GSA Health & Dental Plan


August 26 to September 25, 2020
(For September graduate students)

You can opt in, opt out, or add dependents

only during the Change-Of-Coverage period

Submit your request here

COVID-19 updates

August 2020 Update from Studentcare regarding international students’ opt-out period

Studentcare will host a special retro-active change-of-coverage (COC) period in July 2021, for international students of the Sept. 2020/Jan 2021 intakes who do not come back to Canada for the 2020-2021 academic year. This retro-active change of coverage period would be in addition to the regular (COC).

  • International students may use the following as exceptional proof-of-coverage to opt-out of H&D:
    • letter of enrolment provided by the institution
    • approval-in-principle of a study permit (as per 2-stage process introduced in July 2020)
    • existing study permit (if residing outside of Canada)

Read more: GSA Notes about International Student Exceptional Opt-Out Policy Relating to COVID-19 Pandemic here

April 2020 Update from Studentcare regarding GSA Health & Dental Plan:

  1. Desjardins is now accepting virtual visits (temporarily) for online physiotherapy & chiropractor services. It needs to be part of a continued treatment to be eligible.
  2. Students can still access the eye glasses/contact lenses coverage by buying their contacts/prescription glasses online
  3. Prescription drug  and pay-direct services at pharmacies are still working
  4. Most dental offices are still seeing patients for emergency dental services

Clearly this is an unprecedented event for most insurers but we’re working with Desjardins to make sure students can still access most of their benefits via online services!

(March 2020) COVID-19 impact on GSA Health and Dental Plan: Read here

Have questions?

Visit the StudentCare website for the most updated details about the GSA Health and Dental Plan including plan coverage, how to claim, change your coverage, and so on.

StudentCare website

Overview of the GSA Health & Dental Plan

To help University of Calgary graduate students pay for the health services they need, the GSA has partnered with Studentcare in order to provide students with extended health and dental coverage. The Plan is designed specifically to fill the gaps in provincial care (the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan – AHCIP)

Watch the recording: GSA Health & Dental Q&A (Sept. 3, 2020)

Who’s covered?

All eligible full-time graduate students who are registered in classes are automatically covered by the Plan for 12 months of coverage (your student year), starting on the first day of the first month of your first term of study:

  • September students: September 1 – August 31
  • January students: January 1 – December 31
  • May students: May 1 – April 30
  • July students: July 1 – June 30

Certain exceptions exist. Please check your student account to confirm if you have been charged the Plan fees.
Part-time and distance students are not automatically enrolled, but may be eligible to enrol themselves in the Plan.

What’s Covered?

Among other features, the Plan covers health, dental, vision, and travel benefits

  • Up to 80% for prescription drugs to a maximum of $10,000
  • $1,825 for health practitioners (psychologists, master of social work, registered clinical counsellor physiotherapists, chiropractors, etc.)
  • Up to $375 in vision care (eye exams, eyeglasses and contact lenses, laser eye surgery)
  • Up to $850 in dental care (checkups, cleanings, fillings, extractions, endodontics, periodontics, etc.)
  • $5,000,000 in travel health coverage per incident and 120 days per trip
  • $5,000 for trip interruption and $1,500 for trip cancellation in the event of a medical emergency
  • Ambulances, dental accidents, medical equipment, and more!

Visit  for complete details.

Visit HERE for the complete Your Plan at a Glance guide.

Alberta Health Care

Have no Canadian provincial health care? You’ll need it to be able to use the Health and Dental Plan.
A provincial plan is a requirement for your insurance benefits plan (below) to be active.
To obtain Alberta Health Care:

*Any Canadian provincial healthcare card should work with the GSA Health and Dental Plan.

How Can I Save More?

You can further enhance your benefits by visiting health professionals who are members of the Dental, Vision, Chiropractic, Psychology, Physiotherapy, and Massage Therapy Networks. You are covered for one insured portion regardless of the health professional you choose. By consulting a Network member, you will get additional coverage. For example, by visiting a Dental Network member, you will receive an additional 30% off dental services, enabling you to get up to 100% coverage.

How Much Does It Cost?

The total annual cost of the Plan is $600.67 for students starting is September, January, May or July. The student year lasts 12 months from the first day of the month that your initial term begins. For example, students starting in September are covered from September 1, 2018 – August 31, 2019. The cost of the Plan is automatically included in your tuition and other fees.

  • Single Student


    Health = $326.58

    Dental = $264.09

  • Add One Dependent (spouse OR child) for an additional


    Health = $340.22

    Dental = $278.36

  • Families for an additional


    Health = $502.43

    Dental = $411.08

Can I Change my Coverage?

If you are covered by another extended health and/or dental plan (i.e. parent or spouse’s employee plan, not AHCIP), you can combine both plans to maximize your overall coverage and reduce or eliminate out-of-pocket costs.

Alternatively, you can opt out of the health portion, the dental portion, or the Plan in its entirety during the Change-of-Coverage Period, based on the month you started your studies.

Once the opt out is complete, you will receive a credit to your student account for the amount of the Plan. If you are eligible, the Change-of-Coverage Period is also when you can enrol yourself and your spouse and/or dependent children in the Plan.

Submit your Change-of-Coverage requests here
Change-Of-Coverage Period is based on the month of your first term of study:
  • May students: April 24 to May 15, 2020
  • July students: June 24 - July 8, 2020
  • September students: August 26 to September 25, 2020
  • January students: January 4 - 22, 2021

For information about the opt-out process, visit this page HERE

Have more questions?
Information will be available online at , or by calling the Studentcare Member Services centre at 1.855.535.3212, Mon – Fri from 9 am to 5 pm. Read our FAQs here.

About Empower Me

A Mental Health & Wellness service covered by GSA Health Plan

Students covered by the GSA Health Plan have access to Empower Me – a mental health and wellness service that seeks to contribute to a resilient student community by supporting existing on-campus and Studentcare mental health resources.

Empower Me allows students to connect with qualified counsellors, consultants, and life coaches for a variety of issues. As a student covered by the GSA Health Plan, you’re entitled to sessions delivered in person, by telephone, by video-counselling, or by e-counselling.

Empower Me is:

  • Available 24/7, 365 days per year
  • Confidential
  • Multilingual
  • Culturally sensitive
  • Gender inclusive
  • Faith inclusive

    Connect with Empower Me:

    • Call the 24/7 helpline at 1-844-741-6389 from anywhere in North America to be directly connected to a trained counsellor—the person answering the phone is not an operator, administrator, or receptionist.
    • Log in to the Empower Me website and use "Studentcare" as the password.
    • Download additional Empower Me student assistance tools on the iAspiria mobile app. Enter "Studentcare" as the Login ID and select "Student" in the drop-down menu.

    Using Empower Me
    You can always contact an Empower Me professional—no issue is too big or too small. Though Empower Me counsellors are qualified to support students in crisis, you don’t need to be in crisis in order to take advantage of the service.

    You can get support for issues of any kind, including relationships, family care, depression, anxiety, addictions, stress, work conflicts, and much more. Empower Me also offers a full suite of academic life services, such as life coaching, financial planning, and nutritional counselling.

    Have more questions?
    Check out the FAQ here.

    Other Resources

    UCalgary Student Wellness Services

    UCalgary Student Wellness Services offers health services, health promotion and outreach, and mental health services. For more details, visit

     Out of Province students seeking health care

    Student Wellness Services offers medical support for students. Students from out-of-province must arrange for Alberta Health Care coverage. For further information please see:

    Resources compiled by the GSA Mental Health & Wellness Committee