Health and Dental Plan

Health and Dental Benefits Service – ** New for 2021-22 **

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 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 $21 per month, making it among the least expensive extended medical coverage in the country. 

Who is eligible? 

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.

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. A full and detailed overview of what’s included will be available soon. Your coverage will include things such as: 

  • coverage for prescription medications;
  • coverage for treatments by paramedical providers (physiotherapist, chiropractor, etc);
  • coverage for counselling by a social worker or psychologist;
  • vision coverage (eye exams, prescription glasses, contacts, etc);
  • dental coverage for preventative and restorative work;
  • travel insurance;
  • a comprehensive accidental death and dismemberment benefit plan;
  • a legal advisory service that provides telephone legal assistance and access to legal representation at a discount;
  • access to online medical treatment in the form of a free subscription to an online medical practice.

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, if you already have coverage for extended health and dental benefits, usually through an employer or family member, you can opt out of the plan provided by the Students’ Union. For you to be able to opt-out, the coverage you have already needs to be equivalent to the Students’ Union’s plan.

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?

Instructions on how and where to opt out will be made available on our website soon. The deadlines to opt out will be announced when the opt out site is launched. Generally, the deadline is 30 days after the start date for your program. 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, who 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? 

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 and the Coast Mountain Student Union Plan, which will be available soon.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: 

  • Eligible students will have coverage beginning in the month of your program start date and ending twelve months later;
  • Once you have been enrolled you will receive an email with information about how to access your plan, the plan details, how to make claims and how to add dependents to your plan;
  • More details about accessing your plan will be available closer to the start of the 2021-22 school year.
  • For any questions about the plan, contact the Students’ Union:  organiser@mycmsu.ca or 250-635-6511 ext. 5458.