Bargaining Implementation FAQs

Benefit Changes Per Eighteenth Main Public Service Agreement FAQs

Currently, the groups not participating in these benefits changes are BC Ferries Services Inc. and employees under the Flexible Benefits Plan. For employees with spouses who work for BC Ferries Services Inc., questions regarding participation in the changes should be referred to the Human Resources office at BC Ferries.

The groups that are participating in these benefits changes are BCGEU, PEA, Nurses, and participating employers under the BC Public Service Benefits Plan (with the exception of BC Ferries Services Inc.).

Currently under the Flexible Benefits Plan, employees can coordinate benefits with spouses under the Flexible Benefits Plan or the Bargaining Unit Plan. They also don't have to serve a waiting period and they're eligible to enrol in any of the Optional Life Insurance plans. The Flexible Benefits Plan will be reviewed for plan year 2020, and any changes will be communicated to employees under the Flexible Benefits Plan.

Below is a chart that outlines the effective dates of the changes.

Effective Date

Changes

April 1, 2019

Coordination of Benefits – Allow an employee to be eligible for extended health and dental as both a member and a spouse of another employee covered under the BC Public Service Benefits Plans.

 

Waiting Period – For regular employees, reduce the waiting period for extended health and dental from the first day of the month after competition of 6 full calendar months of regular employment to the first of the month following 3 full calendar months from their date of regular employment.

 

Lifetime Maximum – Increase the extended health lifetime maximum from $500,000 to $3 million per person, which includes coverage for out-of-province and out-of-country medical emergencies.

 

Counselling Services – Recognize qualified social worker in addition to registered clinical psychologist and registered clinical counsellor to the current combine maximum of $500 per family per calendar year.

 

Group Life – Increase the minimum amount of Basic Life Insurance from $80,000 to $100,000. Employer will pay 100% of the premium on the base $100,000, and the employee will pay the premium for any insurance over the base minimum.

 

Optional Life Insurance Plans – Offer optional plans for employees under 65 years of age to be purchased through payroll deductions:

  • Optional Family Funeral Benefit (formerly called Optional Spouse and Dependent Life insurance); NEW name only.
  • Optional Life Insurance for employee, spouse and dependant children.
  • Optional Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance for employee, spouse and dependant children.

January 1, 2020

Physiotherapy Services – Add an annual maximum of $2,000 per person per year.

 

Eye Examinations – Increase eye examinations from the current maximum of $75 to $100 every 24 months for adults who are age 19 and older. Employees over 65 years of age would claim through Medical Services Plan before claiming through the extended health plan.

January 1, 2021

Chiropractic, Naturopathic, Podiatry and Acupuncture Services – Increase the maximum annual limit for each of these services from the current $200 for an individual or $500 for a family to $500 per person per year.

Coordination of Benefits allows you to be eligible for extended health and dental as both a member and a spouse of another employee covered under the BC Public Service Benefits Plan that’s participating in coordination of benefits. You may be able to submit your extended health and dental receipts to both plans and get up to 100% of your eligible expenses reimbursed.

If your spouse currently has the coverage and you would like to apply for Coordination of Benefits coverage to be effective April 1, 2019, you must submit your application, in advance, by March 15, 2019. Any applications received after April 1, 2019 will be effective the first of the month following the date of application. Please visit the How to Enrol page on MyHR for further information on how to enrol. If you’re enrolling through Employee Self-Service, please indicate in the comment section that this application is for Coordination of Benefits and provide your current Great-West Life ID number found on your Assure Card. If you’re enrolling by completing the Extended Health Care and Dental Plan form, please indicate on the top of the form that this application is for Coordination of Benefits and provide your current Great-West Life ID number found on your Assure Card.

Coordination of Benefits only applies to the extended health and dental plan, and you must enrol to receive coverage.

Coordination of Benefits is not applicable if your spouse works for BC Ferries Services Inc. or Queen's Printer.

No, if you’re already enrolled in this coverage, there’s no need to reapply. The only change is the name. Effective April 1, 2019, this coverage will be called the Optional Family Funeral Benefit.

As of April 1, 2019, evidence of insurability won’t be required when you enrol for Optional Family Funeral Benefit. There will be two opportunities to update your Optional Family Funeral Benefit, once a year, for the change to be effective April 1 of each year, or if there’s an eligible life event. Please see next question for further information on the two opportunities to make changes.

During initial enrolment, employees have from April 1-26, 2019 to apply for these benefits. You can choose up to $50,000 of Optional Life Insurance for yourself and your spouse evidence free. Any amounts above $50,000 will require evidence of insurability. Any amount over $50,000 won’t be in effect until your application has been approved.

After the initial enrolment period, any increase to your life insurance will require evidence of insurability.

There will be two opportunities to update your Optional Life Insurance plans after your initial enrolment:

  • Once a year; for the change to be effective April 1 of each year, applications must be received by the end of the second week of March, otherwise you cannot apply again until there’s an eligible life event, or until the following year.
  • An eligible life event includes:
    • Marriage or entering a common-law relationship.
    • Divorce, separation, or the end of a common-law relationship.
    • Birth or adoption of a child.
    • Loss of a child’s status as a dependant (marriage, age limit, leaves school).
    • Change in your child’s eligibility that allows coverage under the program.
    • Your spouse gains or loses a benefit.
    • Death of a spouse or dependant child.

 Optional Life Insurance can be purchased in units as per the tables below.

Optional Life Insurance Coverage
Optional Life Insurance Units of Maximum
You $25,000 $1 million
Your Spouse $25,000 $500,000
For All Your Dependent Children $5,000 $20,000
(Cost for all dependent children is $11.28 per unit of $5,000)

 Rates for Optional Life Insurance are based on age, gender, and smoking status as listed in the table below.

Annual Rate for Each Unit ($25,000) of Coverage for Optional Life Insurance (NS=Non-Smoker; S=Smoker)

Gender/Age (yrs) Under 35 35-39 40-44 45-49 50-54 55-59 60-64
Female
(NS)
$9 $12 $18 $30 $48 $84 $108
Female
(S)
$12 $18 $30 $60 $90 $138 $192
Male
(NS)
$18 $18 $24 $48 $87 $144 $189
Male
(S)
$30 $36 $60 $102 $177 $294 $396
Optional Accidental Death & Dismemberment Insurance
Optional Accidental Death & Dismemberment Insurance Units of Maximum Annual Rate Per Unit of $25,000
You $25,000 $500,000 $9.60
Your Spouse $25,000 $500,000 $9.60
For All Your Dependent Children $10,000 $250,000 $3.30
Optional Family Funeral Benefit
(Life insurance in the amount of $10,000 for spouse and $5,000 per dependent child)
Premium $2.21/month ($26.52/year)

Between April 1 and April 26, 2019, you can apply for coverage through Employee Self Service.

Once you're logged in, select “Benefits Summary.”

When completing the Optional Life Insurance Enrolment form online, be sure to select the “Annual Enrolment (to be effective April 1)” button in the “Reason for Request” section.

If you don't have access to Employee Self Service, you can complete the Bargaining Unit Benefits Program Enrolment/Change form (PDF, 349KB).

The Evidence of Insurability form (PDF, 789KB) is available on MyHR and should be mailed to:

Great-West Life Assurance Company
Group Medical Underwriting
PO Box 6000
Winnipeg, MB
R3C 3A5

Or by email.

  • If you're a BCGEU member, please enter 1 in the Division No. field
  • If you're a PEA member, please enter 27 in the Division No. field
  • If you're a BCNU member, please enter 31 in the Division No. field

No. As with Employee Basic Life Insurance, Optional Life Insurance coverage isn't available to employees who are 65 years of age or older.

Yes, you must apply within 31 days from the day you return from leave without pay for the Optional Life Insurance plans. You can choose up to $50,000 of Optional Life Insurance for yourself and your spouse evidence free. Any amount over $50,000 will require evidence of insurability.  Any amount over $50,000 won’t be in effect until your application has been approved.

If you’ve completed 3 full calendar months by April 1, 2019, you’ll be eligible for benefits effective April 1, 2019. You’ll need to apply by completing the application forms for coverage to begin. Please visit the How to Enrol page on MyHR for further information on how to enrol.

Based on the current premium cost of 18 cents per thousand of coverage, your monthly taxable benefit (which is the portion the employer pays on your behalf) will increase from $14.40 to $18.00. Your deduction is based on the amount of insurance that you have, which is based on your salary.

For example: If your salary is $60,000, your life insurance is 3 times your annual salary, which equals $180,000. The employer pays for the first $100,000, which is $18.00 per month. The employee is deducted monthly for the remaining $80,000 of coverage, which is $14.40 per month.

MyHR will be updated on April 1, 2019 with the new changes. In the meantime, please refer to the Bargaining Unit Benefits Guide (PDF, 588KB).