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Frequently Asked Questions

Below you will find answers to some of the most commonly asked UHIP questions. If you cannot find the answer to your question, talk to your University Plan Administrator or contact Sun Life

What is UHIP?
The University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP) is a mandatory health insurance plan for all international non-residents studying or working at one of the participating universities in Ontario. UHIP provides members and their eligible dependants basic medical coverage similar to what Ontario permanent residents receive under Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP)  

Why is it mandatory?
As a non-permanent resident studying or working at a participating Ontario university, UHIP is mandatory as it protects you and your dependants against significant medical expenses in case of illness or injury.

What is OHIP?
OHIP is a provincial government health care insurance program for permanent residents of Ontario funded through provincial taxes. 

What’s the difference between OHIP and UHIP?
OHIP does not cover international non-residents and their dependants studying or working at an Ontario university. Instead, most Ontario universities participate in UHIP. UHIP is similar, though not equivalent, to OHIP. UHIP provides coverage for medically necessary services and supplies that Ontario residents receive under OHIP.

Who is Sun Life?
Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada (Sun Life) is the UHIP insurer. 

I have my own insurance plan. Do I still need UHIP?
UHIP is mandatory unless you are provided an exemption. You can be exempted from UHIP if you have coverage from a Pre-Approved Plan. If you have coverage from another insurance plan, you may apply for an exemption

Can my family members join UHIP?
Yes, UHIP coverage can be extended to your eligible dependant  (i.e. spouse, common-law partner, and children).  In fact, if your dependants accompany you while you study or work in Ontario, their UHIP coverage is mandatory.

Talk to the UHIP Plan Administrator at your university to learn how to enroll your eligible dependants. 

How much does UHIP cost?
The cost of UHIP depends on the number of people you are enrolling and the duration of coverage you will need. See the UHIP Premium Table for current coverage rates.

What does UHIP pay for?
UHIP provides coverage for basic health care services such as hospital, physician, laboratory, and some other services generally covered by OHP. For a complete list of eligible expenses, please see What is covered?

Does UHIP cover prescription drugs or dental care?
Prescription drugs and routine dental care are not covered under UHIP but may be covered by a supplementary health insurance plan. However, medically necessary emergency dental procedures performed in hospital by a dental surgeon may be covered. Supplementary health insurance plans are separate from your UHIP coverage. Many participating universities offer this insurance through their student or employee unions. Contact your university to learn more

Does UHIP provide travel coverage?
If you travel outside of Ontario, UHIP provides minimal coverage which may not be sufficient to cover your medical expenses. It is strongly recommended that you purchase additional travel insurance as significant out of pocket expenses may be incurred. 

Why do I need to register on mysunlife.ca?
Mysunlife.ca provides access to important tools and information you need to effectively use your UHIP coverage. This website has been designed for you to easily get a copy of your UHIP card, print off important forms and view the status of your claims. Registration is easy and you will only need to do it once! Watch the How to Register tutorial for step-by-step-instructions.

I’m having problems signing-in to mysunlife.ca. What should I do?
If you are having problems with your account, call the Sun Life Financial Customer Care Centre at 1-866-500-UHIP (8447). They are open any business day from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET, and offer assistance in multiple languages 

Why do I need a UHIP card?
You are required to present valid proof of your health care coverage any time you visit a health care provider. Your card verifies that you are entitled to have your medical expenses covered by UHIP. You cannot always anticipate when you may need to see a doctor or go to the hospital emergency room. For this reason, it is a good idea to carry your card at all times.

How do I get my UHIP card?
You can access and print your card on mysunlife.ca. Check out the How to Register tutorial for step-by-step instructions.

What should I bring when visiting a doctor/clinic?
When visiting a health care provider, make sure to bring your UHIP card and a claim form

Why have I been charged for medical services? 
Not all health care providers in Ontario accept UHIP. You may have to pay upfront for your medical expenses, even if those expenses are covered under UHIP. If you pay out of pocket, send the original receipts along with a completed claim form to Sun Life for reimbursement. 

What is a preferred provider?
Sun Life has created a Preferred Provider Network. This network is made up of ‘preferred’ health care providers that will bill Sun Life directly on your behalf for any medical fees covered under UHIP. 

How do I find a preferred health care provider?
To find a preferred health care provider, visit the International Health Care Network. This online search tool allows you to easily find the preferred health care provider closest to you!

I submitted a claim. When will I be reimbursed? 
Payment will be processed and a cheque mailed to you or the provider within 7 calendar days from the date the UHIP claim form is received at Sun Life. You can follow the status of your claim by signing-in to mysunlife.ca. To learn more, view the Sun Life webinar How to Check the Status of a Claim

Why was I only reimbursed part of my medical expenses?
There are different reasons why your claim may not have been paid in full.
For information specific to your claim or concern, please contact Sun Life at 1-866-500-UHIP (8447)

Does UHIP cover eye examinations?
You are eligible for one eye examination by a physician, ophthalmologist, or optometrist in every 12 consecutive months for each covered person age 19 and under or 65 and over. For more frequent exams, preauthorization from Sun Life is required. Please contact case.mgmt@sunlife.com.

Does UHIP have coverage for wisdom teeth removal?
The dental coverage under the UHIP policy is very limited. The UHIP policy has coverage for certain dental surgeries that are medically necessary to be performed within a hospital by dental staff of that hospital, such as corrective jaw surgery, reconstructive surgery, cyst removal, TMJ surgery, trauma or bone grafting.

Dental treatment, including wisdom teeth extraction, is generally performed in a dental office or clinic. If you or your dependent is physically and/or mentally challenged, immunocompromised, has a cardiac issue, is undergoing cancer treatment or has a temporomandibular joint disorder, you may be eligible to have your surgery performed in a hospital.

If you think you may require hospitalization for your dental services, please contact case.mgmt@sunlife.com for preauthorization.

Please check with your University Plan Administrator in the International office to determine if you have dental coverage from your Extended Health Care Policy.

Does UHIP cover pregnancy related charges?
UHIP covers services related to pregnancy, including prenatal and postnatal care, even if the pregnancy began prior to the UHIP start date. Hospital visits are covered under the policy provisions, and physician charges are covered up to 125% of the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) Schedule of Fees.

Genetic testing is covered to the same criteria and conditions as OHIP and requires documentation from a Physician or genetics counselor to substantiate. Please contact case.mgmt@sunlife.com for assistance.

Your newborn baby may be eligible for OHIP, which is the basic provincial insurance in Ontario. Please contact your local Service Ontario for more details.

If your child is not eligible for OHIP, you will be required to add them as a dependent to your UHIP as soon as reasonably possible after birth.

Does UHIP cover the cost of vaccinations?
Physician charges are covered up to 125% of the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) Schedule of Fees.

Only routine vaccinations for children are covered (the cost and administration of the vaccination). To find out about the recommended vaccine schedule for babies and children please visit http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/public/programs/immunization/static/immunization_tool.html.

UHIP will cover only the cost of the administration for all other vaccinations.

Please note: The HPV vaccine and the seasonal influenza vaccine (flu shot) are not covered under UHIP.

Please note: Your extended health care plan through your university may offer coverage for vaccinations. Please contact your Student Association or your International Student office for more details.

Is transportation and accommodation (housing) related to accessing medical treatment covered by UHIP?
UHIP does not cover any costs related to transportation other than ambulance fees that are covered at the same rate as OHIP. For example, if you need transportation to your home after a surgery, or if you need to stay close to a hospital due to surgery, this is not covered.

Does UHIP have coverage for Homecare (Community Care Access Centre (CCAC))?
UHIP members have coverage for homecare services as prescribed by a physician, but not through CCAC (Community Care Access Centre). If you require Homecare services please contact case.mgmt@sunlife.com.

Does UHIP have coverage for physiotherapy or massage therapy?
Physiotherapy is a treatment that is not typically covered by UHIP and the eligibility for approved treatment is very limited.

If you think you may be eligible based on the description noted above please contact case.mgmt@sunlife.com to request a predetermination.

Please note that many universities have an extended health benefit plan, which students are automatically enrolled in. These plans typically offer some coverage for physiotherapy and massage therapy. Please contact your International Office Plan Administrator for further information.

What is not covered by UHIP?
Sun Life will not pay for the cost of:

  • services not currently provided by OHIP, physician and hospital charges above those set out in the group policy; changes to OHIP will not be adopted unless approved by the UHIP Steering Committee;
  • charges incurred by a covered person for which he/she is entitled to obtain benefits or reimbursement under any other plan, or which would be provided without charge in the absence of coverage;
  • cosmetic surgery, unless such surgery is required as a result of injury caused by an accident that occurred while the covered person’s coverage is in force and would be covered by OHIP;
  • medical examinations and tests required for immigration purposes or by a third party;
  • expenses for traveling time or mileage, or advice given by telephone; court testimony, preparation of records, reports, certificates or communications; group examinations, immunizations or inoculations (other than routine immunizations for children);
  • physicians’ services or examinations for screenings, except those covered by OHIP, surveys or research purposes;
  • laboratory services or clinical pathology, unless specifically included as an eligible expense;
  • acupuncture procedures;
  • eyeglasses, frames or contact lenses;
  • private duty nursing, except under Home Care (with preauthorization from case.mgmt@sunlife.com);
  • Hospital visits solely for the administration of drugs;
  • drugs, whether prescribed or not (unless administered during a hospital stay), except as set out under the eligible expenses provision of the group policy;
  • dental care services, except as set out under Dental Surgery, when performed in a hospital.

What is a 'scheduled break' and can I receive a UHIP refund?
a) Medical insurance coverage is a mandatory requirement for all international students who study in Canada with a Study Permit and who are registered in a program with a duration exceeding 6 months. For international students who fall into this category, medical insurance coverage is mandatory for the entire duration of their stay in Canada. This includes time periods in the plan year when students are in attendance of classes and during designated scheduled break periods outlined by the university, such as study week, examination periods, semester breaks, public holidays etc. In short, the scheduled break is designated by the university, not the student. Because students are covered during scheduled break periods, students are charged premiums for UHIP coverage during the scheduled break period.

b) A scheduled break is not an approved leave of absence.

c) If a student decides to skip a semester, such a break is not deemed a 'scheduled break'. Since tuition fees are not paid when a student skips a semester, the student is not covered in the UHIP plan. This is fine provided the student returns to their home country. However, if the student decides to stay in Canada, the student must apply for an 'Approved Leave of Absence' from the university for UHIP coverage while not in attendance of classes. The student must meet the requirements for an 'Approved Leave of Absence' as outlined in the UHIP policy.

I have more questions. Who can I talk to?
For more UHIP information, contact Sun Life or the UHIP Plan Administrator at your university.

 

Comment or question?
Have a question? Comment? We want to hear from you!
Please contact your UHIP Plan Administrator at your university or
Call Sun Life at 1-866-500-UHIP (8447)

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Frequently Asked Questions

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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