If you are planning on leaving BC for an extended vacation, you may be at risk of losing your MSP coverage. Here are some important rules to keep in mind to ensure you aren’t without the coverage you need, when you need it.

The standard allowable vacation leave is 7 months per year. Anything less and you are covered by MSP. However, if you plan on leaving BC for longer, you can extend your coverage for up to 24 consecutive months, once every 5 years. There are some other requirements, such as:

  • Been physically present in Canada for six of the previous 12 months preceding departure
  • Not taken the extended leave of absence in the past 60 months (5 years)
  • Not been out of BC on vacation for 7 months in the prior calendar year
  • Not having returned for longer than 30 days during the extended absence

The last point is important. If while on extended vacation you return to BC for longer than 30 days, your absence is no longer considered consecutive, and any further departure would be considered a new absence. In this case you must contact MSP to determine your eligibility for coverage.

For more information, check out the Government of BC website located here.