- NEW: Opt Out of Fall 2020 / Winter 2021 Coverage
- What UHIP covers, where UHIP can be used, and submitting claim forms
- Being exempted, post-graduation coverage and alternative coverage options
The University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP) applies to the following two groups of students at Carleton:
- international students (including exchange);
- registered students with domestic status/paying domestic fees who are not yet eligible for the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP).
This page provides information about enrollment, what UHIP covers, making claims, and more for students. If you are a staff member wanting to enroll in UHIP, please visit our UHIP for Staff page.
CAUTION! Learn more about COVID-19 health scams in Canada in this recent ISSO post.
As a result of residing outside of Canada, international students studying in the Fall 2020 and/or Winter 2021 term are eligible to opt out of the University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP).
If you have chosen or choose to leave Canada voluntarily during the academic year, your UHIP cannot be terminated as it will cover some emergency out-of-country expenses. No refund will apply in this case.
Enrollment in the University Health Insurance Plan, (UHIP), is mandatory for all international students enrolled into a degree program at participating Ontario universities including Carleton University.
Sun Life Financial (the insurance company) will email your UHIP card to your Carleton University email. Please keep this email, if you lose/misplace your card, you can always refer back to this email. Print off your UHIP card and carry it with you at all times as you will need to show it to the doctor/hospital for all visits.
- What is the coverage period for UHIP?
The UHIP year follows the academic year which is September 1 to August 31. The annual UHIP premium table will provide the coverage amounts and details for the academic year. Should you make a complete class withdrawal, your UHIP will be terminated immediately. The UHIP premium will be added to your student account based on your terms of registration. Your UHIP coverage remains active while you are registered in classes. At any point should you make a complete withdrawal from all classes, your UHIP coverage will be terminated immediately.
- Is UHIP mandatory for Exchange and Special Status students, and how do they enroll in UHIP?
Exchange students and those with Special student status are automatically enrolled in UHIP at the time of course registration for the terms they are registered.
As an exchange student, even if you have other insurance plans from your respective country/university, UHIP is still a mandatory requirement. You are, therefore, advised to not purchase another insurance plan to cover you while you are studying at Carleton.
- How much does UHIP cost for students?
Rates for 2020-2021
Start date (degree students) Member for 12 mos to Aug 31, 2021 Member + 1 Dependent Member + 2 or more dependents September 2020 $720 $1,1440 $2,160 January 2021 $480 $960 $1,440 Special/Exchange Students Coverage per term (4 mos) $240 $480 $720
- How do I add dependents to my UHIP plan?
If you are enrolled as a Carleton student and have dependents (children and/or spouse) with you in Canada, you must enroll them in UHIP (University Health Insurance) plan. You can do so by completing the UHIP Enrolment Form 2020 (PDF) and sending it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The UHIP amount to be paid for your dependents will be calculated from their arrival date in Canada and the duration of their stay. The UHIP premium will be added to your student account.
The cost of the UHIP premium for family members depends on the number of people covered and the duration of their stay. The UHIP Premium Table outlines the premiums on a monthly basis.
If you are a graduate student and wish to add dependents to the drug/dental plan, you must visit the GSA (Graduate Students’ Association) on the 6th floor of the University Centre. If you are an undergraduate student, you can enroll your family members in CUSA’s (Carleton University Students’ Association) drug and dental plan. Deadline dates apply.
As a student, you are considered the UHIP ‘member’ and your UHIP will automatically be added to your student account, however, for dependents, you must return to the ISSO at the start of each September to add your family into UHIP.
Note: You must enroll your dependents within thirty (30) days of their arrival in Canada. If you fail to do so, Sun Life will charge you a late administration fee of $500, plus retroactive premiums. All plan details can be found here.
- Are students covered by UHIP during a co-op term?
You will remain covered under the UHIP plan while on your co-op work term. You will not, however, be covered under the drug/dental plan administered by Carleton University Students’ Association (CUSA) and the Graduate Students’ Association (GSA). In order to remain in the drug/dental plan, it is required that you visit the respective office to remain enrolled in the plan while you are on your work term.
If you are completing your coop term in Quebec, please read our FAQ for students residing in Quebec below.
- I am a student completing my co-op term or residing in Quebec. What does this mean for my UHIP coverage?
Some guidelines for UHIP and students living out of province:
- There are no Preferred Providers in Quebec.
- Guidelines for out of province claims can be found on UHIP’s page (Emergency services outside of Ontario and in Canada).
- Emergency means any unexpected sickness or injury first occurring during the coverage period, which requires immediate medical treatment to relieve acute pain and suffering.
- Covid 19 tests: tests are available if you have symptoms because that is considered an emergency (unexpected). Please go to a testing centre (see: https://santemontreal.qc.ca/en/public/coronavirus-covid-19/ for additional information).
- If you have any medical conditions or take prescription medication, please ensure that you take care of this prior to your departure with your current doctor/clinic. This way you will avoid unnecessary out of pocket expenses.
- If you are admitted to the hospital please contact email@example.com
- If you do pay for emergency health care, please ensure that your UHIP claim form. has full details (specifically section 5- you need to list the reason you needed medical attention). For example, fractured leg, difficulty breathing, etc.
- UHIP claims can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org (subject line: Policy 50150, Member ID CU…..). It is imperative that you submit your proof of payment and your Claim Form in order for Sun Life to process your claim,
If you are on a co-op work term in the province of Quebec you may want to check and see if you are eligible for Quebec provincial health insurance with more details at https://www.ramq.gouv.qc.ca/en. If you are successful in getting Quebec medial health coverage, scan proof to email@example.com and we will terminate your UHIP coverage and credit your Carleton student account the unused balance. You need either UHIP or provincial medical health coverage, but not both.
Drug/dental coverage while on Co-op work term: Although you remain covered under UHIP while on your Co-op work term, such is not the case for the drug/dental plan. If you are an undergraduate student, you are strongly encouraged to do a manual enrollment for this plan with more details on the CUSA Health Plan page. If you are a graduate student, visit the GSA Health Plan page. Opt-in deadlines apply.
More information can be found on UHIP’s website.
- Are domestic students eligible for UHIP? How can they enroll/unenroll?
Students who are coming to study at Carleton and have domestic status/paying domestic fees will NOT be automatically enrolled in UHIP. You must complete the UHIP Enrolment Form 2020 (PDF) and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can visit Service Ontario to see if you are eligible for Ontario Health Insurance (OHIP) and if approved, must provide proof ISSO. At such time, your UHIP will be terminated and your student account adjusted accordingly. Details on OHIP eligibility and how to apply can be found on the Government of Ontario’s website.
- Can students with an approved Leave of Absence (LOA) be covered by UHIP?
If you are a Graduate student and have been approved for a Leave of Absence (LOA) from your program of study, you can request to have your UHIP kept intact for a 4 month period (must provide proof). Sun Life will approve only one LOA request per 12 month period.
- What does UHIP cover?
UHIP is a basic and primary health care plan and it covers a number of services such as:
- Hospital services such as; emergency room services, non-emergency hospitalization etc. (Limitations may apply. See above) Sun Life must be notified within 48 hours of any hospital stay expected to exceed 72 hours in duration.
- Physician’s services, for example, annual health examination, diagnosis & treatment of illness and injuries, care related to pregnancy etc. and
- Miscellaneous, for example, diagnostic and x-ray services, emergency ambulances etc.
- Pre and postnatal care
- One eye exam per year if you are under the age of 20 or over the age of 65.
- UHIP reimburses physicians at a rate of 125% of the OHIP rate. Each medical test/assessment has a corresponding ‘OHIP code’ and cost and UHIP will pay 125% of that cost. Anything over and above that 125% will be the responsibility of the student/member to pay.
UHIP does NOT cover dental costs and prescription medication.
- What is the difference between UHIP and the CUSA/GSA Drugs & Dental plan?
UHIP does NOT cover dental costs and prescription medication. See table below.
- Undergraduate students should contact *Carleton University Student’s Association (CUSA) for details on the Accident, Dental and Drug Plan. Make sure to note opt-in and opt-out deadlines.
- Graduate students can find more details on their Health, Dental and Accident plan on the GSA’s website or visit the GSA (Graduate Student’s Association, 6th Floor University Centre). Make sure to note opt-in and opt-out dates.
The CUSA/GSA supplemental plan charges will be added to your account automatically provided a) you start your studies in fall; b) you are registered full-time. If you are starting studies in the Winter term, you must opt-in to the supplemental plan by visiting either CUSA or the GSA. Opt-in deadlines apply.
- Dependents can be added to the drug/dental plans. Opt-in deadlines apply. Visit the appropriate office for details.
Service UHIP CUSA/GSA supplemental plan Doctor visit Yes NO Hospital visit Yes NO X-rays Yes NO Blood work Yes NO Dental NO Yes Eye glasses NO Yes Prescription drugs NO Yes Physio NO Yes Massage Therapy NO Yes Out of country Travel NO Yes
- Where can I use UHIP?
UHIP is considered private insurance and not all medical providers will accept your UHIP card. Here are some guidelines for you when looking to find a doctor/medical clinic
- Students are encouraged to use Health and Counselling Services (HCS), 2600 CTTC Building, Carleton University (Note: for members only. Dependents (spouse/children) cannot visit the on-campus clinic).
- If not convenient, students are encouraged to find a ‘preferred provider* on the International Health Care Network. This group of medical practitioners has partnered with Sun Life and will do direct billing to Sun Life, so no immediate out-of-pocket expense to you. It is recommended you call the doctor/clinic in advance to confirm they are still a member of the ‘preferred provider network’.
- It is not mandatory to use a ‘preferred provider’; however, it is convenient as they do direct billing to Sun Life, so there is no immediate payment required by you.
Note: If you visit a clinic that is not part of the Student Health Network, you may have to pay for the medical services upfront. Note that additional administrative charges may apply when visiting a clinic or medical centre off-campus. If you have to pay upfront for any medical services, you will have to complete and submit a Claim Form to Sun Life for reimbursement. Details and information on how to complete and submit a Claim Form can be found in an FAQ below.
In case of a serious medical issue:
- If you or a member of your family is hospitalized or intending to be hospitalized for more than 48 hours, it is important to notify the UHIP insurer as soon as possible of this admission.
- If you choose to be treated at or are admitted to a hospital that is not on the Preferred Hospital network, it is possible that you will have to pay expenses in addition to what UHIP pays.
- If you or a member of your family is hospitalized in a hospital not in the preferred hospital network, with 48 hours’ notice the UHIP insurer may relocate you to another hospital of its choice if the transfer is approved by your attending physician.
- Please check the preferred hospital network listing or call the UHIP insurer, in advance, to verify whether the hospital you intend to visit currently has an agreement with the insurer at +1 866-500-UHIP (8447) toll-free.
- I feel unwell and have cold and flu like symptoms, what should I do?
Students feeling unwell with cold, flu and/or COVID-19 like symptoms should consider the following:
- Monitor symptom severity and connect with a health care professional for persistent and worsening symptoms
- Contact Health and Counselling Services at (613) 520-6674 to make a virtual appointment with a member of their medical team (Monday to Friday 8:30am – 4:30pm)
- For suspected symptoms of or possible exposure to COVID-19, students should complete a Self-Assessment and/or contact Ottawa Public Health. Students advised to get tested for COVID-19 should follow public health guidelines and visit a Testing Centre.
- Students needing support outside of Health and Counselling Services’ regular business hours for a non-life-threatening medical issue that requires immediate attention, can consider attending a walk-in clinic to see a doctor without making an appointment. It is recommended that international students visit one of the Preferred Provider Network clinics to avoid extra fees not covered by the University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP). It is not mandatory to use a ‘preferred provider’; however, it is convenient as there is no immediate out-of-pocket expense to students with a valid UHIP card.
- Students are reminded to only seek medical attention from emergency services (i.e. by attending a hospital emergency room) if you believe you have a serious medical condition or acute injury. In Canada, waiting times to see doctors in the hospital are based on the severity of the medical condition, and emergency rooms are usually very busy and waiting times can be very long.
- How do I submit a claim form?
If you visit a medical practitioner who is NOT part of the Preferred Provider Network you may have to pay for the services provided (referred to as ‘making a claim’). If you do, then you will have to complete a Claim Form and submit the claim form along with invoice details given to you by the doctor/clinic and send via postal mail to Sun Life at the address listed on the back of the claim form. Be sure to keep a copy of all paperwork for your records.
On the back of the claim form, section 3: If you paid money to the doctor/clinic, be sure to check the box that says Payment is to be made to member.
If you were invoiced by the doctor/clinic but paid nothing, check the second box that says Payment is to be made directly to the provider, so that Sun Life will pay the doctor/clinic directly.
- Can I be exempted?
- Typically all international students, their dependents, exchange and special students, visiting scholars and their families and non-resident Carleton Employees are required to enroll in UHIP. However, only those covered under a pre-approved plan can be exempted from UHIP
- If you have insurance coverage under any one of these pre-approved plans, please bring proof to ISSO
- Students/employees covered under a plan other than a pre-approved plan must join UHIP and pay the required premium before applying for an exemption.
- If you have coverage with a non-pre-approved provider and would like to apply to be exempted from UHIP, be sure to review the exemption checklist to see if your plan is comparable with UHIP and if so, complete an Exemption Form and submit to the Case Management team at Sun Life for review. All details must be provided in either English or French. Be sure to include all details of your home plan (inclusions and exclusions) and email Sun Life Case Management for review. If approved, the UHIP fees will be removed from your student account.
Exemption deadline: You have 45 days from the start of the academic year to apply for the exemption.
Diplomatic Insurance Coverage and Interim Federal Health Certificate/Incoming Exchange Students
- International students who are diplomats/dependents of (spouse or son/daughter) of diplomats may have acceptable health insurance plans with their Embassy or High Commission and UHIP is not required. If however, you are under your parent’s diplomatic health coverage, and they have left the country, it is your responsibility to enrol in the UHIP plan.
- For the students who are being covered under the Interim Federal Health Certificate, you are eligible for exemption from UHIP. Proof of this certificate must be submitted to the UHIP Administrator at the beginning of every school year.
Do I need medical insurance before I come to Canada?
- No, an immigration officer may request proof of your ability to pay for any health care which may be required in Canada
- You should not purchase health insurance before you leave as you will be required to purchase UHIP when you get here
What happens if I withdraw from school?
- If you are considering withdrawing from classes, your UHIP health coverage will be terminated from the day you withdraw
- It is imperative that you visit the ISSO regarding any change in your status, the implications it has on your UHIP and potentially your immigration status
- You will also have to make a direct request for a refund of the unused portion of your UHIP premium paid
- I'm graduating. Can I extend my coverage? What are my options?
Completing your Academic Program and graduating? You can extend your UHIP coverage!
If you’re an international student living in Canada and you’re about to graduate, it’s important to consider how you will protect you and your family in case of an emergency. You may be planning to travel or stay in Canada following your graduation. If that’s the case below are some options you may wish to consider.
- If Fall 2020 is your last term of study and you are graduating in November 2020 or February 2021, you can extend your UHIP for up to 6 months (to June 30, 2021).
- To extend your coverage, complete the UHIP Enrolment Form (PDF) and check the box ‘Graduation pending’ and email to email@example.com for processing. Be sure to include proof of your application to graduate.
- The premium will be $360 (single coverage) and charged to your student account.
- Your coverage remains limited to emergencies, no matter where in Canada you may be.
- If you have received a Post Graduation Work Permit and have secured full time employment for a minimum of 6 months (with same employer), check to see about applying for the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP). If you get approved for OHIP and still have UHIP coverage, contact the ISSO and provide proof of OHIP start date and your UHIP will be terminated and your student account credited with unused portion. You need to have either UHIP or OHIP but not both.
- If you have been registered in classes as a Special student, you have UHIP coverage only for the terms you are registered. If you are still in Canada but not registered in classes, you should obtain private medical health insurance.
Private Health Insurance
If you do not qualify for provincial health insurance coverage you should strongly consider purchasing private health insurance. The following are just a few options that are provided for your convenience only and do not necessarily imply an endorsement by Carleton University. ISSO or Carleton University cannot be held responsible for information and materials found on these sites. While ISSO has tried to verify all the information as much as possible, students are advised to research their options and contact the insurance company before they enroll themselves or their families into any insurance plans.
Here are some other examples of health insurance companies that you may want to consider. Do your research and find the plan that best suits your needs.
- If Fall 2020 is your last term of study and you are graduating in November 2020 or February 2021, you can extend your UHIP for up to 6 months (to June 30, 2021).