Extended Health Insurance

All international students enrolled at Western University are automatically enrolled in the University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP) which is your basic health insurance plan. In addition, full-time students are also enrolled in an extended health insurance plan outlined below based on your student status. For a more detailed overview of what is covered by UHIP or the extended healthcare plans, please review the Health Care, Health Insurance and Wellness in Canada module or visit the links below to the main website for each extended health insurance plan.


University Students’ Council (USC) USC Extended Benefit Health & Dental Plan (PurpleCARE)

Eligibility: Full-time Undergraduate Students and MBA Students Registered at Ivey

The plan is not a replacement for, but a supplement to the benefits provided by UHIP.  It includes some coverage of prescription drugs, as well as basic dental care and vision coverage. Please visit the PurpleCARE website for more information.  


Society of Graduate Students (SOGS) Student Health and Dental Plan

Eligibility: Full-time Graduate Students

Full-time graduate students are also enrolled in an extended health insurance plan through SOGS which covers some medical expenses related to prescriptions, physiotherapy, dentist, eye care, etc. International students are required to be enrolled in both the UHIP and SOGS health plans, unless they have an approved equivalent plan.  Visit sogs.ca/healthplan/ for full details.

The plan is not a replacement for, but a supplement to the benefits provided by UHIP. To access your benefits card and online submissions forms, you will need to register online with Student Care. Once registered, your benefit card can be picked up at the SOGS office.

Teaching Assistants - PSAC Local 610

Full-time registered graduate students who hold a GTA (Graduate Teaching Assistant) position and other members of the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) Local 610 at Western have access to the union's Extended Health Plan (EHP). Members receive health benefits that are not offered through UHIP and the SOGS health plans. This plan is a supplement to a GTA’s existing health insurance coverage (e.g., UHIP, SOGS Health & Dental Plan, private insurance). The Extended Health Plan acts as a rebate system that covers both physical and mental health costs up to $1,000/year.  Visit https://www.psac610.ca/teaching-assistant-benefits for full details.


Residents of Ontario

Canadian citizens and Permanent Residents who live in Ontario are eligible to apply for OHIP coverage.

Permanent Resident Applicants

Students who have submitted an application for permanent residence in Canada, and who have received confirmation from Citizenship and Immigration Canada that they meet the eligibility requirements to apply for permanent residence in Canada are eligible for OHIP coverage.

Students who have applied for permanent residence through the Federal Skilled Worker Program may experience delays in the OHIP application process. If you are a student in this situation, please contact iesc@uwo.ca for more information.

Open Work Permit Holders

Open Work Permit holders (including spouses of international students, and holders of a post-graduation work permit) may be eligible for Ontario health insurance coverage provided they are employed full-time with an employer in Ontario for a minimum of six months, have a valid Work Permit during this time, and they:

  • Maintain their primary place of residence in Ontario; and are
  • Physically present in Ontario for at least 153 days in any 12-month period; and are
  • Physically present in Ontario for 153 of the first 183 days immediately after establishing residency in the Ontario.

For more detailed information about OHIP eligibility and the changes to the OHIP eligibility rules:

If you have questions about your eligibility for OHIP coverage under the new policies, please contact:


Your local Service Ontario Office
217 York St, 5th Floor (near Clarence Street)

Note: This information was provided by service Ontario Staff and is not currently available on the Ontario Ministry of Health website. These procedures could change at any time without notice.

OHIP Waiting Period

If you are a new permanent resident or a returning Canadian citizen, then you can purchase UHIP for the three-month waiting period before your OHIP coverage becomes effective.

The steps to do this are:

Private Insurance Providers

If you are not eligible for UHIP or OHIP, here are a few insurance companies who provide health insurance coverage:

Please note the above list if not extensive. Insurance cost and coverage may vary.  Make sure to research your options and choose what is best for your needs.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance is recommended for family or friends coming to visit you while you are studying in Canada. In addition, travel insurance is recommended if you will be travelling outside of Ontario.

Note: It is advised that you contact several companies to compare the cost as well as the health care coverage provided, as this can vary greatly from company to company. Some banks and credit card companies (e.g., Visa, Mastercard) also offer basic travel insurance plans for short trips. Contact information can be found on the back of your credit or debit card.

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