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Expanded Access to Health Insurance for International Students

In September 2022, the Government of Nova Scotia made a major announcement that will benefit eligible international students and their access to provincial health care coverage. The updated regulations allow international students who have provincial healthcare coverage (MSI) to be away from Nova Scotia for more than 31 consecutive days without losing their healthcare coverage. See our FAQs below for more information.

What is MSI coverage?

Nova Scotia's Medical Services Insurance (MSI) is designed to provide eligible residents with coverage for medically required hospital, medical, dental and optometric services with some restrictions. Visitors to Nova Scotia are not considered eligible residents and are not eligible for coverage. You must be physically present in Nova Scotia for 183 days every calendar year to be eligible.

What has changed with MSI coverage for international students?

The Province of Nova Scotia has updated the regulations under the Health Services and Insurance Act to allow international students with a study permit and individuals with work permits to be absent from Nova Scotia for more than 31 consecutive days without losing their Nova Scotia Medical Services Insurance coverage for insured services received in Canada. The amendments include spouses and dependents of these study and work permit holders. 

These changes help remove barriers to healthcare access for international students and decrease administrative burdens.

How do I get MSI coverage?

International students with a valid study permit, their spouses and dependents, are eligible for MSI coverage on the first day of the 13th month following full-time residence. 

International students must register for a health card in Nova Scotia, which will provide them with MSI coverage, by calling the MSI Registration and Enquiry Department at 902-496-7008 or 1-800-563-8880 to start the application process.

What does this mean for my Dal student insurance coverage?

The DSU International Health Plan is for international students who don't have MSI coverage. If you are insured under the DSU International Health Plan, updates to the MSI coverage will not affect you. Students who have MSI coverage can continue to opt-out of the DSU International Health Plan if you have not done so already.