SFU Admin has agreed to a system to pay the required premiums for MSP that international students are being charged, retroactively from September 1, 2019 and going forward as well. This will mean hundreds of thousands of dollars per year to international student TAs, TMs, and SIs. Let’s fight in the future to get all TSSU members, including RAs and GFs, covered too. This victory came because we used our collective power through both organizing and advocacy. 

We did it together!

The settlement had two key parts:

  • Invoices from Sept 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020 would be submitted to SFU by April 30, 2020 and be retroactively reimbursed by SFU Admin with payments by July 31, 2020. 
  • From April 1, 2020 onwards those still being charged premiums for MSP will be able to enroll in a group plan through SFU, who will pay their bills just like under the old system.

If you are on a study permit, please enroll in the group plan!

To opt into SFU’s group plan:

You will then need to upload the letter at guard.me/sfu to complete the opt-out process, and potentially receive an additional refund.

NOTE: For people who are on GuardMe, please visit here.

Background on “Health Coverage Fee”

The BC Government announced it would eliminate MSP fees for BC residents, effective January 1, 2020.  In August 2019, they announced that international students would still have to pay for MSP, and it would be branded as the “Health Coverage fee” and billed individually to students. 

This portion of the premium for MSP was phased in:

  • $37.50 per month starting Sept. 1, 2019
  • $75.00 per month starting Jan. 1, 2020

The Government told us that the fee is just one part of a total premium for MSP, this is confirmed by the written regulation. The government also published a FAQ. TSSU has a history of fighting for free public health care for all residents of BC, including international students.

  • In the 1980’s TSSU members fought to be included in public health care and won in court. Now all BC residents, including international students are covered.
  • In the 1990’s we fought to have SFU pay the costs for MSP coverage, which is now 100% paid for Teaching Assistants, Tutor Markers, Sessional Instructors, etc.
  • In the 2010’s, SFU brought in Guard.me, charging high fees for lesser service and TSSU fought and won $120,000+ back for TSSU members, and a 30% cut in the price for everyone.