As part of the University of Alberta Students’ Union's ongoing work to keep students' costs minimal, the Health and Dental Plan is transitioning to a new provider, Green Shield Canada (GSC). Moving to GSC is an important step that saves students roughly $2 million while keeping coverage the same. We have been working with GSC and our broker, Studentcare, to understand and eliminate students' most recent problems, including difficulty registering for coverage. We apologize that students have had limited and even conflicting information. This has been a frustrating situation for many students, including several of the UASU Executive team who are on the Health and Dental Plan. We are now able to offer a detailed, verified update and confirm that most of the issues have been resolved.
As part of the transition, all returning students experienced a blackout period, which lasted until September 22nd. A blackout period is a time when students are still covered by the Health and Dental Plan, but need to wait to file their claims until the period is over. All returning students can now file claims, use direct billing, and create accounts with GSC. There will be no blackout period for returning students in future years.
A blackout period applies to all new students (i.e. first-year students, some transfer students, students who enrolled late, and anyone who may have been opting out but now has opted in) until the end of October. At that point, they can file claims, use direct billing, and create accounts with GSC. This delay is because the University only sends student lists to Studentcare and GSC after students make their final choices at the Add/Drop deadline, ensuring students are billed correctly. At that point, Studentcare and GSC need a few weeks in October to process and activate coverage for each new student. Again, new students are still covered during this blackout period each year: they should save their receipts and file for reimbursement after the blackout period ends.
During the transition, part of the comprehensive psychology benefit was mis-programmed, meaning students were covered at $20 per visit instead of 80% per visit. This has been resolved, and GSC is reprocessing all incorrectly-paid claims to ensure they are paid correctly.
There have also been challenges around previously approved drug exceptions. As a top priority, Studentcare is working with GSC to ensure that previously approved drug exceptions are carried over from the previous provider. There should be no change in drug coverage.
We apologize for all the unnecessary problems that this transition has caused, including students not being promptly or correctly informed. We are working with our broker to ensure all problems are fully resolved, and we are committed to keeping students in the loop as much as possible. Students who experience further issues should contact Julia Villoso, UASU Vice President Operations and Finance, at firstname.lastname@example.org
About the University of Alberta Students’ Union
The UASU is the official representative of 35,000 undergraduate students at the University of Alberta. It advocates for students’ needs and priorities to the University of Alberta and at all levels of government.
For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:
External Relations Specialist
University of Alberta Students’ Union