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UMSU Opposes Significant Increases to International Student Health Care Premiums at U of M

Winnipeg, MB – On June 25, the University of Manitoba’s Board of Governors approved an amended contract for the Manitoba International Student [Health] Insurance plan (MISIP) at a rate of $865 per student premium. This is a sharp increase from the previous $606 per student that the University covered for one year in the 2018-2019 academic year, following the withdrawal of provincial funding for international student health care in April 2018.

The decision now forces international students in Manitoba to pay among the highest insurance premiums in Canada, and a higher rate per student than in B.C, Alberta and Saskatchewan combined. The primary reason for this increase is a decision by the provincial government and regional health authorities to increase the surcharge on ‘non-resident health care’ from 75% to 200%. UMSU’s Board of Governors representatives, VP Advocacy Sarah Bonner-Proulx and President Jakob Sanderson, voiced significant opposition to this increase, and to the University’s lack of action in attempting to combat the provincial government’s short-sighted decision.

International students make up 19% of the University of Manitoba student body, and in total contribute $400 million annually to the province’s economy.

UMSU will collaborate with international students across the province to draft an open letter to the Minister of Health and the Premier, demanding that they reverse this decision and re-instate funding for international student health care, as done in several provinces across the country, in the 2020-21 budget, while reversing the increase to non-resident health surcharges immediately. UMSU will continue to advocate for international students and work towards coordinating further action.

The University of Manitoba Students’ Union is the official representative of the over 25,000 undergraduate students at the University of Manitoba.

For media information, please contact:

Jakob Sanderson, President

University of Manitoba Students’ Union

Phone: 204-474-6519