University of Alberta Health Insurance Plan (UAHIP)

Information current as of September 1, 2023

What is UAHIP? 

University of Alberta Health Insurance Plan (UAHIP) provides coverage for international students, employees and their families who reside in Canada but are not eligible for provincial health coverage. Cowan Insurance Group administers the plan under Canada Life. The UAHIP master contract issued to the University of Alberta is the governing document. 

UAHIP is a replacement plan for the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP) provided by the Alberta government and provides coverage for international students/employees who are not eligible for AHCIP.

Who is eligible for UAHIP? 

  • Students attending the University of Alberta, in person or virtually, for a duration of between 6 weeks and 12 months, who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada, registered in an accredited undergraduate or graduate program or the full-time English Language School
  • Participants research placement programs managed by the University of Alberta International at the University of Alberta for a duration of between 6 weeks and 12 months, who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada
  • Academic Visitors/Visiting Researchers at the University of Alberta for a duration of between 6 weeks and 12 months, who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada
  • A legal, common-law (including same-sex) spouse living with the enrolled individual. The applicant must certify on the enrollment form that the common-law relationship has existed for a continuous two-year period. 
  • Children of eligible individuals, who are under the age of 21 (under age 25 if they are registered as students in regular full-time attendance at a school, college, or university). In certain instances, older disabled children may also be covered. 
  • Sessional instructors holding a valid work permit issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, and whose contract of employment with the University of Alberta is for a minimum period of eight months and not more than 12 months.
  • Post Doctoral Fellows whose contract of employment is less than one year

Commonly Asked Questions

Do I have to enroll in UAHIP?
Yes, if you reside in Canada and do not have Alberta Health Care Insurance.
How do I enroll in UAHIP?

The University of Alberta will enroll registered students each term once course registration is confirmed. Sessional Instructors and Post Doctoral Fellows and specified academic visitors, and research interns are enrolled in conjunction with the appointment process.

Once the University of Alberta has submitted your coverage information to Cowan Insurance Group, you will receive an email from them to your email address with instructions to set up your online UAHIP account to access and download your UAHIP proof of insurance.

If you are unsure if you are eligible for UAHIP, contact

Can my dependents enroll in UAHIP?

Yes, coverage for your dependents is optional and begins on the date they arrive in Canada, but no earlier than your actual enrollment date.

You must enroll your dependents within 30 days of your enrollment date or their arrival in Canada, whichever is later. If you do not register your dependents within 30 days, evidence of good health will be required, and coverage may be limited.

You must complete a separate enrollment form available from the University of Alberta to enroll your dependents. Additional fees will be assessed.

How do I get my insurance card?

NOTE: You cannot create an online account until the University of Alberta has contacted the insurance company to request your enrollment. You will be able to create an online account after you receive the email from the Cowan Insurance Group.

To create your online account:

Use your UAHIP certificate number, which is 30000 followed by your 7-digit UAlberta ID number located on your OneCard (eg. 300001234567)

Under the ePackage section, you can access the following:

  • Your Printable eCard* available on your benefit start date by clicking on the eCard link. Save a pdf version of this insurance card to your phone and carry it with you at all times. You will need to present it when you require medical care.
  • Printable claim form to submit receipts to apply for reimbursement by regular mail
  • eClaims to submit receipts to apply for reimbursement online
  • Claims history allows you to view submitted and processed claims
  • My Account allows you to update your email or mailing address 

IMPORTANT! You will need to sign up with the name and certificate number exactly as shown at the top of the email [Action Required] email that you should receive from the Cowan Insurance company. If you have difficulty accessing your online account, please email and include your UAHIP certificate number

You must print the eCard and carry the most current version with you or store the pdf file on your cell phone so that you have proof of coverage with you at all times.

In the event that you need to receive emergency medical care at an Alberta Health Services hospital, it is important to present proof of valid UAHIP insurance upon arrival. If you do not have your UAHIP eCard, you may be asked to pay up to $1000 at the start of your visit.

You must have active coverage to access Cowan’s online portal to view your claims history. 

Once you have terminated your coverage, you no longer have online access.

How do I extend my coverage?

Students who plan to enroll in consecutive terms may apply for an extension of coverage for any full month period that might exist between the terms. You must submit a completed enrollment form before the termination of existing coverage.

Individuals who plan on remaining in Canada after their time at the University of Alberta is complete can extend UAHIP coverage for up to four additional months. A completed enrollment form must be submitted before the termination of existing coverage.

How much does UAHIP cost?

Your cost to enroll in UAHIP will depend on the number of people covered and the length of time you will be in Alberta. 

UAHIP monthly premium rates for eligible individuals:

  • Single Individual $50.00 per month
  • Single Individual +1 dependent $98.59 per month
  • Single Individual +2 dependents $147.21 per month
  • Single Individual +3 or more $191.67 per month

UAHIP coverage is based on a calendar month and adjusting the premium for partial months is not possible. For students, coverage begins the first day of the month in which the term begins, and ends the last day of the month in which the term ends.

Students will be assessed UAHIP fees in their fees account that can be viewed in Bear Tracks. Payment of the single student premium is made to the University of Alberta. It will follow regular tuition policies and deadlines as indicated in the University of Alberta Calendar or the English Language School program information.

Students must submit payment for dependents’ coverage to the University of Alberta International via the online payment system using a credit card.

Eligible individuals who are not students should contact their plan administrator regarding the UAHIP fee payment process. For these individuals, enrollment and fee payment will happen at the same time.

Can I get a refund if my family or I leave Canada earlier than expected?

Providing no claims were collected, refunds are calculated according to regular University of Alberta deadlines and policies as published in the University’s Calendar or the English Language School program information.

For sessional instructors and Post-Doctoral Fellows, refunds are effective the first of the month following employment termination.

Can I Cancel the UAHIP insurance?

You should apply to cancel (Opt out of UAHIP) for one of the following reasons:

  1. You are studying remotely outside of Canada and will not be living in Canada at any time during your studies
  2. You have valid coverage under the provincial Alberta Healthcare Insurance Plan (AHCIP)
  3. You have withdrawn from the University of Alberta

Apply to cancel or opt out of UAHIP here.

Does UAHIP cover me while travelling to Canada from my home country?
No. You should obtain travel insurance to cover any health emergencies while you are on your way to Canada.
Does UAHIP cover me while travelling outside Canada?

Not entirely - If you plan to travel outside Canada during your time in Alberta, you should purchase additional health insurance. UAHIP covers the cost of medical care by matching the cost paid through the Alberta Health Care Provincial Plan. Expenses covered under UAHIP include $100/day for in-patient hospital services and $50/day for outpatient hospital services. 

Usually, this is only a fraction of the cost incurred in places such as the United States.

What do I do if I require medical services?

Always carry your UAHIP coverage eCard with you and present it to the health care provider at the start of your visit. In many instances, your healthcare provider can process your drug and paramedical claim for you. Your card includes your certificate, policy and carrier numbers.  

If you have to pay the health care provider directly, be sure to obtain a receipt to submit with your claim form. You and the health care provider must complete claim forms and submit them to Cowan Insurance Group (see How can I submit a claim?).

What’s covered?

Ambulance Services
Reasonable and customary charges when a participant requires and is provided with transportation to or from a hospital in the event of illness or injury in an automobile regularly used for professional ambulance services. Air ambulance services are available within the province of Alberta only.
Chronic Hospital Care
In-patient hospital services in the chronic care unit of a hospital or an approved nursing home, when authorized by a doctor (those requiring chronic hospital care will have to pay a portion of the cost).
Dental Care in Hospital when Medically Necessary
Dental surgery is performed by a dental surgeon who is a member of the hospital staff when hospitalization is judged medically necessary, with prior approval of the insurer, to the same levels and under the same conditions as AHCIP health coverage.
Dental Coverage when Accidental
$1,000 maximum per accident. Limited by the current Dental Fee Guide.
Diagnostic Laboratory and X-Ray Services
X-rays for diagnostic and treatment purposes, laboratory services, and clinical pathology, authorized by a doctor and performed in an approved laboratory.
Doctors’ Services in Alberta
  • Examinations/treatments provided by doctors or physicians when medically necessary 
  • One annual complete physical examination by doctors or physicians at home, in a hospital, an institution, or at a doctor’s office. 
  • Diagnosis and treatment of illness and injury, including fracture and dislocations.
  • Surgery, including the administration of anesthetics.
  • Care related to pregnancy (prenatal and postnatal).

Legally prescribed drugs, including vaccines, oral contraceptives, and smoking cessation aids, are limited to $500 per calendar year. Fertility drugs are excluded. 

Note: All pharmacies can submit claims/expenses directly to Cowan Insurance Group.

Emergency Services outside Alberta or Canada

Emergency hospitalization and medical care outside Alberta or Canada apply only to: 

  • hospital services, 
  • doctors’ services, 
  • diagnostic laboratory and X-ray services, 
  • ambulance and eye examinations and 
  • to the same levels and under the same conditions as the AHCIP health coverage

If travelling outside Canada while covered by UAHIP, you should purchase additional health insurance before you leave.

Eye Examinations
  • One eye examination by a licensed medical doctor, ophthalmologist, or optometrist in 12 consecutive months 
  • Claims are limited to reasonable and customary levels.
Home Care
When a professional health service is needed, and needs cannot be met on an out-patient basis, with a doctor’s authorization and prior approval of the insurer.
Hospital Services in Alberta
  • 100% of emergency room services and out-patient charges.
  • Hospitalization in standard ward accommodation (including meals); 100% for the first four days in the case of emergency, to a maximum of 2.5 times the hospital inter-provincial rate for each day after that.
  • Necessary nursing services, when provided by the hospital.
  • Use of the operating and delivery rooms (including anesthetics and surgical supplies), radiotherapy facilities and respiratory equipment, home renal dialysis or home hyperalimentation available from an Alberta hospital and prescribed by a staff doctor of that hospital, and diet counselling services when doctor-prescribed.
  • Psychiatric care on an in-patient basis. 
  • Services rendered by any person paid by the hospital
  • When prescribed by a doctor, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and physiotherapy in approved Canadian hospitals.
Licensed Nursing Homes
A portion of the cost of standard ward accommodation when a covered person needs regular medical supervision and nursing and personal care are on a 24-hour-a-day basis.
Medical Aids and Appliances
  • Medical appliances such as crutches, casts, splints, canes, slings, trusses, braces, walkers and rental of wheelchairs when prescribed and approved by a physician 
  • Claims are limited to reasonable and customary levels.
Services of Other Practitioners
  • Treatment by a chiropractor, osteopath, chiropodist, or podiatrist, and physiotherapy in Alberta's approved non-hospital physiotherapy facility. 
  • Benefits are limited to a maximum of $1,000 per practitioner per calendar year. Claims are limited to reasonable and customary levels.
  • Treatment by a psychiatrist, psychologist and/or counsellor on an out-patient basis is limited to a combined maximum of $2,500 per calendar year.

If a covered person is diagnosed as mentally ill or terminally ill (with 12 months or less to live) and the medical condition is stable, or if a covered person dies, UAHIP pays the actual cost of returning the covered person or remains on the most direct route to the air terminal closest to the covered person’s residence in their home country to a maximum of $10,000. Claims are limited to reasonable and customary levels.

Benefit reimbursements are made only upon the submission of verification from the service provider that the services claimed were rendered.

Note: For all listed services, benefits will be paid according to the Government of Alberta Schedule of Fees wherever applicable, except as otherwise stated.

Additional Information

What is not covered by UAHIP?
  • Acupuncture
  • Artificial limbs
  • Cosmetic surgery, unless required because of an accident that occurs while the person is covered under UAHIP.
  • Court testimony, preparation of records, reports, certificates or communications
  • Dental care services (cleanings, x-rays, fillings, crowns, etc.) dental coverage is only provided if care is necessary as a result of an accident.
  • Eyeglasses, frames or contact lenses
  • Group examinations, immunizations, or inoculations
  • Hospital visits solely for the administration of drugs
  • Immigration medical check-up
  • Prenatal classes
  • Private-duty nursing
  • Services at elderly care facilities
  • Services received due to accident or illness in the home country, when such expenses are covered under another insurance plan, 
  • Services not covered by the AHCIP, including those removed from coverage in the future, as of the date of the removal
  • Telephone advice
  • Third-party requested medical examinations and tests Transportation charges (other than approved ambulance services)
  • Expenses payable by any other plan
  • Expenses beyond $10,000, if a covered person refuses repatriation recommended by the insurer.
When do I visit a hospital emergency department or a health clinic?
A medical emergency is an acute injury or illness posing an immediate risk to a person’s life or long-term health. The hospital emergency department provides the best care for this situation. To receive care for a non-emergency medical condition, visit a health clinic.
How can I submit a claim?

Online (Must have a Canadian bank account)

  • Sign-up for an account on the Member Access Site
  • When prompted, add your bank account information
  • Complete an eClaim, upload an image of your medical receipt and click submit.
  • Your claim will process in 1-2 business days
  • Cowan Insurance Group will deposit your reimbursement into your bank account, 24 hours after your claim has been approved. 


  • Print the claim form from your Member Access Site
  • Bring the claim form to your medical service provider and ask them to fill sections 4 -5
  • Complete sections 1 - 3
  • Mail the completed form with original medical receipt (see address on claim form). We recommend making a copy of the medical receipt before mailing the claim. 

Once the claim is processed and approved, Cowan Insurance Group will deposit the reimbursement amount in your bank account or mail you a cheque if no bank account information is available.  Be sure to set up direct deposit by adding your bank account information in the portal.