April 29, 2022
Victoria — Effective May 1, 2022, Medical Services Plan (MSP) policy will be updated so individuals who remain in B.C. with maintained status will have access to temporary MSP coverage until a decision is made by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) on their application for extension.
In response to COVID-19 and to address the IRCC delays in processing work and study permit extensions, temporary MSP coverage was made available to eligible maintained status holders until April 30, 2022 through a temporary COVID-19 policy.
With the expiry of this policy set for April 30, 2022, the Medical Services Commission and the Ministry of Health have approved an update to normal MSP policy to solidify coverage for maintained status holders.
This change in policy will ensure those with an active application for extension of their work or study permits with IRCC do not need to worry about whether or not they will continue to have access to health care in the province.
A backgrounder follows.
MSP coverage solidified for maintained status holders in B.C.
- Work or study permit holders who have applied for renewal of their permit before the expiry of their existing permit are referred to as holding maintained status while their application is in process. Maintained status holders are legally authorized to continue to work or study in Canada even though they are not in possession of a valid permit.
- Individuals who do not apply to extend their work or study permit lose their legal status in Canada and are not legally able to continue to study or work. If an individual applies for and is issued a new permit after the expiration of their original permit, they are granted restored status.
- An individual admitted to Canada with a work or study permit valid for six months or longer may qualify as a deemed resident and be eligible for MSP (Medical Services Plan) enrolment. Accompanying spouses and children of eligible work and study permits may be deemed eligible for MSP under the Medical and Health Care Services Regulation if they hold a valid visitor permit.
- Effective May 1, 2022, eligible individuals residing in B.C. with maintained status while waiting for a subsequent work or study permit may be eligible for temporary coverage for an initial six months, with additional temporary coverage provided if applicable.
- Temporary coverage will be provided to maintained status holders who:
- remain in B.C. on maintained status while waiting for a subsequent work or study permit;
- were previously enrolled with MSP;
- demonstrate they hold maintained status by providing Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) receipts showing they applied for their new permit before the expiration of their original permit (or documentation from IRCC if a receipt is not available); and,
- if the temporary coverage is requested four weeks or longer after the expiration of their original permit, the individual will also need to provide documentation from IRCC demonstrating their application is still active. This may be from the IRCC client website or documentation from IRCC.
- For additional information, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/MSP/eligibility; or contact Health Insurance BC at 1 800 773-6100