What is the Local’s extended health and dental benefits plan?
The Federation offers extended health and dental benefits for one simple reason – to make healthcare affordable. If any member were to seek private health insurance coverage, the cost would be too great and the benefits too limited. By pooling our resources, we are able to realize incredible savings through economies of scale. We all benefit from having the peace of mind that quality coverage brings.
We hope this year will be worry free. However, if your health does falter, your extended health and dental benefits will be there to support you. Many of your benefits support health promotion and illness prevention, such as annual dental cleaning and maintenance medication. Being proactive about your health and dental needs is as much of a worthwhile investment in your future as your education is. So, feel free to take advantage of those benefits.
How is it different from MSP?
The plan does not replace British Columbia’s Medical Services Plan or other provincial health plans; it supplements these plans by providing coverage above and beyond what they offer. For example, if you fall ill, MSP covers the cost of your visit to the doctor, but not any drugs the doctor might prescribe. Enrolment in the BC Medical Services Plan (MSP) or any other provincial or territorial plan does NOT constitute equivalent coverage for the purpose of opting out.
You should not cancel your MSP coverage while covered under the Local’s health and dental benefits plan. However, as a student, you may qualify for a subsidy of your provincial health care costs (Premium Assistance).
What does my plan cover?
The health and dental benefits offered through the Local are intended to cover the most common needs of members. Click here to see your benefits booklet and read about the various benefits you can take advantage of. Once you are registered you can also contact Green Shield directly at 1-888-711-1119.
How much does it cost?
Your share of the cost for the health and dental benefits plan is currently $279.00 per academic year. Coverage begins at the beginning of the month that your course started in and goes for twelve months (e.g. Course starts September 4th, 2015, you have coverage from September 1st, 2015 until August 31st, 2016 or course starts October 12th, 2015, you have coverage October 1st, 2015 until September 30th, 2016).
How do I enroll in the plan?
You are automatically enrolled if you meet the eligibility criteria:
- you are a member of the Local,
- you are in an applicable program,
- you meet the full-time criteria for your program (60%),
- you are a trades and vocational student enrolled in a course that lasts sixteen (16) or more weeks
- you are residing in Canada,
- you have paid your student fees owed to the College in full,
- you are under the age of 70, and
- you are covered by a provincial health care plan or equivalent.
The cost of the extended health and dental benefits are included when you pay for your tuition fees.
You must also register with Green Shield, after blackout period is over. The blackout period is 6 weeks from the first day of the month that your course starts. The quickest way to register is online, here. Please note; your Green Shield ID # will be the three letter prefix “SSA”, then your student number.
If you are unsure about whether or not you qualify, or have any other questions or concerns you can call 250.365.1262, visit the Local’s offices or email; firstname.lastname@example.org.
When does my coverage begin and end?
For eligible students starting in the fall semester, coverage begins September 1st and ends August 31st.
For eligible Trades, Technology or Vocational (continuous intake programs) students, your coverage is based on your date of entry to your course. If you start your course after the January entry date, the dates of the plan will be twelve calendar months from the first day of the month your course started.
All students in the plan (except for new students during the black-out period) may inquire into the status of their claims or the extent of their coverage by contacting Green Shield directly at 1-888-711-1119. You will need to provide them your Green Shield identification number, which is the 3 letter prefix “SSA”, then your student number.
Can I add my family onto the plan?
Each year there is an opportunity to purchase family coverage for your spouse and/or other dependents by completing an application form with the Local’s benefits plan administrator. All family add-on forms must be completed by the application deadline for the semester period enrolment. This deadline is the last day of the month that your course started in.
Family add-ons are not automatically renewed each year. In order for your family’s benefits to continue, you must purchase the coverage before the application deadline. This deadline is the last day of the month that your course started in.
What if I already have coverage?
Benefits under two plans can be coordinated to increase your coverage up to a total of 100% of the actual expenses incurred. For example, after submitting your claim to your parent’s plan, employer plan, or other coverage; you can submit the remainder to the Local’s health and dental benefits plan to receive a full reimbursement.
How do I opt out of the plan?
If you are an eligible student and have comparable extended health and/or dental coverage you may apply to waive benefits. Each student is given one opportunity to waive benefits under the health and/or dental plan each year. Once you have opted out once, you are opted out for your entire college career. The easiest and quickest way to opt out is online, here. This option is only available for you if your course starts in September (Aug. 1-Sept. 31) or January (Jan. 1-Jan. 31). All other course date must opt-out with an Opt-Out From. This form must be filled out correctly, with proof of coverage, and on time to be eligible for the opt-out option. All opt-out forms must be received by the last day of the month your course starts.
If you do not meet the opt-out requirements, you will automatically be assessed the extended health/dental coverage and the fee will be charged to your account.
If you have any questions or concerns, please get in contact with;
Castlegar Campus (Mon-Fri 8:30-4:30)