Health Insurance and Accessing Health Care Services

Your health insurance

At CBU, all international students are required to have health insurance through our group plan with TIC Travel Insurance. The plan provides comprehensive medical, dental and vision coverage and costs $732 per year. Find out more about this health insurance.

Once you have been in Canada for 12 consecutive months, you can apply for the Nova Scotia health care coverage through MSI. This is free health care, but does not cover everything. Learn more about MSI.

The policy year runs from September 1st to August 31st. If you’re starting university at a different time of year, you’ll still be added to the plan, but the cost of your plan will be pro-rated.

You’ll need to present your insurance card to access health care. This card, along with blank claim forms and your policy information, will be mailed to you by the beginning of October, but your insurance coverage begins on September 1st.

Where to get health care

Most situations do not require a visit to the emergency room. Unless you have a true emergency, you should visit a clinic, speak with a pharmacist or call 811 for healthcare assistance. See a list of places to get help if you are sick.

CBU’s Max Bell Health Centre is conveniently located health clinic on campus and has a full-time nurse and part-time doctor. The clinic can usually fit you in within a day.

There are other clinics in the area as well. Sydney’s main clinic is the Sydney Walk-In Clinic at 336 Kings Road, and you can find other clinics by doing a quick Google search for ‘health clinics in Sydney, NS’.

Please note: The hospital’s emergency room is for emergencies only. The Cape Breton Health Authority assesses patients when they arrive and treat the most serious illnesses and injuries first. If your situation is not an emergency, you could wait for hours.

Using your health card

Make sure to show your health insurance card before receiving treatment from any health care provider. If you have MSI, you must also present your MSI card. Find out more about using your health card.

If you don’t show your card when you visit a healthcare provider, they may require you to pay them directly. Since this can be very expensive, we recommend printing out your health insurance card and keeping it with you.

If you have health insurance, but are asked to pay when you receive service at a health care provider, you can submit a claim to the insurance company for the amount that’s covered by your plan. The insurance company will return some or all of the money you paid, depending on the service and coverage in your plan.

Donalda Johnston-Roper
International Student Advisor

Office: B 117-4

Phone: 902.563.1278