Student health insurance


Health insurance is required for all residents of British Columbia, including students.

There are two types of medical insurance coverage:

  • basic health insurance — the Medical Services Plan (MSP) for BC residents or private insurance that is the equivalent of the government-provided MSP and covers most doctor and hospital services.
  • extended health insurance — this builds upon basic health insurance and covers a wider range of medical services, such as dental and vision care.

You still need to have basic medical insurance, if you decide to pay for additional coverage with extended health insurance.

Health insurance for international students

If you're a new international student in a degree program, you're required to purchase basic health insurance directly from International Insurance. The cost is $198 for 3 months coverage and you must purchase before the start of your program, ideally before you travel to Canada. 

If you are already covered by MSP, you can opt out from purchasing health insurance by submitting a Student Declaration Of MSP Coverage to before your program start date. International Insurance may contact Royal Roads University to verify your enrolment and eligibility for the insurance plan. By purchasing the insurance plan, you consent to Royal Roads University releasing information about your current enrolment status to International Insurance.

BC Medical Services Plan

If you stay in BC for more than six months of the year

You're required to register for basic health coverage through the BC Medical Services Plan (MSP) if you will stay in BC for more than six months.

To register for MSP you need to do the following:

  • apply within 10 days of arriving in BC
  • provide a valid study permit

Find information and application forms on the BC MSP website.

When you're an MSP member, you have basic coverage for hospital and doctors' visits, as well as most diagnostic tests. Dentist visits and vision care are generally not covered by MSP.

If you'll stay in BC for fewer than six months

You're not required to have MSP coverage if you're in BC for fewer than six months. However, you must still get basic health insurance for the duration of your stay. We recommend that you set this up before you arrive in BC. You can purchase your insurance directly from

Extended health insurance

Extended health insurance does not replace basic health insurance coverage.

There are several options for extended health insurance.

  • If you're a RRUSA member in an on campus program: You will receive extended health and dental insurance through the Royal Roads Undergraduate Student Association (RRUSA). You'll be automatically enrolled when you begin your studies.
    The extended health care plan offers dental, vision, and prescription coverage, as well as travel benefits. The cost is collected as part of your ancillary fees.
  • If you're not eligible for the RRUSA extended health benefits: You can buy extended health insurance directly from a range of insurance providers. Email Student Services for more information.

Walk-in clinics

Walk-in clinics are doctor's offices that you can visit without an appointment. They are located all over Victoria and have convenient hours.

Find walk-in clinics near Royal Roads.

Check current clinic wait times.

Alternative medicine

Alternative medicine includes medical practices such as Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda, naturopathy and homeopathy.

These services are not covered by MSP but may be covered by extended health plans.

Staying healthy

Studying can be very stressful. It’s important to keep balance in your life. A trip to the gym, taking a yoga class, or even going for a walk on some of the trails on campus can help you relax.

The on-campus Recreation Centre is free to current Royal Roads students and provides access to weights and cardiovascular machines and classes.

The BC Travel and Tourism website gives an overview of some of outdoor activities available locally.


If you need help with medical insurance email Student Services.