COWAN Health Insurance is mandatory for all International and Exchange Students.

Quebec Government regulations require all International and Exchange Students to purchase the COWAN Health Insurance Plan to study at Bishop’s University.

Bishop’s University will not accept any other health insurance policies. The only exception accepted is if you are eligible and covered by the RAMQ.

COWAN Health Insurance  ↓
Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ)  ↓
Studentcare (ASEQ)  ↓

COWAN Health Insurance

As soon as you register to your courses at Bishop’s, a health insurance fee (COWAN) is automatically billed for international students per semester. Here are the fees according to your registration:

  • From August 16 to December 31 (FALL): $396
  • From January to August 15 (WINTER+SUMMER): $315
  • From January to August 15 (WINTER+SUMMER): $469 New students in Winter
  • From May 1st to August 15 (SUMMER): $290 for the students admitted in Spring

You don’t need to apply for it.

The dates of coverage for this insurance are as follows:

  • Fall: August 16th to December 31st
  • Winter: January 1st to April 30th
  • Summer: May 1st to August 15th

You can view the terms of the health coverage in these booklets:

* Please note that this insurance is a health and hospitalization insurance and does not cover dental care. You will find dental coverage with the StudentCare offered by the SRC. For more information, please visit the StudentCare website or contact the SRC.

How to start?

As soon as you will be registered (course selection) at Bishop’s, we will send your contact info to COWAN insurance.

You will then receive a welcome email from COWAN Insurance that will tell you how to proceed to open your account and access your insurance card (August 2023).

On your account you will have access to the coverage, but also your insurance card. If you use the app, you will be able to use an electronic insurance card. However, please do not forget to print your insurance card and keep it with you just in case.


You can make your claims online through your COWAN online account. By making your claims online, you should receive your refund within 24-48 hours.

It is also possible to make your claim in paper format. To do so, you will need to complete and sign the following claim (coming soon) form and mail it to the address indicated at the bottom of the form.

More details to come.

Pay your Tuition Fees

For the deadline for payment of fees and for more information on how to pay for your insurance, please see the Tuition and Fees web page.

* Please note that if you need to see a doctor before you receive your card, you will need to pay the fee, keep your receipt, and you can claim a refund when you have your card.

International Insurance Waiver Request

Students registered for this current semester and taking classes remotely, may exceptionally opt-out to the mandatory International Student Health Insurance during the time outside of Canada. To do so, you will need to fill out the form found on your myBU portal under the “Registrar’s Office” section, in the “Student Financial Information”:

  1. Login to myBU.
  2. Click on Registrar’s Office.
  3. Click on International Insurance Waiver Request.
  4. Then send it to the email listed on the form.

Please note: If you revoke your insurance policy for any given semester (if you are taking your courses online and you are not physically in Canada), you take the risk of being refused coverage for any health problem that could be considered pre-existing should you return the following semester.


The mandatory insurance for international students is an individual insurance. Please note that if you are coming to study at Bishop’s and you are bringing your family (spouse, children) with you, you will need to take out a private insurance for your spouse.

Children of international students:

If an international student is accompanied to Canada by his/her children, please note that as of 2021, children of foreign workers or international students may be covered by Quebec health insurance (RAMQ), as well as by the prescription drug insurance.

See the eligibility conditions for the RAMQ health insurance for more information.
See the eligibility conditions for the Quebec prescription drug insurance for more information.

Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ)

If you are a citizen and a resident of Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Serbia or Sweden, you may qualify for the Quebec Health Insurance Plan Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ). Students who are nationals of a country that has signed an agreement with Québec must obtain the Social Security affiliation form before leaving their country of origin. To know the eligibility conditions for health insurance as an international student, visit the RAMQ website.

You must apply online to the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ), and by submitting the following documents in PDF format: (Social Security affiliation form, Verification of Enrolment, CAQ for students other than exchange students for 1 semester, study permit and/or passport). Exchange students from France do not need to provide proof of enrolment in their application to the RAMQ.

The procedure will be the same for extending your health insurance coverage. However, students accompanied by family members will still need to use a paper form, which can be obtained by calling the RAMQ. For more information, call RAMQ at 1-800-561-9749.

Forms you must obtain before arriving in Montreal

Belgium: Form BE/QUE 128-QUE/BE 128.
Denmark: Valid Danish health card, obtained before you leave for Québec.
Finland: Form SF/Q 4 issued by the social security institution.
France*: Form SE 401 Q 102 or 106 issued by the Caisse primaire d’assurance maladie (CPAM).
*Exchange students do not need to provide a Verification of Enrolment.
Greece: Form GR/QUE 6 issued by the Social Security.
Luxembourg: Form LUX-QUE4 issued by the Luxembourg Health Insurance Fund.
Norway: Certificate from the National Social Security Office for social security abroad.
Portugal: Form POR/QUE 4.
Romania: Form ROU/QUE 106.
Serbia:  Form SRB/QUE 14).
Sweden: Certificate of social insurance in Sweden issued by the National Social Insurance Office.

Refund from COWAN insurance process

Note that all international and exchange students are still required to buy coverage with COWAN. 

If you choose to apply for a RAMQ card, you will be eligible for a refund from your COWAN insurance fees upon receipt of the RAMQ card and providing there have been no claims with COWAN.

To be eligible for the refund you will also be required to send a copy of your RAMQ card with the letter from RAMQ indicating the coverage dates. Please send PDF copies of the card and letter to

Refund Deadline:

Fall 2023 refund deadline: December 21, 2023.
Winter 2024 refund deadline: April 25, 2024.

StudentCare (ASEQ)

This is a supplementary insurance, which means that it is not mandatory. However, it could be a good complement to the COWAN or RAMQ coverage! This insurance is coordinated by the SRC. For more information, please visit their website or contact the SRC:

In their fees, international students also pay for the SRC Enhanced Dental insurance (StudentCare) which include a dental insurance as well as a travel insurance, access to legal services and the services of Empower Me.

Students can opt-out from it once a year. Please, check the deadline.

Students can also apply for their spouse or their children to be covered.

International students covered by RAMQ may request a change and upgrade their coverage.

For your information, Empower Me is a mental health and wellness service available 24/7, 365 days a year from 22 countries outside of Canada and in multiple languages: English, French, Mandarin, Spanish, Russian, German and Italian.