Insurance and health care for international students
All international students must be covered by health and hospitalization insurance throughout the period of their studies au Canada. This obligation is stipulated by law, and is a condition of the CAQ that you were issued. You should always carry your RAMQ or Desjardins health insurance card in case you need it. Your RAMQ card can also be used as a piece of identification.
ÉTS does not recognize private insurance coverage from your country of origin, except in the case of CBIE Scholarship recipients. Other types of insurance, including civil liability and ASEQ health and dental insurance, are optional, but they are strongly recommended. This section contains all of the information you need concerning mandatory and optional insurance.
Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ)
If you are a citizen of a country that has signed an agreement with Québec (Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Luxemburg, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Sweden), or if you hold diplomatic status, you may be eligible for the RAMQ public health insurance plan. Eligibility for the RAMQ plan is the only exception that allows for withdrawal from the Desjardins group insurance plan offered by ÉTS.
Health care coverage
Visit the RAMQ website for information concerning the various services that are covered. Pay close attention to the health care coverage while outside of Québec if you are planning to travel or complete a co-op work term abroad during your studies. For more detailed information, contact the RAMQ directly by telephone or in person.
Costs and validity
The RAMQ insurance plan is free, with the fees being covered in the agreement between your country and Québec. As a general rule, there are not usually any fees to pay when receiving care at a hospital or clinic. However, if fees are charged, follow the procedure outlined on the RAMQ website for requesting reimbursement.
Your health insurance card will usually have the same expiration date as your CAQ. If it does not cover the full duration of your study program, you must renew your subscription to the RAMQ plan and provide proof to ÉTS.
The RAMQ is always able to verify whether you are still studying full time or participating in a co-op work term, as planned when you registered. If you do not respect these conditions, you may lose your eligibility and be required to reimburse the RAMQ for covered services received during the year.
Change of address and stay outside Quebec
If you move, you must keep your address up to date throughout the period when you are covered by the Québec health insurance plan, especially in order to receive renewal notices. You must enter your change of address information online.
It is also important to remember that you must inform the RAMQ if you leave Québec for more than 21 consecutive days (excluding the day of departure and the day of return). If you do not respect these conditions, you may lose your eligibility and be required to reimburse the RAMQ for covered services received during the year.
Obtaining a RAMQ card
1. Obtain, fill out and sign the proof of insurance or certificate of affiliation with the health insurance plan from your country.
Bring the original of this document with you to Québec. For example:
- Regular programs: SE-401-Q-102
- Exchange, double-degree and joint programs: SE-401-Q-106
- Laboratory internships: SE-401-Q-104
2. Gather all the necessary documents:
- Passport and another ID card with photo
- The completed document confirming your coverage under your country’s social security plan
- Proof of enrollment at ÉTS:
- SE-401-Q-102: Attestation d’inscription officielle (Official registration certificate) available at the service counter of the Registrar's Office at the beginning of the session;
- SE-401-Q-106: Relevé d’inscription-facturation (Registration-invoicing statement) available in your MonÉTS portal;
- Persons coming from a signatory country other than France: Official registration certificate available at the service counter of the Registrar's Office at the beginning of the session.
- The original Québec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ) (for a stay of more than 6 months)
- Since March 15, 2023, the MIFI no longer issues printed copies of the CAQ. When your CAQ is approved, an Attestation of issuance of your CAQ for studies will be deposited in your online file.
- The original of youy study permit or other document issued by the Canadian immigration authorities.
- If you are studying for less than 6 months and are exempt from having a study permit, include the photo page of your passport.
3. Register for RAMQ health insurance once in Montréal
- Read and follow the RAMQ registration procedure;
- International students and research interns can complete their registration online even if they are accompanied by family members (e.g. spouse, children). To do so, you will need a scanned copy of all required documents;
- If you are not eligible to complete your registration online, you will need to schedule a telephone appointment with the RAMQ;
- Appointments are added early each morning from Monday through Friday;
- Have a postal address in Montréal. Commercial addresses (hotel, youth hostel, university, etc.) are not accepted.
Procedures at ÉTS
New students (first enrolment)
All international students are automatically billed for and covered by the Desjardins group insurance plan, even if they are eligible for the RAMQ. The premium to be paid is indicated on your Registration Statement/Invoice, which is available via your MonÉTS portal. The fees will be cancelled or reimbursed for students who present proof of enrolment in the RAMQ (letter of approval or card) to firstname.lastname@example.org before the following deadlines, which correspond to the first day of the last month of each session.
- Fall session: December 1st
- Winter session: April 1st
- Summer session: August 1st
After this date, the Registrar’s Office will not authorize the cancellation or reimbursement of fees for the ongoing session, or of any penalties incurred (as applicable). Considering the fact that processing times at the RAMQ may extend to several weeks, and may also be delayed in the case of missing documents, we encourage you to begin the process as soon as possible after arriving in Montréal.
Returning students (renewal)
Your RAMQ card may not cover you for the entire duration of your study program or, as is the case with your CAQ and your study permit, you may have to apply for a renewal. In such a case, follow the procedure described on the page entitled Renew a Health Insurance Card.
It is important to begin the process as early as possible in order to be able to provide your new proof of enrolment to the Registrar’s Office, at email@example.com, before your current card expires. If proof of enrolment is not received by the established deadline, ÉTS will be forced to add the Desjardins group insurance plan to your file. The annual premium to be paid will be indicated on your Registration Statement/Invoice. Please note that, upon presentation of proof of enrolment in the RAMQ after the deadline, you may be reimbursed for the subsequent months, but not for any months that have ended or the ongoing month.
Your RAMQ card expires on August 31. The annual insurance fees of $900 are added to your file on September 2. You receive your new RAMQ card on November 10 and submit it to the Registrar& rsquo;s Office, which may reimburse you for the subsequent months, namely December to August, but not the $225 incurred for the months of September, October and November. In this case, the amount of your reimbursement would be $675.
As an international student at ÉTS, you are automatically enrolled and billed by the Desjardins group insurance plan (Policy Q178). You can only withdraw from the Desjardins plan if you have proof of eligibility for the RAMQ plan. Please note that this coverage is for individuals only. If any members of your family are staying with you in Québec, it is your responsibility to find private insurance coverage for them (e.g.: Desjardins Visitors to Canada Insurance – PDF, in French)
Health care coverage
The Desjardins insurance plan covers medical and hospital fees, prescription medication and a guarantee of repatriation in the case of incapacity or death. Carefully read the documents listed below, paying close attention to the exclusions and the sections pertaining to pre-existing conditions, travelling to the United States, pregnancy and HIV, as applicable to your situation. We suggest that you contact the insurer to find out the type of care and services covered before consulting a doctor for non-emergency care.
- Insurance policy Q178 – Brochure (available in your Desjardins portal)
- Access to your online Desjardins account – Group insurance
- Your payment card (PDF, in French)
- Registering for online services (PDF, in French)
- List of medical clinics suggested by the insurer (available in your Desjardins portal)
Please note that you can consult another physician at the clinic of your choice, but these clinics generally accept the Desjardins card up front, which means that you don’t have to pay and then request reimbursement.
Costs and validity
The cost of the Desjardins insurance plan is automatically added to your invoice for ÉTS tuition fees. Premiums vary depending on the session in which you arrive, and are subject to change on an annual basis.
Fall session (from September 1st to August 31)
- Coverage begins: August 15 (or the date of your arrival in Quebec, whichever is later.) If you arrive before August 15th, you must take out private insurance to cover you until August 15th.
Winter session (from January 1st to August 31)
- Coverage begins: December 15 (or the date of your arrival in Quebec, whichever is later.) If you arrive before December 15th, you must take out private insurance to cover you until December 15th.
Summer session (from May 1st to August 31)
- Coverage begins: April 15 (or the date of your arrival in Quebec, whichever is later.) If you arrive before April 15th, you must take out private insurance to cover you until April 15th.
Monthly invoicing for laboratory interns: $81 per month (for the entire month, regardless of the day on which you enrol)
Cost per session for exchange students: $324
ATTENTION! If you arrive in Canada before the date when your coverage begins, or if you wish to extend your stay after completing your studies, you must enrol in a private insurance plan for these periods (e.g.: Desjardins Visitors to Canada Insurance).
Obtaining your Desjardins card
The insurer and ÉTS no longer issued paper copies of the card. You can access your digital card via the online Desjardins portal. The Registrar’s Office will send you the certificate number and contract number of your policy by e-mail. Please note that a new contract number will be sent to you each Fall session, to be used for the new academic year. The old number will no longer be valid.
You will receive the information concerning your contract approximately 6 weeks after you have paid the insurance fees indicated on your Registration Statement/Invoice. Consult the Tuition Fees page for the various payment options. Please note that the insurance portion only can be paid directly onsite using a credit or debit card.
ATTENTION! If you require medical care and have paid the insurance portion, but have not yet received your electronic card, contact firstname.lastname@example.org to obtain a temporary attestation of medical coverage.
Filing a claim for reimbursement
You may be required to pay for a consultation at a hospital or clinic that does not appear on the list of the medical clinics suggested by the insurer (PDF, in French). To file a claim for reimbursement, you must keep the invoices you receive for any medical fees incurred and submit your claim using the online service offered by the insurer or the Omni mobile app.
We suggest that you to contact the insurer to find out of the type of care and services covered before consulting a doctor for non-emergency care.
As mentioned, the Desjardins insurance available at ÉTS only offers individual coverage for our students. If members of your family are accompanying you during your stay in Québec, it is your responsibility to obtain private insurance for them as soon as you arrive in Canada. This is not only important for their health and safety, but is also a requirement for immigration, because it is a condition for obtaining a CAQ. Consult the section entitled Obtaining health and hospitalization insurance for you and the members of your family who accompany you throughout your stay.
Compare the various plans offered by insurance companies in terms of inclusion and exclusion (e.g.: pregnancy, pre-existing conditions, etc.), and select the one that best suits your needs and your budget. ÉTS does not recommend any specific company, but by way of example, many of our students opt for Blue Cross, Ingle international or Desjardins Visitors to Canada insurance.
Attention! Please note that minor children (under 18 years old) of study permit holders are now eligible for the Québec Public Health Insurance plan. Visit the RAMQ website for more information.
In Canada, dental care and specialized health care can be expensive. For example, a routine visit to the dentist may cost approximately $150. Except in the case of an accident, dental care and emergencies are not covered by basic health insurance plans.
Dental insurance allows you to be reimbursed for between 70% and 100% of dental care fees. Consult the ASEQ dental insurance section (in French) for more information concerning the extent of your insurance coverage and to request reimbursement. The coverage period runs from September 1 to August 31 of the following year.
This insurance is optional, but is automatically invoiced to your file, with the exception of those who are registered in an exchange program (0469, 4023).
Attention! You can withdraw from this coverage directly through the ASEQ (in French) before the deadline, which is approximately 30 day after the beginning of the semester. Your coverage cannot be changed during a later semester. In other words, if you withdraw during the Fall session, you cannot enrol again for the Winter semester, and the Summer semester is invoiced during the winter.
Additional health insurance
International students who are covered by the RAMQ plan can register for ASEQ health, vision and travel insurance (in French), which is optional. Depending on the option selected, this insurance entitles you to overage for specialized health care (e.g.: dietician, osteopath, etc.), certain medications, vision care, vaccines and psychological services.
To register for this insurance, contact ASEQ (in French) within 30 days following your enrolment with the RAMQ. The fees will be added directly to your ÉTS invoice.
The RAMQ and Desjardins insurance plans do not cover your property or any damages you may cause to the property of others. Household and civil liability insurance is mandatory if you live in the ÉTS residences.
If you live off-campus, it is strongly recommended that you obtain household and civil liability insurance. Enrolling is an individual procedure that can easily be accomplished online. You can request online quotes from various insurance companies with only a few clicks on insurance comparison sites (e.g.: ClickInsurance). You can also take advantage of a discount on this type of insurance by becoming a member of the Québec Engineers Network.
Your health and hospitalization insurance plan may or may not include travel and repatriation insurance.
If you are covered by Desjardins
The Desjardins insurance plan includes coverage outside of Québec, and offers a travel assistance service. However, you are strongly encouraged to contact Desjardins before travelling outside of the country to verify and validate the conditions in case of emergency.
If you are covered by the RAMQ
It is crucial that you consult the RAMQ website to learn about the conditions and procedures for being reimbursed for medical fees incurred outside of Québec. Contact the RAMQ directly to determine whether it better to obtain private travel insurance in order to avoid unpleasant surprises and expensive bills. If necessary, compare the rates offered by the various companies (e.g.: ASEQ travel insurance – in French).
If you are covered by Desjardins
The Desjardins insurance plan includes a repatriation guarantee in the event of complex and continuous care or in the event of death in Canada. Therefore you do not have to take out additional insurance to cover this component.
If you are covered by the RAMQ
The RAMQ does not cover repatriation in the case of invalidity, emergency or death. If you want to take out this type of coverage, please contact a private insurance provider.
Whether you are a full-time or part-time student, you are covered in the case of an accident that occurs while you are on the ÉTS campus or while travelling between ÉTS and your place of residence. Contact the Prevention and Safety Office immediately in the case of an accident.
- From the ÉTS campus: extension 8900;
- From outside the ÉTS campus or from the residences: 514-396-8900;
- In case of emergency (from internal extensions only): dial 55.
Go to Pavilion A (1100 Notre-Dame Street West), Room A-0110. In case of emergency dial: 911
After an intervention
After an intervention, Security Officers will prepare an accident report that can be used as a supporting document for any requests from the insurer.
To file a claim with the insurer, you must send the duly completed claim form and the required supporting documents within 90 days following the accident.
In Québec, you should contact different types of resources depending on the nature and urgency of your health issue. Some types of health care are covered by your health and hospitalization insurance plan, but others are not.
Learn how to navigate the Québec health care system by consulting our presentation. You can also consult the Santé Montréal website to determine which type of professional to consult. Emergency medical care
Emergency medical care
If an emergency occurs while on campus, dial 55 from any internal telephone to contact the Security Department (Pavilion A, Room A-0110) at any time.
If you or someone near you requires emergency assistance: Dial 911
This number will connect you directly to the fire department, the ambulance service and the police, and the dispatcher will assign the proper resources depending on the nature of your emergency.
ATTENTION! Only use this number in case of an emergency. Otherwise, you may be subject to a fine. Transportation by ambulance is not a free service, and the individual who is transported to a hospital is usually responsible for paying the costs at a later date.
Go to the emergency department
If you are able to travel, go to the emergency department of the hospital closest to you. Consult the list of hospitals (in French). Hospital emergency departments are open 24 hours per day throughout the year.
ATTENTION! Emergency departments are often crowded, and waiting times may be long. It is important to only go there if there is a real need. Non-emergency medical care.
Non-emergency medical care
If you need to consult a medical professional for a health problem that is not considered to be urgent, there are a variety of options available.
Consultation by telephone | Info-santé 811
This telephone service is free, confidential and accessible 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. When you call 811, you will speak to a nurse, who can give you advice and answer your questions. The nurse can direct you to the proper resources near you (e.g.: clinics that do not require an appointment).
Consult a pharmacist
For minor health issues or questions concerning prescription medications or over-the-counter products, you can go to a pharmacy near you and speak directly with a pharmacist. To learn more about the free services available at pharmacies, consult the Santé Montréal website.
Make a medical appointment
If you require a medical appointment, there are various types of clinics where you can obtain health care: centres locaux de services communautaires (CLSC – local community health service centres), family medical groups, private clinics and hospitals.
Visit the health-wellness portal and enter your postal code to find the resource closest to you. Carefully read the procedures for each clinic for making an appointment or for access without an appointment.
ATTENTION! If you are covered by the Desjardins insurance plan, only certain clinics (PDF – in French) offer medical consultations free of charge. You must have your ÉTS student card, your Desjardins insurance card and the form with you. If you make an appointment somewhere else, you may have to pay the required fees and then request reimbursement later. Click on the Desjardins insurance tab for full details.
Make an appointment online (RAMQ only)
The Bonjour-santé application is a paid service ($18.95 per appointment) that allows you to make a medical appointment online within the coming hours.