Newly bargained benefit increases come into effect in April
As part of the recently ratified public service agreement, the BCGEU is pleased to announce that a number of hard-fought gains to member health and welfare benefits will come into effect on April 1, 2019. These benefit increases represent an improvement for union members. Some of the main improvements include:
- Coordination of benefits for extended health and dental – BCGEU members covered by the public service agreement will now be eligible for extended health and dental coverage as a plan member and as a spouse of another employee covered under the BC Public Service Benefit Plans – allowing member to coordinate benefits with their spouse.
- Lifetime Maximum increased for Extended Health and Dental – The extended health lifetime maximum for members is being increased from $500,000 to $3 million per person, which includes out of province and out of country medical emergencies.
- Waiting period reduced for Extended Health and Dental – Regular employees will now be able to apply for extended health and dental plan coverage after 3 calendar months of employment, instead of 6 months in the previous agreement.
- Counselling Services under the Extended Health Plan – qualified social workers will be added to the plan's counselling services provision and will be recognized alongside registered clinical psychologists and registered clinical counsellors to the current combined maximum of $500 per family per calendar year.
- Group Life Insurance Plan increase – The minimum amount of basic life insurance increases from $80,000 to $100,000. The employer will cover the premium for the base $100,000 and the employee will pay the premium on insurance over the base amount.
- Optional Life Insurance – New optional plans will be available for purchase through payroll deductions, including:
o Optional Family Funeral Benefit
o Optional Life Insurance for employee, spouse and dependent children
o Optional Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance for employee, spouse and dependent children
- Effective January 12, 2020, the maximum payable every 24 months for eye examinations for people over age 19 increases from $75 - $100. Adults age 65 and over will also be eligible.
- Effective January 1, 2021, the maximum limit for services of a registered chiropractor, naturopath, podiatrist and acupuncturist increases from $200 to $500 per service per person/ calendar year.
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