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The Breakdown: Student health insurance at U of T

UTSU insurance claims deadline coming up on November 29
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MIA CARNEVALE/THE VARSITY
MIA CARNEVALE/THE VARSITY

In light of the University of Toronto Students’ Union’s (UTSU) decision to switch health insurance providers and the upcoming deadline to submit claims for the last coverage period, The Varsity has compiled a breakdown of the different sources of student health insurance and how students can take advantage of the coverage they are provided.

This article includes an overview of the basic health insurance plans for domestic and international students, as well as an overview of the fees students automatically pay for health insurance, how they can make claims, and how their claims will be assessed. 

The last day to submit claims to Desjardins for the last coverage period is November 29. 

Basic health coverage

Students with an Ontario health card will automatically be covered by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP), which covers family doctor appointments, walk-in clinic visits, emergency room visits, medical tests, and surgeries.

Domestic students without an Ontario health card and students with OHIP-eligible immigration status can access the province’s health care plan through a dedicated application process. Students must apply in person at a Service Ontario centre with documents proving their residency in Ontario, their identity, and their Canadian citizenship or OHIP eligibility. The closest Service Ontario centre to the St. George campus is located at 777 Bay Street.

International students not covered by OHIP can get their basic coverage from the University Health Insurance Program (UHIP) offered by U of T. Unlike OHIP, eligible students do not need to apply for UHIP; they are automatically enrolled and the payment is added to their fees. The university’s plan covers services such as hospital and physical visits, vision care, and dental care.

While OHIP automatically covers any costs that arise while someone is covered under the plan, students need to submit claims to be reimbursed under UHIP for a healthcare-related payment or to have the consulted professional directly paid by the plan. These can be filed by filling out a claims form and sending it either over email or in the mail to UHIP’s insurance provider Sun Life. Students will also need to send an invoice if they want the medical professional to be paid by UHIP directly.

Union insurance options

All undergraduate students at UTSG also receive additional coverage from the UTSU, which provides health and dental coverage as well as vision and travel coverage. Several other specialized treatments, such as physiotherapy, speech therapy, and psychotherapy are also provided through the plan. Similar plans are offered by unions at both UTM and UTSC, and for graduate and part-time students by their respective unions.

Because of the UTSU’s switch to a new insurance provider, students must also find out which insurance provider they will be submitting to this year. Students who wish to be reimbursed for payments made before September should have their claims sent to Desjardins. All claims for payments after September should be sent to Green Shield. 

The deadline to make a claim to Desjardins for the last coverage period is November 29. Students can either send their claims in the mail or submit them through the Studentcare app. For now, claims to Green Shield will only be accepted if they are sent in the mail or submitted online at the company’s website. 

Students should note that they may need to send additional documentation with their claim depending on its nature, and that reimbursement for a healthcare-related service will only be granted if the payment for it has been made in full and the student has already received the benefit of the service.