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What is UHIP?

When you come to study or work at an Ontario university, you must have insurance to pay the cost of health care services and medical treatments. The University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP) is a mandatory health plan for all international non-residents studying or working at a participating university or affiliated college in Ontario. 

UHIP applies to:

  • international students studying in Ontario,
  • international employees working in Ontario who cannot get OHIP,
  • family members of international students and employees who are not eligible for OHIP, 
  • Canadian employees or other individuals who are satisfying the OHIP waiting period, and
  • short-term visitors associated with a participating university.

UHIP provides coverage for basic medical services and treatments you and your eligible dependants might need to maintain your health while living in Canada.

Further details regarding UHIP can be found in the UHIP booklet.

Why do you need UHIP?

The cost of medical services and treatments can be very expensive in Ontario. For example, a visit to the doctor or clinic could cost over $100. A trip to the hospital emergency room could cost over $1,000. 

Without proper insurance coverage, you are responsible to pay out-of-pocket for your medical fees. UHIP provides affordable insurance to help cover the cost of basic health services and medical treatments.

What is the difference between UHIP and Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP)?

OHIP provides basic medical health insurance for permanent residents of Ontario and is funded by provincial taxes, whereas UHIP provides similar coverage for international non-residents studying or working at an Ontario university. UHIP is a non-profit plan funded through member premiums. It is similar, though not equivalent, to OHIP.

To learn more about OHIP and the provincial health care system, visit the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care website: http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/ministry/hc_system/default.aspx

What does Sun Life do?

Sun Life Financial is the UHIP insurer and manages many important UHIP operations and procedures, including: 

  • issuing your personalized proof of coverage card (UHIP card),
  • processing claims and payments,
  • assessing premium refunds, exemptions and claim appeals, 
  • managing the Preferred Provider Network (PPN).

To learn more about Sun Life, visit www.sunlife.ca 

Who is eligible for UHIP?

You are eligible for UHIP if you are:

a) A student:

  • a full-time student with a valid study permit or temporary resident visa issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, registered in a degree program at an accredited and participating Ontario university or affiliated college and pursuing an undergraduate, graduate or post graduate degree; 
  • a part-time student who was previously enrolled as a full-time student and who has a valid study permit or temporary resident visa issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada. The part-time student must be registered in a degree program at an accredited and participating Ontario university or affiliated college and pursuing an undergraduate, graduate or post graduate degree.  The student may be enrolled as part-time student for a maximum of six semesters. 
  • A non-resident who is not entitled to OHIP coverage and who is a full-time student at a participating Ontario university and who may participate in a study-abroad or co-op work exchange program or receive a Letter of Permission to attend an overseas university for credit;
  • A non-resident student, who has not been classified under any other class above, who is not entitled to OHIP coverage and who is registered in an English as a Second Language and/or non-degree program at a participating university. On an annual basis, participating universities make a decision regarding UHIP coverage for English as a Second Language and/or non-degree programs. Coverage under UHIP is mandatory for all non-resident students registered in an English as a Second Language and/or Non-Degree program if the participating university elected to extend coverage under UHIP to the program in which they are registered. This coverage is limited to a maximum period of 2 years.

b) An employee:

  • an employee with a valid work permit issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, working in a participating Ontario university or affiliated college; 
  • a Canadian employee of a participating Ontario university or affiliated college, who has exhausted his/her lifetime extension of OHIP coverage and who is absent from Canada on approved university business (such as a sabbatical, special work term, or secondment);
  • a Canadian employee or other individual who is officially associated with a participating university, and who will be eligible and has applied for OHIP coverage during the 3 month waiting period for OHIP coverage. 

c) A dependant:

  • the legal, common-law or same-sex spouse who is living with the eligible student or employee, where the conjugal relationship has existed for at least 12 months;
  • the natural or legally-adopted child, stepchild, or child for whom the eligible student or employee has been appointed legal guardian, whose primary residence is with the student or employee, is unmarried, dependent on the student or employee for support, and under age 22 (under age 25 if studying full-time at an accredited educational institution, or any age if mentally or physically disabled, as defined by UHIP).

d) A short-term visitor:

  • a short-term visitor who is officially associated with a participating university in a designated educational or staffing function, or as an invitee attending a seminar and eligible dependants traveling with the short-term visitor. On an annual basis, participating universities make a decision regarding UHIP coverage for short-term visitors. Coverage under UHIP is mandatory for all short-term visitors and their eligible dependents if the participating university with which they are associated elected to extend coverage under UHIP to short-term visitors. Each participating university may define the term short-term for their organization. Coverage is effective from the date of arrival in Canada, subject to this policy's provisions, and for a period no less than two weeks and no more than three months. Coverage is mandatory for all longer term visitors (more than three months) for all participating universities. 

To learn who is not eligible for UHIP, please refer to the Glossary of Terms.

How much does UHIP cost?

The cost of UHIP coverage (premium) depends on the number of dependants you are enrolling and the duration of coverage you will need. If you are an international student enrolled in a credit-degree program, you are required to pay the full annual premium (12 months of coverage). The annual coverage period runs from September 1st to August 31st of each academic year.

Carefully review the UHIP premium table to determine the cost of your coverage. If you have any questions, contact the UHIP Plan Administrator at your university. 

UHIP Premium Table:

Effective September 1st, 2018 to August 31st, 2019

Number of months of coverage

One UHIP member

One dependant

One UHIP member  + One dependant

Two or more dependants

One UHIP member  + Two or more mependants

1

$52.00

$52.00

$104.00

$104.00

$156.00

2

$104.00

$104.00

$208.00

$208.00

$312.00

3

$156.00

$156.00

$312.00

$312.00

$468.00

4

$208.00

$208.00

$416.00

$416.00

$624.00

5

$260.00

$260.00

$520.00

$520.00

$780.00

6

$312.00

$312.00

$624.00

$624.00

$936.00

7

$364.00

$364.00

$728.00

$728.00

$1,092.00

8

$416.00

$416.00

$832.00

$832.00

$1,248.00

9

$468.00

$468.00

$936.00

$936.00

$1,404.00

10

$520.00

$520.00

$1,040.00

$1,040.00

$1,560.00

11

$572.00

$572.00

$1,144.00

$1,144.00

$1,716.00

12

$624.00

$624.00

$1,248.00

$1,248.00

$1,872.00

Note: Prices shown in Canadian dollars. Tax included.

Rate Changes

UHIP premiums are subject to change year-to-year. Premium rates are set based on historic average claims experience and anticipated increases in the cost of health services and medical treatments.

New rates are posted on the website by May 1st each year.

Late Enrollment

If you are a student and enrol late, you must pay premium retroactive to the first day of the month in which your university term began. If you are an employee and enrol late, you must pay premium retroactive to your employment start date. 

If you enroll your dependants more than 30 days after they become eligible for UHIP, you will be required to pay a late application fee of $500. In addition, premium for your dependant(s) must be paid retroactive to one of the following: 

  • First day of the month in which your term began at the University;
  • Your employment start date at the University;
  • Date you and your dependant(s) arrived in Canada and became eligible for UHIP

Can I be exempted from UHIP?

You must have health insurance while studying or working at an Ontario university. For this reason, UHIP is mandatory unless you are provided with an exemption.

UHIP exemptions are rarely approved because most travel and other insurance plans don't offer as much coverage as UHIP and contain many coverage limitations and exclusions.

Exemption requests are only considered if one of the following circumstances applies to you and you submit your request within 45 days of your UHIP eligibility date. No other requests will be considered.

If you

Then you need to

A. Are covered under one of these pre-approved plans:

  • Canadian International Development Agency Health Care Plan 
  • World University Service of Canada Plan 
  • Embassy of the State of Kuwait GHIP Replacement 
  • Interim Federal Health Care Plan 
  • Ciência sem Fronteiras (Csf) 
  • Saudi Arabian Cultural Bureau (SACB-HDP) Policy #06614A 
  • Libyan Embassy and Scholarship Program – Canada Policy #G0068002
  • Global Affairs Canada

Provide valid proof of this coverage to the UHIP Office at your University.

You do not need to complete an exemption request form.

B. Have Diplomatic status

Provide valid proof of this coverage to the UHIP Office at your University.

You do not need to complete an exemption request form.

C. Are covered under a sponsored plan supported by your Government.

(this means your government is sponsoring your education)

Complete and submit a request for an Exemption

All of the following documentation (in English or French only) must be submitted with your request:

  • A completed Request for Exemption from UHIP form
  • A copy of your member identification card with eligibility dates
  • A copy of your full policy details that include exclusions and limitations

If you do not provide all of the documentation shown above, your request will not be considered.

Send your completed form and supporting documents to Sun Life by FAX 1.866.291.9479 or Email case.mgmt@sunlife.com

To learn more about how to complete an Exemption form, please click here.

 

Important information to know before applying for an exemption:

  • All exemption requests must be received by Sun Life within 45 days of your UHIP eligibility date. Late requests will not be considered.
  • You are responsible for gathering all information from the insurance provider that may be requested in order to complete an exemption request.
  • 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 Sun Life approves your exemption, you may be eligible for a refund of the UHIP premium from your university.

Did you know?

Policies that contain the following criteria will automatically be declined (this is not a complete list)

  • excludes pre-existing previously diagnosed chronic/congenital (know or unknown) illnesses or injuries
  • Plan maximum less than $1,000,000.00 CAD
  • Deductibles or upfront costs
  • Any exclusions to conditions regardless of the actual existence of any illness/conditions (for example, self-harm, pregnancy, mental health)
  • Policies that base their rates of reimbursement according to their national health care scheme

 

How do I apply for UHIP?

All international non-residents studying at a participating university or affiliated college in Ontario will be enrolled automatically by their University.

If you are an international employee, a short-term visitor or a dependant, you won’t be enrolled automatically. For more information about your enrollment as an employee or as a dependant, please contact your UHIP Plan Administrator  at your university. 

If you need any additional information, please contact the UHIP Plan Administrator  at your university.

To download an enrollment form, please click here.

Which universities participate in UHIP?

All universities in Ontario (with the exception of the University of Windsor) and colleges affiliated with those universities are participants of UHIP.

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All About UHIP

The information presented on this website summarizes the main aspects of UHIP. Your actual benefits from UHIP will be determined according to the terms and conditions of the insurance contract with the UHIP insurer. No typographical or mechanical error made by a university or any of the parties to the UHIP insurance contract will invalidate insurance otherwise in force, or continue insurance otherwise terminated under the insurance policy's terms and conditions.

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