a) Does the AMS student dental/medical plan cover a teacher candidate’s medical and dental while on CFE? Does the AMS provide travel insurance?
UBC’s student abroad gives teacher candidates an overview of what the AMS/GSS health and Dental does and does not cover. See http://safetyabroad.ubc.ca/insurance-amsgss-ubcsuo. It is important to note the two following statements on this site:
“If you are authorized to travel to regions where DFAIT has issued a travel advisory level of “AVOID NON-ESSENTIAL TRAVEL” or “AVOID ALL TRAVEL,” it is your responsibility to ensure that you have adequate medical and travel insurance coverage while you are away. Note that the AMS/GSS Extended Coverage Plan is automatically void for regions with these advisories”.
“What AMS insurance will not cover:
- Travel health coverage does not apply to international students traveling to their home country under any circumstances. This coverage depends on your residency status in the home country. If you also have a passport and permanent residency in your home country, any expenses incurred while traveling there are not eligible under the student plan.
- You and your dependents are not covered for out-of-province or out-of-country emergency services once you reach age 65
- If you are not participating on an academic exchange or internship, you are not able to extend your travel insurance past the standard 120 days. In this case, Pacific Blue Cross suggests that you look into purchasing a separate travel insurance policy for the period of travel which exceeds the 120 days”.
It is highly recommended that UBC teacher candidates visit the Insurance Learning Module to learn more about choosing the right insurance (including other insurance such as baggage insurance, etc.).
Please note, AMS insurance does not cover trip cancellation, lost/damaged baggage, trip cancellation, flight accident and other losses incurred while traveling.
It is important to realize 1) that insurance policies change from year to year, and 2) that TEO staff/faculty are not trained authorities on AMS medical and dental plans. Thus teacher candidates are required to contact the AMS insurance authorities to verify the credibility of this information and to purchase adequate travel insurance (use this link to find AMS medical and dental contact information: http://www.ams.ubc.ca/services/health-dental-plan/).
For more information and travel advice with regards to health and wellness, please click on the “Services for Travel” tab under Go Global’s Health and Wellness pages (https://safetyabroad.ubc.ca/learning-modules/health-wellness).
b) What should I do if I I have an accident while on my CFE?
It is extremely important to be prepared before you have an accident. We recommend teacher candidates complete UBC ‘s Safety Abroad Emergencies learning module.
We also recommend you keep a copy of your international SOS card on you at all times, as it contains the contact information (Telephone +1 215 942 8478) and membership number (University of BC Membership Number: 27AYCA486500) which will connect you with people who will be able to assist those in the hospital connect with people who will help you determine your medical/dental coverage.
Finally, follow this link to the travel health passport which includes the contact information and policy number for the insurance provider. Keep this information on your person throughout your international CFE
c) Should we take out medical and dental insurance through our international partners?
A recent email from an international partner asking if UBC teacher candidates needed to buy insurance while in their country, prompted a response from Go Global which answers this question, and reminds teacher candidates that they are responsible for having adequate insurance coverage while out of BC and Canada. Here is Go Global’s response to he question about purchasing an international partner’s insurance plan:
Hello [name of partner],
Thank you for asking the question around insurance as it is indeed very important for students to know. As Keith has said (thank you, Keith, for looping me in), the students at UBC are typically covered under the AMS/GSS Health and Dental plan as long as they haven’t opted out. There is a process in which the opting out happens so students should know if they have done so. If they haven’t done anything, then they probably do still have the AMS/GSS plan because they pay into it as part of their tuition fees and thus are automatically enrolled in the plan. Any students that are unsure, should call iHaveaPlan to double check by using their UBC student ID number.
The link here to the IHaveaPlan website indicates the coverage students will have during their travel under the AMS/GSS Health and Dental plan. There is a summary of the coverage on our Safety Learning Module for Insurance as well but I would strongly encourage students to read through both sites carefully.
For those that don’t have any coverage, they will be required by UBC policy to obtain at least extended insurance. On our Leaning Module, there is also a list of potential insurance providers students can look into if they would like to purchase insurance, as well as a list of questions that would be useful to ask when shopping around.
Note for all students: extended and emergency plans are automatically void without a basic plan so you must be paying for your basic plan in order to keep your extended coverage like the AMS/GSS plan. For more information, please view the Insurance Learning Module.
That being said, students are welcome to purchase the [name of school] plan if they would like and if they feel the coverage would be sufficient for them. The AMS/GSS plan is quite comprehensive so I don’t think students will need to purchase the Tec [UBC partner] plan on top of that but that is still the students’ decision. We do sometimes have students who prefer to have a plan that hospitals in their host country would recognize but they keep the AMS/GSS plan at the same time so there is double coverage. Again, students are welcome to do that if they choose.
I hope that helps and please let me know if you have any further questions.
[Name of Go Global contact]
For more information, please click on the “Services for Travel” tab under Go Global’s Health and Wellness pages (https://safetyabroad.ubc.ca/learning-modules/health-wellness).
d) My international CFE partner is requesting a proof of insurance. What is this and where do I obtain it?
The UBC Safety Abroad Registry module on insurance states, “If you are covered only by the Medical Services Plan (MSP) or another basic provincial plan, you must purchase additional insurance. Basic and Extended insurance are required for international travel, while Emergency insurance is recommended. You will be asked to provide proof of insurance on the Student Safety Abroad Registry”.
“For students with the AMS/GSS plan or UBCSUO plan, please contact an IHaveAPlan representative directly to obtain proof of insurance. For students who opted out of the AMS/GSS plan or UBCSUO plan, please contact your insurance provider directly to obtain proof of insurance”.
All UBC students are covered under UBC’s general liability insurance policy (#UBCL-2014). If anyone sues UBC or our students while they are conducting themselves as part of their program, on or off campus, they would be protected. This includes practicum and CFE.
UBC TCs also pay $7 for Student Accidental Insurance in the event they injured while on practicum of on CFE. To review this policy and the coverage, please visit http://riskmanagement.sites.olt.ubc.ca/files/2016/02/UBC-Student-Accident-Insurance-Policy_Updated-Feb-4-2016.pdf and http://riskmanagement.sites.olt.ubc.ca/files/2015/09/UBC-Student-Accident-Insurance-Memorandum_Updated-Feb-4-2016.pdf.
For more on UBC’s AMS insurance, please see section c above.
Usually, sending our partners links to these documents will satisfy their proof of insurance requirements. However in some cases, it will not. Please contact the international Community Field Experience coordinator if a partner requires a more detailed and formal proof of insurance.
e) How can a Teacher Candidate determine if they require vaccinations (and if so, what types) and when they should be administered?
Past teacher candidates have visited the Canadian Government’s Travel Abroad website, selected the country they will be traveling to, and reviewed the listed health and vaccination advisories and advice. Moreover, past teacher Candidates highly recommend visiting a health authority in the Vancouver Lower Mainland and seek professional medical advice. Many teacher candidates recommended the Vancouver Coastal Health Travel Clinic (VCHTC) as it is near UBC. You can request an appointment through this link: http://travelclinic.vch.ca/about/book or visit them face-2-face to book an appointment. They are located at:
Vancouver Coastal Health Travel Clinic
L-5, 601 West Broadway,
Vancouver, BC, V5Z4C2
For a fee of $35.00 (fee not covered by AMS medical) the VCHTC will assess you for the vaccinations you require. The clinic will then give you the shots and create an invoice which you submit to the AMS medical for reimbursement.
Past teacher candidates have reported that clinics sometimes reduce the assessment cost if groups of teacher candidates (who are going to the same country) are assessed together at the same time. Check with the clinic before booking a group appointment.
If you require more than 150.00 worth of vaccinations, AMS recommends that you spread them over two years (e.g., half before December and the other half starting the following January). This is because the AMS Health Insurance only covers up to $150.00 in vaccinations per calendar year (January being the start of a new calendar year). Again, the health policy may change so it is the teacher candidate’s responsibility to contact the AMS insurance and verifying the vaccination polices and coverages.
Note that Health Canada prefers you visit a vaccination clinic at least 6 weeks before you travel.
For further information about travel vaccinations, please see: http://travel.gc.ca/travelling/health-safety/vaccines, and review the information on Go Global’s Health and Wellness pages (https://safetyabroad.ubc.ca/learning-modules/health-wellness).
For instructions on how to enter information into the Safety Abroad registry about travel, health, dental and vision insurance providers, the travel insurance providers, and associated policy number, please see the Safety Abroad Q&As at: https://blogs.ubc.ca/selfplaceqa/safetyabroad/