Starting from September 1, 2022, your UHIP coverage will be provided by the Cowan Insurance Group, and no longer by Sun Life Financial. Until August 31, 2022, you can use your Sun Life coverage card and make your claims to Sun Life, however, any claims after September 1, 2022, will be handled with Cowan.
Update on your UHIP coverage
What type of student are you?
Regular student: An international or a Canadian student returning from abroad who’s not covered by a provincial or territorial health insurance plan.
Exchange student: A student from a partner university participating in an exchange at the University of Ottawa. The exchange is based on an agreement between the student's home university and the University of Ottawa.
Official Languages and Bilingualism Institute student: A student taking a second language program at the OLBI, such as the English or French Intensive Program.
Note: The information below is similar to the information on the UHIP website. Some information may be different due to University of Ottawa requirements. If so, the information below takes precedence.
The University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP) is mandatory for all eligible international students and eligible non-Ontario-resident students.
You can’t opt out of UHIP. Under the contract that universities have with the insurer, the Cowan Insurance Group, international students must remain covered at all times by UHIP. Allowing students to opt out would not only increase the premiums all students pay but also leave students unprotected and at risk.
The University must ensure that international students have adequate medical coverage, whether they’re in Canada or elsewhere. If you leave Canada during your studies, short or long term, your UHIP coverage must remain in effect.
Coverage typically runs from September 1 to August 31, and includes the Fall (September 1 to December 31), Winter (January 1 to April 30) and Spring-Summer terms (May 1 to August 31).
Note: UHIP definitions and rules may differ from those used for academic purposes.
Exemptions if you have other coverage
Only the insurer can approve exemptions if you have other coverage. Cowan no longer accepts individual exemption requests. Learn more about UHIP exemptions.
Incoming exchange students can’t apply for a UHIP exemption.
Premium refund requests
If you leave the University or are otherwise no longer eligible for UHIP, you can request a premium refund. You must submit your refund request to uOInternational as soon as possible, as fees for previous terms aren’t refunded.
If you’ve submitted health-care claims for the term in question, you won’t receive a refund.
If you’re eligible for a refund, only Cowan can determine whether you receive a full or partial refund.
The insurer can refuse to reimburse medical expenses if UHIP coverage regulations aren’t followed, even if the University administrator or delegate disagrees. This applies even if you’ve paid your premiums.
You’re automatically covered by UHIP once you’ve been assigned international student status AND have enrolled in a course.
Additionally, if you meet any for the following conditions, email us to enrol in UHIP:
- You’re an international student, haven’t received international student status and have enrolled in a course.
- You’re an international graduate student who’s not enrolled in a course or who won’t receive a degree by the start of the coming term.
- You’re a non-resident Canadian student or an international student who has applied for (but not yet received) permanent resident status, and you aren’t covered under a provincial or territorial health insurance plan elsewhere in Canada.
If you enrol after the effective date of plan coverage, you must pay premiums retroactively to the first day of the month your study period began.
Premiums billed by mistake
Some special students who are ineligible may see UHIP premiums billed on their statement of account by mistake. If this happens to you, email us before you pay your fees, to cancel the billing. Remember that you must still purchase alternate private health insurance coverage.
Dental care and drugs
This health insurance plan doesn’t cover dental care or drug prescriptions.
Coverage for both is provided for undergraduate students through the University of Ottawa Students' Union (UOSU) and for graduate students through the Graduate Students' Association (GSAED).
Effective date of coverage
Coverage begins on the 10th day of the month preceding the month your academic term or activities begin. If you arrive in Canada prior to this day, you must purchase private medical insurance to cover you until your UHIP coverage takes effect.
End date of coverage
Your UHIP coverage will end upon any of the following situations:
The last day of the last month for which you’ve paid for UHIP
The date you’re no longer eligible for UHIP
The date that your authorization documentation (student visa, work permit or temporary resident permit) expires or is no longer valid, if you haven’t received a coverage extension (see How do I extend coverage)
The date it is determined that your proof-of-coverage card has been used fraudulently
The date you begin a leave of absence not approved for UHIP coverage (Scroll down to Coverage for a leave of absence)
The date Cowan obtains reasonable evidence that you fraudulently obtained medical clearance from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), as a result of either non-disclosure or submission of false medical test results
The date a student enrolled in a non-accredited program at a university that offers UHIP coverage transfers to a university that doesn't offer UHIP coverage
If you’re an employee: the first day of the month that coincides with or immediately follows the normal retirement date defined by the participating university
If you’re a short-term university visitor: no later than the end of the month when your educational or staffing function ends
Your dependant’s UHIP coverage will end on any of the following dates (if applicable):
The last day of the month in which UHIP has been paid for your dependant(s)
The termination date of your dependant’s coverage
The last day of the month in which your dependant is no longer considered an eligible dependant
The date that Cowan obtains reasonable evidence that medical clearance for your dependant was fraudulently obtained from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), as a result of either non-disclosure or submission of false medical test results
Premiums are based on what term you start your studies:
Fall 2022: $756 (coverage ends August 31, 2023)
Winter 2023: $504 (coverage ends August 31, 2023)
Spring-Summer 2023: $252 (coverage ends August 31, 2023)
In subsequent years, your UHIP premiums will be billed on an annual basis and calculated up to and including August 31 of the following year.
Because premiums are billed annually, you can’t remove coverage for a term or part of a term. The University transfers the premiums to the insurance carrier, which doesn’t provide any refunds after March 1 of the academic year underway.
For more information about UHIP and your coverage, see All about UHIP on the UHIP website.
Provincial or territorial health insurance plans
OHIP (Ontario), RAMQ (Quebec) and other health plans
Students or dependants covered by a provincial or territorial health insurance plan such as the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) must provide uOInternational with a letter from the plan confirming insurance coverage prior to the effective date of the coverage.
If your provincial or territorial plan doesn’t provide such a letter (as with Quebec’s RAMQ), you must provide uOInternational with a photocopy of the plan health card as soon as you receive it. Your UHIP premiums will then be reimbursed, if applicable.
If you fail to provide proof of coverage such through letter from your provincial or territorial plan or a copy of your provincial or territorial health card prior to the effective date of UHIP coverage, you won’t receive a retroactive premium reimbursement.
For reimbursements, the insurer determines the amount to be reimbursed (full or partial premiums).
Tabaret Hall, Room M386
550 Cumberland Street
Email: [email protected]
Hours of operation
September 1 to May 31:
Monday to Friday: 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
June 1 to August 31:
Monday to Friday: 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Please note that the University of Ottawa offices are closed during statutory holidays and during the winter break. Visit the Important academic dates and deadlines page for more information.