Quebec Health Insurance Plan for International Students

In this iPMI Global, plans and products article, international private medical insurance market analyst and report author Ian Youngman, looks at health insurance plans for international students visiting Quebec, Canada.

  • In Canada each individual province determines the rules on healthcare, and they significantly vary from each other.
  • Some provinces offer cover to international students while some others do not.
  • Canada has a public healthcare system that offers government health services to citizens and permanent residents, but the decision as to whether to extend this to temporary residents (including international students) varies by province.
  • For international students in Quebec, understanding whether they are eligible for public health insurance through the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ) is essential.
  • Quebec has social security agreements with several countries that can affect health coverage for students from those nations.
  • These agreements often allow students to benefit from RAMQ under certain conditions, simplifying access to healthcare services during their stay.
  • Some of the countries included in these agreements are France, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, Romania, and Sweden, among others. Students from these countries need to provide proof of similar health coverage from their home country to qualify for RAMQ coverage.
  • While RAMQ provides comprehensive coverage, there are some limitations and exclusions specific to international students:
  • There may be a three-month waiting period before cover becomes active, during which they are advised to obtain private health insurance.
  • RAMQ does not cover health services outside Quebec.
  • Services like dental care, vision care, and certain elective procedures are not covered by RAMQ and might require additional private insurance.
  • Many will still need to purchase a private health insurance plan to meet the conditions of the study permit and to provide necessary health cover while in Quebec.
  • Many educational institutions offer specific insurance plans for their international students.
  • After completing studies, if they apply for and receive a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP), they are eligible for RAMQ.

About the Author

Ian Youngman is an independent writer and researcher specialising in insurance. He writes regularly for a variety of magazines, newsletters, and on-line services. He publishes a range of market reports, and undertakes research for companies. To read his latest report, International Health Insurance 2023, please click here, or visit the REPORTS section of iPMI Global.

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