Health Insurance & Medical Care

Staying healthy is important to your overall success as a student. Conestoga College offers comprehensive health insurance and medical services for international students.

Health Insurance

All full-time international students are covered by the following health insurance plans while studying at Conestoga:

Conestoga International Health Insurance Plan (CIHIP)
  • CIHIP provides basic insurance coverage, covering you for illness, injury or other medical emergencies (the most expensive health care costs in Canada). It is mandatory for all full-time international students.
  • A customized CIHIP card will be emailed to your Conestoga email account 4-5 weeks after classes begin. Print this card and keep it on you at all times. Present your CIHIP card when you visit the campus clinic, a walk-in clinic, a doctor’s office or a hospital.
CSI extended Health & Dental Plan
What services are included in my health insurance coverage?

CIHIP provides basic insurance coverage, covering you for illness, injury or other medical emergencies while the CSI extended Health & Dental Plan provides extended insurance coverage, covering you for “other” medical services such as prescription medication, vision care, dental and other health treatment providers (physiotherapy, chiropractic, massage therapy, etc.)

Please note, under CIHIP, pre-existing conditions (any illnesses that occurred prior to your coverage start date), are not covered. Pregnancy is considered a pre-existing condition, and all pregnancy related coverage must be pre-approved by Sun Life Financial, the insurer.

Who is covered under Conestoga’s health insurance plans?

CIHIP and CSI extended Health & Dental plans primarily cover full-time students. If you are a part-time student or your status changes from full-time to part-time studies, please notify CSI immediately to discuss your options for health insurance coverage.

Is my family covered under my health insurance plans?

If you are in Canada with “dependents,” (your spouse, or children under the age of 21), you will need to purchase insurance for them.

To purchase CIHIP coverage for your dependent(s), visit www.cihip.ca and click on “Coverage” and then “Add Dependents.” All enrolments should be completed prior to your arrival in Canada to avoid possible long delays in being covered.

To purchase CSI extended Health & Dental coverage for your dependent(s), visit Couple & Family Enrolments. Please note that you must have purchased CIHIP coverage for your dependent(s) in order to use the CSI extended Health & Dental Coverage. All enrolments must be completed during the first eligible Change-of-Coverage Period of the policy year (Sept 1-Aug 31).

When does my health insurance coverage begin?

Your CIHIP coverage automatically includes early arrival emergency only coverage for you and any enrolled and paid for dependents. This begins up to 1 calendar month prior to the beginning of coverage or on your arrival date, whichever is later. You must contact Studentcare as soon as possible if you have an early arrival medical emergency. A medical emergency is a serious, unexpected, and often dangerous medical situation requiring immediate action.

 If you are arriving in Canada earlier than 1 month prior to the beginning of coverage, please ensure you purchase coverage with other insurers.

Your CSI extended Health & Dental coverage begins coverage on Sept 1, January 1 or May 1, depending on when you are billed for the plan, and when you start your studies.

Can I opt out of health insurance coverage?

No, you cannot opt-out of the Conestoga International Health Insurance Plan. We know that Studentcare offers our students an excellent plan with great benefits at a reasonable cost. We want to make sure you are protected.

If you are studying on a government sponsorship which includes insurance or have a valid OHIP (Ontario Health Insurance Plan) card, you may be exempt from the College plan.

It is important for you to understand your health insurance coverage. Please contact the CSI Health and Wellness office by phone at 519-748-5131 ext. 3585 or email csihealthplan@conestogac.on.ca with any health plan inquiries or for more information.

Medical & Health Care Services

As an international student, it is important to be aware of medical and health care services available to you both on and off campus.

On Campus Services

Conestoga College has various supports and services for your health and well-being.

Medical Care Clinic

  • Immunization
  • Prescriptions, medications and renewals
  • Lab services
  • Sexual health and information
  • Skin conditions
  • Visit the Medical Care Clinic online

Counselling Services

Wellness Office

  • Registered massage therapy
  • Chiropractor
  • Physiotherapy
  • Spot RX Pharmacy
  • Visit the CSI Wellness Office
Off Campus Services

In addition to the numerous healthcare providers on-campus, you may choose to seek community providers.

  • Medical Clinics: When sick, your first stop is a medical clinic – if you are not able to access the on-campus clinic, browse these options to find the clinic in your community. With your CIHIP coverage you have access to the Preferred Provider Network (PPN). This is a network of medical practitioners available to international students in Ontario. When you visit these preferred providers, you will not have to pay them directly for their services that are covered in your plan. The clinic/doctor will bill the insurance company directly.
  • Hospitals: Unlike some countries, hospitals are for serious emergencies only; not minor ailments (such as a cold/flu). If you must go to the hospital, be sure to take your CIHIP card with you. The hospital will usually give you an invoice for your care/treatment/stay that must be paid within a certain timeframe (usually within 30 days of your visit). Read here to find out how to access emergency support within your community!
  • Mental Health & Counselling: It is essential to look after both your mental and physical health. In addition to the many on-campus mental health/counselling supports, there are free community services that offer students access to confidential counselling and other mental health supports. Reach out to Good2Talk, a student helpline, for 24/7 mental health support by calling 1-866-925-5454, connect through 2-1-1, or visit their website.