UHIP Enrolment and Coverage
If you are an international student, your health care is covered by a private insurance company, in most cases the University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP).
If you are a new or returning degree-earning international student registered with the university, then you will be automatically enrolled in the University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP) for the 12-month period running from Sept. 1 to Aug. 31 of the current academic year.
If you are an exchange student, you will be automatically enrolled in UHIP for the duration of the period for which you are attending the university.
If you are not registered (which could be caused due to a co-op term, etc.) you will have to register for UHIP yourself. In order to do so, visit the Laurier International offices on either the Brantford or Waterloo campuses.
You must obtain your UHIP card online (see next section).
Obtaining Your UHIP Card
You will want to obtain your UHIP card upon arrival in Canada so that any health or medical issues are covered while you study here. You will need to present your card when visiting a health care or medical service provider. You can register online and print your card prior to arriving.
Note: You must already be enrolled as a student to enrol for UHIP.
In order to register, you will need the following information ready:
- Your date of birth.
- Your Canadian postal code.
- The contract/policy number (050150).
- Your certificate/member ID (Laurier students use the two letter prefix WL followed by their 9 digit student number; i.e., for a student with the student ID 999999999 the member ID would be WL999999999).
- Your MyLaurier email address.
After completing this step, you will be given a Sun Life access ID. This is not your UHIP coverage card. You are almost there though; just follow the following instructions on how to print your coverage card.
Once printed, carry this card with you. It must be presented for service at a health care or medical service provider. You can also carry an electronic version by downloading the my Sun Life Mobile app, which will also allow you to view your claims.
For further assistance, contact Laurier International or the Sun Life Financial Customer Care Centre at 1.866.500.UHIP (8447). Their multilingual call centre is available any business day from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. You can also chck out Sun Life's information page on registering and using your card.
UHIP Charges and Payment
Annual UHIP fees will be automatically applied to your student account (LORIS) and paid together with your tuition fees. The enrolment period for UHIP is a 12-month period that runs from Sept. 1 to Aug. 31. The annual student premium for the 2015/16 academic school year is $612 if you have no dependants. The fee may change slightly for 2016/17.
Enrolling a dependant child or partner for the year is $612 (2015/16); enrolling one UHIP member and one dependant for the year is $1,224; and enrolling one UHIP member and one or more dependants (a family) for the year is $1,836.
If you are an exchange student, your UHIP premium will be based on the number of months you will be attending Laurier. For the 2015/16 academic school year the monthly UHIP premium is $51.
For a complete list of costs associated with UHIP, including those for dependants, see the UHIP Premium Table on "All About UHIP" (scroll down the page).
Since enrolment periods are annual, running from Sept. 1 to Aug. 31, enrolling at different times of the year can be confusing. In order to clarify different arrival times, see "When will my UHIP coverage begin?"
Any students arriving earlier than when the term starts can receive coverage beginning from the tenth of the month in which the student starts their studies.
If you are a newly admitted international student and are planning to arrive in Canada more than 20 days before the beginning of term (i.e., before Aug. 10 for the fall session, Dec. 10 for the winter session, or April 10 for the summer session), then you are required to purchase private insurance to cover the period of time before your UHIP coverage takes effect.
If you are a registered student and you will be arriving in Canada less than 20 days before the beginning of term, email Laurier International about temporary bridge coverage.
If you are a new international student and will begin your studies at Laurier during the winter term (January), you are required to enrol in UHIP for the winter and summer terms. Your UHIP coverage will start on the date that the academic semester begins and will end on Aug. 31. If you have been charged the full-year UHIP premium of $612 (2015/16), visit the Laurier International office to adjust the premium.
If you are a new international student and will begin your studies at Laurier during the summer session (May), then you are required to enrol in UHIP for the summer session. UHIP coverage will start on the date that the academic semester begins and end on Aug. 31.
International Exchange Students
UHIP is compulsory for all international exchange students. If you are covered by a health plan in your home country, you are still required to purchase UHIP insurance. For further information, please refer to UHIP Exemptions below.
Extensions to your UHIP coverage can be permitted depending on circumstances including graduation, travel in Canada, extension of authorization documents, and emergency hospitalization on coverage end date. However, only one extension can be granted. All coverage extensions must be approved by the university. In order to do so, visit the Laurier International office on either the Waterloo or Brantford campus.
June Convocation (Maximum two-month UHIP extension)
Although you graduate in June your enrollment in UHIP lasts until Aug. 31 and you will therefore be covered for convocation. This post-graduation extension is part of the UHIP 12-month enrolment period and you are not able to opt out. UHIP will not provide coverage for more than two months after graduation.
November Convocation (Maximum two-month UHIP extension)
If you will graduate in November, then you have the option of extending your UHIP coverage for a period of two months (i.e. September and October of the graduation year). UHIP will not provide coverage for more than two months after graduation. In order to apply for this extension and make your payment you will need to visit the Laurier International office on either campus.
Returning Canadians and OHIP Waiting Period
New permanent residents and returning Canadian citizens are subject to a three-month waiting period before their Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) coverage becomes effective. In the interim, you are required to find alternative coverage for this period of time and are eligible for UHIP.
The steps to do this are:
- Apply for OHIP. This can be done at any Service Ontario Centre. You will need to have a number of documents with you to prove your eligibility for OHIP. Please refer to the Service Ontario website for a list of required documents and the application form.
- Provide the university with proof of OHIP (either the card itself or the temporary coverage). Proof of OHIP coverage must be submitted to the Laurier International office on either campus.
- The UHIP charge will subsequently appear on your LORIS account in two to three weeks.
Note: You will be required to pay the UHIP premiums for the period in which you are covered by UHIP. Once you are enrolled in OHIP, information must be provided to the university so that payments can be stopped.
One way you may be alternatively covered is through a pre-approved plan (listed below). In order to receive coverage under one of the pre-approved plans and opt out of UHIP, you must provide proof of this coverage to the Laurier International office on either campus.
- Canadian International Development Agency Health Care Plan
- Canadian Bureau for International Education Health Care Plan
- Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan
- International Council for Canadian Studies Plan
- National Insurance Office for Social Insurance Abroad (Norway)
- World University Service of Canada Plan
- Embassy of Kuwait
- Interim Federal Health Care Plan
- Health Economic Administration, HELFO Abroad
- Saudi Cultural Bureau
For insurance plans not listed under pre-approved plans, you may apply for an exemption directly to Sun Life. You must submit an exemption application no more than 45 days after you join UHIP. Applications received after 45 days will be automatically declined. To apply for an exemption, you must complete a Certification of UHIP Exemption Form.
Your submitted application does not guarantee an exemption from UHIP. While waiting for Sun Life's decision, you must remain enrolled in UHIP and pay the required premium. All exemption decisions are valid only for that academic year. If you are provided an exemption from Sun Life, you may be eligible for a refund of the UHIP premium. For more information, see the next section.
You may be eligible for a partial refund of your UHIP premium if one of the following applies to you:
- You withdraw from your academic program voluntarily or at the request of the university.
- You complete your academic program.
- You are not in regular attendance, as defined for the program in which you are enrolled.
- You have dependent family members who have left Canada.
- You become eligible for OHIP coverage.
- You are granted a UHIP exemption.
If you are eligible for a refund, you must apply for it as early as possible. Timing is very important and will affect the amount of refund you receive (see Refund Application Process and Deadline below for more information).
You are not eligible to receive any refund of your UHIP premium for scheduled breaks between terms, if this is the only period for which you are applying for a refund.
Refund Application Process and Deadline
To apply for a refund, you must fill out a Request for Refund/Refund Appeal Form and submit your completed application to the Laurier International office on either campus.
Refund applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis until Feb. 28. Refund applications will not be accepted from March 1 to Aug. 31. If you apply on the first of the month, you will still be charged the full monthly premium. You are financially responsible for every month in which you have active UHIP coverage. Refunds will not be made retroactively.
International students who have recently changed their legal status in Canada from "international student" to "permanent resident" must ensure that their legal status with Laurier is updated. If your international student status is not updated, a UHIP coverage charge will be added to your account each academic year.
- More information on UHIP refunds, such as refund calculations and appealing the refund decision.
UHIP coverage may also be extended to your eligible dependant family member(s). A spouse or common-law partner (including same-sex spouse or common-law partner) and/or children are considered eligible dependants. Other family members (i.e. siblings or parents) are not eligible for UHIP coverage.
Unlike students, dependants are not automatically enrolled in UHIP. You are required to enrol your dependant family member(s) within 30 days of their arrival in Canada. You must be enrolled in UHIP in order to enrol your eligible dependants.
- More information on enrolling dependants and on their eligibility, premiums, and coverage.
What is Covered?
UHIP is meant to provide students with basic health care while studying at university. While travelling in Canada you are entitled to coverage equal to what Ontario would provide for you. While travelling outside of Canada you receive minimal coverage; you are suggested to obtain travel insurance while you travel outside of Canada.
Information on what is covered may change, so check the UHIP website for current information.
Finding a Clinic or Doctor
Not all health care and medical service providers accept UHIP and, in some cases, you will need to pay out of pocket before being reimbursed. Before requiring medical attention, you should familiarize yourself with where you would receive health and medical services. You can do this by checking the Preferred Provider Network to find locations for clinics and doctors near you.
While you may choose where you seek medical or health services, Laurier does have comprehensive health services conveniently located on both the Waterloo and Brantford campuses, offered through the wellness centres. Some of the Laurier wellness centre services are covered under your student fees and do not require you to make a claim.
Making a Claim
Valid proof of health care coverage is necessary prior to receiving medical services in Canada and you will be required to present your UHIP card to receive service. When visiting a preferred provider (a provider that accepts UHIP), the health care or medical provider will record your information and bill Sun Life, the insurance provider, directly towards medical consultation fees.
In the event that you are billed for medical consultation fees, you will need to request reimbursement (make a claim) from Sun Life. To request reimbursement, you must complete a claim form and get an official receipt for services from the health care or medical service providers (be sure to keep a photocopy of your bill). Completed forms must be submitted directly to Sun Life.
See the "How to submit a claim" tutorial for step-by-step instructions on the process.
Note: Some health care providers may charge the Ontario Medical Association rate – a significantly higher rate than UHIP or OHIP, the Ontario Health Insurance Plan for permanent Ontario residents. You will be reimbursed the UHIP rate only. It is important to speak with the health care provider beforehand about medical rates.