the plan and charged $620. The keep.meSAFE program is non-refundable.

For more information, please contact your International Student Advisor via your Compass Student Account or click here to read our FAQs.

Health cards will be sent to students’ CBU email account. CBU’s International Student Advisors will email all students to notify them when their card has arrived. However, students who need to see a doctor before they receive their card can contact

The cost of the plan is $1,283.00 for individual coverage without MSI, and $620 for individual coverage with MSI.

Students wanting to add family members to their insurance plan must call within 10 days of receiving their insurance card. Fees are the same ($1,283 without MSI coverage, and $620 with MSI coverage).

It’s important that students show their health insurance card before receiving treatment from any health care provider, along with their MSI card, should they have one. This will prevent students from having to pay out of pocket for health care services, which can be very expensive. We strongly encourage students to print out their health insurance card or take a photo of it on their mobile device.

Students with health insurance that are asked to pay when they receive service from a health care provider can submit a claim to the insurance company for consideration. The insurance company will reimburse them based on the eligibility of the service under the insurance policy.

Students that have resided in Nova Scotia for 12 consecutive months and have not left the province for more than 30 consecutive days 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. However, MSI does not cover services such as prescription drugs, dental, ambulance or repatriation. MSI may not cover you while travelling outside of Nova Scotia or outside of Canada.

Getting your provincial health card

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

Annual renewal of MSI coverage

If you are eligible for provincial medical coverage (MSI), you must apply for 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 30 consecutive days (in addition to other requirements).

This Government of Nova Scotia-sponsored program is subject to change without notice.


For non-emergencies, students are encouraged to use’s Mobile Doctor or the Nancy Dingwall Health and Counselling Centre, which is located on the CBU campus within the Canada Games Complex. It is staffed with a doctor, nurse and physiotherapist and can address minor, non-emergency issues. Hours of operation are Monday to Friday from 8:30am to 4:30pm.

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.

To make an inquiry or to book an appointment, please call 902-563-1359 or email

For other clinics in surrounding areas, please use’s Clinic Search.


For emergencies such as a serious accident, injury, broken bones, etc., please visit the nearest emergency room or call 911.

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.

To make an inquiry or to book an appointment, please 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.

Health forms and information are available at Guard.Me.

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