All of our students are covered by Medavie Blue Cross. If interested, please see the following link for general Bluecross information: They issue a medical card with the plan and user number. Your Homestay Coordinator will also have a copy of their number. Please take this card if a visit to any medical appointment or to the pharmacy. The student may want to take a picture of the card, as we know their phones are always with them! Any costs incurred that are not covered by Medavie Blue Cross are the responsibility of the student, not the Host family. Blue Cross does not cover regular dental visits. They will only cover the cost of a dentist visit if it is required as a result of an accident. Unfortunately, they do not consider the dog eating the dental appliance an emergency. Any costs incurred are the responsibility of the student, not the Host family. If your International son/daughter requires emergency medical attention (hospital visit etc.), please contact your Homestay Coordinator immediately. If your International son/daughter is not feeling well over several days (even if not an emergency situation), please advise your Homestay Coordinator. In most cases there is direct billing; however, in some cases, students are required to pay in advance and submit a receipt for reimbursement. To expedite this process, it is helpful for the student to:

  • Download the Medavie Blue Cross App (Google Play Store or iTunes). You only register once per student. Whatever email address they use will become their user ID and they will be asked to choose a password. Downloading the app also provides a digital copy of the health card! Host families may want to take a photo of the medical card to keep a copy on their phone.
  • Open a Canadian bank account; if not, they will issue a cheque to the student, and most banks will not cash a cheque if the student does not have an account.

Host families treat the students in their home the same way they would treat themselves or their own children. They will assist students in deciding if a doctor’s visit is necessary (for example: cough, sore throat, or menstrual cramps does not constitute needing to see a doctor). Sometimes families will visit a pharmacy for cough medicine or pain relief symptoms instead of going to a doctor. If a visit to a doctor is necessary, then a decision needs to be made concerning visiting a walk-in clinic or a hospital. Consider calling Nova Scotia’s 811 Health line or visiting their website for health information. Cultural differences regarding illness and medical care: your International son/daughter may not understand public health care, walk-in-clinics vs. hospital visits, wait times, etc. Understanding public health care and wait times: In Canada, we have public health care. Hospitals have emergency departments with doctors who will treat everyone for any issues they have. Hospitals treat the patients with the most serious issues first (heart attacks, car accidents, etc get first priority), so people with less serious issues usually have a long wait time (4,6,8 hours depending on the seriousness of the issue). Visiting a Walk-in clinic versus a hospital: Many communities in Nova Scotia have walk-in clinics. Walk-in clinics have shorter wait times and often an appointment can be scheduled. The doctors who work at walk-in clinics are the same doctors who work in the hospital emergency rooms. We have a virtual medical service called Maple to support our students, which can help and lessen wait times at a hospital. See the next slide for further information. Information about Maple: You will need to register for a Maple account: Click this link or navigate your browser to All you will need is your Medavie Blue Cross coverage card. You will need to enter your first and last name (entered EXACTLY as they appear on your coverage card), date of birth, policy, and identification numbers. To access a doctor, download the Maple app for iPhone / iPad, or Android device, or visit their website

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