Important Healthcare Insurance Information

To the CBU Community,

We understand that there are concerns about the international student health insurance policy and want to provide the campus community with accurate information about the plan and its benefits. This information is in addition to the emails that all international students received about the health insurance plan on July 12 and August 20, 2023.

Many students feel they do not need health insurance because they believe nothing bad will happen to them and they will not need healthcare services. While we wish this were true, life is very unpredictable. We have sadly seen many students require medical assistance or services unexpectedly and without insurance, the cost of these services is overwhelming. While the hope is always that insurance will not be needed, it is critical to have as a protection. This is why it is required that all students have insurance. 

Canada does not have “free healthcare.” Healthcare services are able to be provided for free or at a very low cost in Canada due to insurance plans. Just as Canadians pay for health insurance, international students must also pay for health insurance to ensure they are protected and able to access services while in Canada.

  • If you do not have MSI, you are required to participate in the full plan, which is referred to as Tier 1.
  • If you have MSI and have been approved to opt out of the full plan, you are required to participate in the lesser plan, which is referred to as Tier 2.

This is because Tier 1 has 32 coverage types and Tier 2 has 26 coverage types. This ensures students are protected.


  • If a student does not have insurance coverage and is hit by a car while jaywalking, breaking their leg. They will require an ambulance, a hospital stay, possible surgery, and medications. With insurance, these items are covered. Without insurance, this scenario could cost thousands of dollars.
  • In a worst-case scenario, if a student is killed and their remains need to be sent back to their family, with insurance this is covered. Without insurance, this could their family: $50,000+
  • Any scenario without insurance will cost more than you pay to have the plan. 

We do not share these scenarios to scare you. We share them to show you how critically important it is to have insurance coverage for your own well-being.



What are my health insurance options?


Option Requirements Outcome
1 If you do not have MSI you are required to participate in the full plan.


Registration in Tier 1.
2 If you have MSI and it expires before August 31, 2024, you are required to participate in the full plan.


Registration in Tier 1.
3 If you have MSI that expires on or after August 31, 2024, you are eligible to opt out of Tier 1 and are required to register in Tier 2. Registration in Tier 2 (Opt out of Tier 1)
4 If you have MSI and alternative health insurance provided by your employer you are eligible to withdraw from the plan. Opt out of both Tier 1 and Tier 2


What are the rates?

CBU Tier 1: 

Annual $1,283

Jan to Aug (8 months) $855.34

May to Aug (4 months) $641.50


CBU Tier 2:

Annual $620

Jan to Aug (8 months) $413.34

May to Aug (4 months) $310.00

Why am I committed to the plan for a full year?

This insurance plans always runs until August each year. This ensures students have insurance throughout the summer when accidents and healthcare issues can still arise. Although students may not be studying in the summer, CBU is not willing to take the risk of students being uninsured during this time. Even if your studies end in May, you are covered through to the end of August for your protection.

Does CBU profit or see financial gain from Insurance?

No, CBU does not profit financially from international student health insurance. Every cent of our students’ premiums goes into paying for their insurance plan.

Why was this particular plan chosen? is the number one international health insurer in the world. In consultation with the CBU Students’ Union, staff in the Nancy Dingwall Health and Counselling Centre and keeping in line with other universities in Atlantic Canada, this plan was the cheapest option with the best coverage, including enhanced prescription, vision and dental care.


Visit the website for more information and additional FAQ’s.

If you’d like to speak to someone about health insurance and you’re options, please visit the Student Advising Centre in the Marvin-Harvey Centre.

John Mayich

Director, Student Affairs