Health & Dental Plan
In March of 2021, the Students’ Union held a referendum; the referendum passed with 88.7% in favour of the students’ union pursuing an extended health and dental plan for its membership at an annual cost of $250, subject to a maximum increase of 5% annually.
We have included some common questions about the Health and Dental Benefits Service below and will be updating this page with important information about the plan eligibility, benefit coverage, opting out and more. Be sure to check back for updates as we get closer to the beginning of the 2021/2022 school year.
What’s included in the coverage?
The Students’ Union health and dental plan will provide a huge range of benefits that help students with medical and other issues. This is what coverage looks like:
80% coverage for prescription medications up to $2,000 per year;
Coverage of $50 per visit for treatments by paramedical providers (physiotherapist, chiropractor, etc) with total coverage of up to $300 per year per type of treatment;
Up to $725 per year in coverage for counselling by a psychologist, social worker/counsellor, Master of Social Work or Psychotherapist (provided at $75 per visit);
Vision coverage at $225 every two years ($100 every two years for eye exams plus $125 every two years for prescription glasses, contacts, etc);
Dental coverage of up to $700 per year for preventative and restorative work at 80% coverage;
Gender affirmation surgeries not covered by your provincial/territorial health plan (reasonable and customary charges limited to $10,000 lifetime. See benefit booklet for more details.)
Travel insurance for trips of up to 90 days;
A comprehensive Life & Accident Insurance plan;
A legal advisory service that provides telephone legal assistance, simple legal letter templates and document review, and access to legal representation at a discount;
To learn more about the plan, you can find the Plan Booklet here.
The Black Out Period
While registration can take 4-6 weeks from the start of your program, your coverage is effective on the first day of the month in which your program starts (ex. if your program starts September 6, your coverage starts September 1). During these 4-6 weeks, your account is in a 'black out' period. If you access services during this time that are eligible to be claimed, you can retain your receipt and submit it after the 'black out' period is over. You will know this period is over once you receive your introductory email.
Accessing Your Plan
After the black-out period is over, you will receive an introductory email containing details about how to set up the self-service portals you will use to manage your claims. Follow the instructions for registration. Once registered, you will be able to print out a copy of your membership card (or you may choose to keep it on your phone). You can provide this to your service providers or submit claims through the online portal. To login to the portal, click here.
What are extended health and dental benefits?
Student extended health and dental plans are common to virtually every college and university in Canada, and just like at Coast Mountain College, are provided by the Students’ Union. The Coast Mountain Students’ Union’s plan will provide access to thousands of dollars in coverage for less than $22 per month, making it among the least expensive extended medical coverage in the country.
Am I eligible for the plan?
The health and dental plan service is applied universally to eligible students; eligible students are those enrolled in 6 units or more or programs that are 26 weeks or longer.
I’m not in BC, can I still use my plan?
The plan can be used for any services accessed within Canada, not just BC.
Am I eligible to opt out?
Like every other college or university, the health and dental plan at Coast Mountain College is a universal service, meaning that all eligible students are included. However, you can opt-out if you meet one of the following requirements:
you have comparable, existing coverage through a parent, spouse, employer or personal plan
you are Status First Nations or Inuit and hold existing coverage through First Nations Health Authority or other
you are an international student currently not in Canada (you must be in Canada to receive health and dental services, and therefore use the student benefits)
If you’re not sure whether you qualify to opt out, contact us.
What is equivalent coverage?
Extended health and dental insurance commonly includes such benefits as prescription medication, paramedical and extended health services and products, and comprehensive dental coverage, each at a level that provides tangible benefits. So equivalent coverage would be a plan that has these essential elements, and is generally provided through a parent, spouse or employer. Examples of things that are not equivalent coverage include basic BC government (or other provincial) medical coverage, travel insurance, emergency medical coverage, and certain individual coverage packages.
Equivalent coverage doesn’t necessarily mean good coverage. Many benefit plans can still leave you with huge financial shortfalls for necessary treatments, prescription drugs or dental procedures. Compare your existing coverage and your bills from last year, and make sure you have enough coverage through your current benefit plan before opting out of the Students’ Union’s plan (details announced soon). If you don’t think your current coverage is sufficient, consider keeping the Students’ Union coverage as well in order to make sure you are fully covered (having two plans means that you can claim from one plan for expenses that are not covered by the other).
How do I opt-out?
You can access the online form to request an opt-out here: https://cmsu.studenthealthbc.ca/Optout
Generally, the deadline is 30 days after the first day of the month in which your program starts. Contact the students’ union if you are unsure of the health and dental payment due date/opt-out deadline. Late requests to opt-out cannot be accepted because those not opted out by the deadline will have already been enrolled in the Students’ Union’s plan.
When does my opt-out take effect?
After completing the opt-out process, a request to opt out is sent to the Students’ Union, which processes the request by evaluating your information and ensuring that the equivalent coverage is valid. This process can sometimes take a few days or even a few weeks when volumes are high. Be sure to check your student record after the opt-out deadline to ensure the fee is removed, and contact the Students’ Union if it looks as though your opt-out was not successful.
How long does my opt-out last?
Once you have applied to opt-out and your request has been accepted, your student record is updated to reflect that you have declined the service in respect of your equivalent coverage. This remains your status for the length of your time at Coast Mountain College.
Can I opt back into the plan if I lose my coverage?
Yes, you can apply to be re-added to the plan if the coverage you supplied when opting out has been discontinued through no fault of your own (as in you lost a job, you aged out of parental coverage, etc). To opt back into the plan, you need to contact the Students’ Union within 30 days of losing your existing coverage to apply for readmission to the Students’ Union’s plan.
Do Status First Nations students need to opt-out?
The short answer is ‘yes, unless you want to keep both’.
All status First Nation Students who are not covered by a First Nations organization as a part of a funding agreement, such as Nisga’a Lisims students, are eligible for health benefits through the First Nations Health Authority. The First Nations Health Authority covers specific health-related items and services to meet the medical and dental needs of FNHA clients. Many First Nations clients find it advantageous to keep their Coast Mountain Student Union benefits as students are able to stack their coverage rates and pay less out-of-pocket expenses when receiving health-related items and services. To keep yourself informed of your coverage rates please visit https://www.fnha.ca/benefits