Health Insurance (UHIP)

It’s important to learn about the health care you have access to as an international or incoming exchange student. In addition to knowing what to do when seeking medical care, learning about your health insurance will help you feel more at ease in your relocation to Canada. If you’re attending McMaster University as an international or incoming exchange student, you have access to insurance through the University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP).

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Understanding the University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP)

UHIP is a mandatory, comprehensive health insurance plan that provides health coverage for international and incoming exchange students. UHIP covers medically necessary doctors and hospital visits within Ontario for international students, incoming exchange students and dependants (spouse and children).

Coverage duration

Through UHIP, your necessary medical costs are covered for the entire academic year, from September 1 to August 31 — with a few exceptions for incoming exchange students and other students with plans to study at McMaster for fewer than 12 months.

Your UHIP coverage begins on the tenth day of the month before your academic term start date or your scheduled arrival date in Canada, whichever is later. If you plan to arrive in Canada before your UHIP coverage begins, we recommend that you purchase additional medical insurance. This way, you’ll be covered if you need to access health care before your UHIP coverage starts.


If you’re an international student, you’re automatically enrolled in UHIP every year. However, it’s your responsibility to ensure that your coverage is correct. Check your account on Mosaic Student Center > Finances > Other financial > View/Maintain UHIP.

Supplementary coverage

Supplementary coverage (i.e. vision, dental, prescriptions) is not part of UHIP. However, international students have coverage through the following plans:

Note: Unfortunately, these supplementary plans aren’t available to incoming exchange students.

Have questions about UHIP coverage?

Contact us by emailing

In late August or early September, your UHIP provider, Cowan/Manulife, will send an email to your McMaster email account with your UHIP card attached. To make sure you receive your UHIP card, please make sure you’ve activated your McMaster email account.

When you receive your UHIP card, print a copy and carry it with you at all times. This way, you’ll have it easily accessible in case you need to seek medical care.

Haven’t received your UHIP card?

Contact us by emailing

2022–2023 UHIP premiums

Effective September 1, 2022–August 31, 2023

UHIP coverage for 2022–2023 is $756 per year per person ($63 per month per person). This fee is charged to your student account, and it must be paid in full at the beginning of your academic session.

Costs based on start date

  • September 2022
    • Member only: $756
    • Member and 1 dependent: $1,512
    • Member and 2+ dependents: $2,268
  • January 2023
    • Member only: $504
    • Member and 1 dependent: $1,008
    • Member and 2+ dependents: $1,512
  • January 2023
    • Member only: $252
    • Member and 1 dependent: $504
    • Member and 2+ dependents: $756

Monthly breakdown

Months of coverage Member only Cost to add 1 dependent Member and one dependent Cost to add 2+ dependents Member and 2+ dependents
1 $63 $63 $126 $126 $189
2 $126 $126 $252 $252 $378
3 $189 $189 $378 $378 $567
4 $252 $252 $504 $504 $756
5 $315 $315 $630 $630 $945
6 $378 $378 $756 $756 $1,134
7 $441 $441 $882 $882 $1,323
8 $504 $504 $1,008 $1,008 $1,512
9 $567 $567 $1,134 $1,134 $1,701
10 $630 $630 $1,260 $1,260 $1,890
11 $693 $693 $1,386 $1,386 $2,079
12 $756 $756 $1,512 $1,512 $2,268

Note: These premiums also apply to the 2021–2022 academic year, as the costs haven’t changed.

You may be eligible for a refund if:

  • You have withdrawn from McMaster.
  • You have completed the academic program early and you’re returning to your home country.
  • You now have Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) coverage due to becoming a permanent resident in Canada
  • You (and your dependents, if applicable) plan to leave are Canada Students and you’ve submitted proof to the UHIP Administrator before February 28.

If you plan to submit a refund request, please note:

  • Refunds are only available for complete calendar months beginning the first day of the month after you submit your refund request.
  • Refunds are not available for scheduled breaks between terms.
  • The deadline for refund requests is February 28, unless you’re applying for a refund due to gaining OHIP coverage. In this case, the deadline is July 31. Please note that no refunds are available in August.

UHIP is mandatory for all international and incoming exchange students.

However, you may be exempt from the UHIP plan, if you have coverage from one of the pre-approved health-care plans below. To request an exemption from the UHIP plan, email

  • Student number
  • Copy of the pre-approved health-care plan

Pre-approved health-care plans

  • Canadian International Development Agency Health Care Plan
  • World University Service of Canada Plan
  • Embassy of Botswana
  • 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
  • Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP)
  • Global Affairs Canada

If your status changes or if you become covered under one of these plans, it’s your responsibility to inform the UHIP administrator as soon as possible. You will need to provide proof of the pre-approved plan.

If you have another insurance plan that is not listed under the pre-approved plans, you can apply for an exemption from UHIP directly through your UHIP provider, Cowan/Manulife. Complete the checklist on the UHIP website to find out if your plan qualifies for an exemption.


If you plan to study at McMaster for fewer than 12 months, you can apply for a two-month UHIP extension. This can be helpful if you plan to travel in Canada after you complete your studies. Other extensions are also available if you’re defending your thesis, if you’re waiting for convocation or if you experience a medical emergency.

Extension requests must be made no later than 30 days before your coverage is scheduled to end. For more information on how to apply for an extension, visit the UHIP website or email

UHIP is also mandatory for all your dependants living with you in Ontario. This means that, if you’re planning to bring your spouse and/or children with you, you must sign them up with UHIP within 30 days of their arrival in Ontario. There’s a $500 late fee, in addition to the standard UHIP fees, if your dependents aren’t enrolled within the 30-time limit.

Dependants with coverage end dates of August 31 are automatically rolled over to the next school year. It’s your responsibility to check that your dependants have been re-enrolled correctly each year. If there have been any changes to dependant coverage, you must contact your UHIP administrator.

To add your dependants to the UHIP plan, email with the following information:

  • Your student number
  • Your dependant’s passport photo page
  • Your dependant’s flight itinerary

Seeking medical care in Ontario

In case you need to seek medical care while you’re living in Ontario, it’s important to know your options. We can help you get connected with doctors and health-care professionals who accept UHIP as payment. Then, we can help you file a claim through UHIP to cover your eligible expenses.

Your UHIP provider, Cowan/Manulife, has compiled a list of health-care providers in Ontario who can accept your insurance coverage as payment. If you are admitted to the hospital or having a medical treatment done, please contact us at

If you’ve visited a doctor or health-care professional, UHIP makes it easy to file a claim to get reimbursed for your eligible expenses.

  1. Before seeking health care, print off a claim form (available on the UHIP website).
  2. Complete the form while you’re at the doctor’s office.
  3. Pay for the care you received.
  4. Make copies of the claim form, invoice and proof of payment for your own records
  5. Mail the originals of the form, invoice, and proof of payment to the address on the claim form.
  6. Set up direct deposit if you would like the claim to be paid directly to your bank account. Otherwise, you will receive a cheque in the mail.
  7. Wait for UHIP to determine whether the claimed services are covered in your plan.
  8. Receive payment, if applicable.


Do I have to pay for the COVID-19 vaccine in Canada?

COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in Canada are free of charge. They are available to everyone eligible to get the vaccine by federal, provincial and territorial public health authorities. Learn more on the Government of Canada website.

I’m fully registered for UHIP, but I haven’t received my card. What do I need to do?

Check your McMaster inbox, including your junk and spam folders, for an email from Sun Life. If you checked, and the email is not there, go to your Sun Life online account and print your UHIP card. If you don’t have an account and did not receive your UHIP card, you can email Randa Salih ( Please make sure to include your student number in the email.

Where can I find the UHIP claim form?

How do I add or remove dependants (spouse or children) to/from my UHIP?

To add or remove dependants to/from the UHIP plan, email with the following information:

  • Your student number
  • Your dependant’s passport photo page
  • Your dependant’s flight itinerary that shows either the arrival or departure to/from Ontario