International Students

Health & Insurance

Mandatory Health Insurance for International Students (ASHEE)

All international students are automatically enrolled in Polytechnique Montréal's health care and hopsitalization insurance plan (ASHEE - assurance santé et hospitalisation des étudiants étrangers), offered by the insurer Desjardins Sécurité Financière (DSF). The only means to unenroll is to present proof of exemption to the Registrar by the appropriate dates (for more information, please consult this page of the website).

Insurance coverage is individual and cannot be extended to your accompanying family members. A number of insurance companies offer family medical coverage. However, students must continue to subscribe to Polytechnique's mandatory insurance unless they can prove that they hold a family insurance policy as described on our website.

Should you have questions regarding ASHEE and cannot find the answer on this page, write to: 

Eligible Expenses and policy description

Note that the university's health insurance plan covers medical and hospital fees only, as well as prescription medications, and other products/items normally covered by the Quebec public health care system (RAMQ). The Polytechnique plan does not cover dental or eye care (eyeglasses). The plan does include repatriation coverage in the event of death or disability.

Limitations in the coverage should apply in the case of pre-existing conditions (i.e. medical conditions, including pregnancies, for which symptoms appeared prior to the onset of the coverage).  It is your responsibility to contact the insurer before your departure in order to verify whether you could be subject to such limitations.

If your condition permits, you should always consult your insurer before seeking health care in the public sector or in private clinics involving significant costs, such as surgery, MRI, etc...  The insurer may refuse to reimburse the claim if it considers that alternative treatments should have been considered beforehand.

For information about your coverage:

  • Group insurance plan description  (.pdf - year 2023-2024)
  • Visit your Plan member zone on the Desjardins Insurance website and register to gain access to the secure site to consult the most up-to-date group insurance plan brochure.  To log in for the first time, you will need your certificate number as well as the contract number that we will send you by email towards the end of the first month of your first term in your program.  
Costs and coverage dates

During your first year at Polytechnique, health insurance fees will automatically be added to your tuition fees during your first trimester. If you are registered in a degree-granting program, in subsequent years, your insurance for the whole year will be billed during the Fall term. Your coverage starts on the day you arrive in Québec, provided your arrival date is not sooner than the below coverage start dates for each term.

If you arrive in Canada before these dates, you are responsible for buying a visitor insurance that will cover emergency cares in case of an illness or accident, until Polytechnique's insurance can begin. You can buy such coverage in your country before leaving, or upon arrival, from one of the companies mentioned on this page.  

 Insurance premium dates and costs for 2023-2024

Students in degree-granting programs (including double degrees):

  • Students starting in Autumn:  From Aug.15 2023 until Aug.31 2024, cost of coverage : $972
  • Students starting in Winter: From Dec.15 2023 until Aug. 31 2024, cost of coverage: $648
  • Students starting in Summer: From April 15 2024 until Aug. 31st 2024, cost of coverage: $324

Exchange students:

  • One-term exchanges: 
    -From Aug. 15 2023 to Dec 31 2023, cost of coverage: $324
    -From Dec.15 2023 until May 31 2024, cost of coverage: $405
  • Two-terms exchanges: From Aug.15 2023 until May 31 2024, cost of coverage: $729
Digital health insurance card

The insurer no longer prints insurance cards. From your online Desjardins space, you will be able to access a printable digital card. To log in, you will need your certificate number as well as the contract number that we will send you by email towards the end of the first month of your first term in your program.  Afterwards, every new school year, this number will be communicated to you by the end of September.  

Should you need to access health care services before having received your certificate and contract numbers, you will be able to request a temporary document confirming your registration to the collective plan.  For more information, write to:



Healthcare Benefit claims

Keep the bills from any medical expenses you incur, and then send a claim to the insurance company using Desjardins Insurance's secure site or by using their Omni app.

Virtual healthcare service

Your ASHEE coverage includes a virtual healthcare service.  You can consult a doctor or nurse practitioner quickly and at no cost via the Omni mobile application and Desjardins' secure web platform. 

Family members of the student who is covered by ASHEE, such as a spouse or a dependent child, can also benefit from this service.  

To find out more about the type of services offered and the medical problems that can be managed by the virtual healthcare service, log in to your online account.

Régie de l'assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ)

Services covered by the health insurance plan are paid for by the RAMQ when they are rendered to insured persons. No fees can be charged for these services by health professionals participating in the plan.  RAMQ does not cover drugs, eyeglasses or dental care.

To learn more about the health care coverage offered by the RAMQ.

Exemption for students from France and Belgium: prescription medications are covered 100% by RAMQ for students under 26 years of age. As of 26 years of age, medications remain covered, but individuals are required to pay a deductible and assume co-insurance - just like Quebec students of the same age.

To know more about prescription drug insurance.

Renewing a Health Insurance Card

If your RAMQ health insurance card expires during your stay in Quebec, you are responsible for its renewal, and you must also present the new eligibility certificate to the Registrar's Office before the appropriate dates. To renew your card and your eligibility certificate, follow the instructions provided by the RAMQ.    

Each year, the RAMQ makes sends a verification form to students from France.  Therefore, make sure to update your adress with the RAMQ if you move during your studies

Health insurance for family members

Polytechnique Montréal's medical coverage for international students does not offer a family plan. Students may purchase family medical coverage in their own name that also covers their spouse and therefore, be exempt from the mandatory Polytechnique insurance contribution. The family medical coverage must be at least equivalent to our mandatory group coverage in order for the student to be exempted.

Polytechnique does not recommend specific companies and does not guarantee the quality of products and services provided by insurance companies. You will need to compare coverages in order to choose the best one for your situation before making a request to opt-out of Polytechnique's insurance.  Insurance for impatriates is generally the most comprehensive, as it includes some preventive cares, whereas visitor insurances typically only provide coverage for emergency situations.  Note that insurance coverages do not usually cover pre-existing conditions (medical condition, including pregnancy, which pre-dates the onset of the insurance coverage). It is your responsibility before leaving for Canada to contact insurers, in order to verify whether a condition could be excluded from the coverage.  

Here is a useful website to identify private insurance providers:

Please note that your minor children who stay with you in Quebec for a period of more than 6 months per year are eligible for the Quebec public health and drug insurance plan at no cost.  You must register your child with the RAMQ upon arrival in Quebec.

Complementary Health, Vision and Dental Insurance (ASEQ)

Dental care is very expensive in Québec and is not covered by ASHEE or by the RAMQ.  Therefore, Student Associations at Polytechnique (AEP for 1st cycle and AÉCSP for graduate students) offer a complementary health, vision and dental care plan to all students in a degree-granting program. Exchange and double-degree students are also covered by this insurance. 

Note that the coverage cannot take effect in the Summer term.  Students starting their program during this term must therefore wait until the Fall term to be covered by ASEQ. 

The insurance provider is named "Alliance pour la santé étudiante au Québec" (ASEQ).  All students have access to the dental health part of the insurances, which also comes with a legal protection program and a Virtual Health Care program. Students registered with RAMQ have also access to health services through ASEQ that are not covered by the public health system.  To access the complete coverage description, visit their website and enter your student association's name.  

There is an opting-out period at the beginning of the school year, should you choose not to keep this coverage.  Visit the ASEQ website and choose the opting-out and modification option on the right side menu.  You can also modify your coverage to include your family members, including your spouse and/or children.  If you do not take action during the designated period, you will have to keep the coverage for the academic year.  

Take note that the "Programme Mieux-Être", a mental health and wellness service provided by ASEQ, remains available to you, even if you choose to opt-out of the coverage.  For more information on this service, visit the ASEQ website.  

Health Care

Doctors in Québec do not make house calls. For medical attention, you need to go to a family medicine clinic, a CLSC, or a hospital. Pharmacists can serve as frontline medical resources in the event of minor illnesses and their symptoms, for example, colds, sore throats, allergies and so on.

This is a complete list of Montréal health establishments; make sure you know their hours of operation before heading to one of them.

COVID-19: If you think that you might be presenting COVID-19 symptoms, do not go to a clinic or a hospital.  Rather, follow the instructions of the Québec government.  In case of absences related to COVID-19, follow these instructions to notify Polytechnique.


If you are unsure whether or not you should go to the doctor, you can call the nurses on-duty 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at Info-Santé: dial 811 from your cell phone or landline.

Medical Consultations

Need to see a doctor? You can go to a medical office, or a Centre Local de Service Communautaire (CLSC).  

CLSCs (Centres locaux de services communautaires) exist in every Montréal neighbourhood, and offer an array of healthcare services. These public healthcare services are a heavily used resource in Quebec, and can provide you with information about health services available in your area. The CLSC de Côte-des-Neiges is the closest CLSC to the Polytechnique Montréal campus.

The Université de Montréal's Centre de santé et de consultation psychologique is also available for Polytechnique students.

Centre de santé et de consultation psychologique de l’Université de Montréal
2101, boul. Édouard-Montpetit
Édouard Montpetit Metro Station 
Telephone: 514 343-6452

Important: To see a specialist, you generally need a reference from a GP (general practitioner / family medicine doctor)

Emergency Care

It is not advisable to go to a hospital unless you are in need of urgent care, because hospital waiting times can be very long if you don't require immediate medical attention. If you do require emergency care, the hospital will take care of you. 

Call 911 for an emergency that requires an immediate or first aid response. Note that if you require an ambulance to take you to the hospital, it can cost roughly $100.

Dental Care

If you need to see a dentist, you can go to the Université de Montréal's Faculté de médecine dentaire.

The Polytechnique's student associations offer optional dental insurance (through ASEQ).

Access to Health Services

In order to obtain healthcare services, you need to present your medical insurance card. If you have a Québec healthcare card, emergency medical services are generally free.

If you are enrolled in the Polytechnique’s student health insurance, you will often need to pay up front, and then apply for reimbursement from the insurer.