In May of this year, the BCGEU was made aware that some members were being denied coverage for some medications as of April 1, 2016. The medications that were denied were not covered under the Collective Agreement. The Union then learned that RainCity had been providing "supplementary drug coverage" via Pacific Blue Cross, and that during the transition to the Health Benefits Trust (HBT), that supplementary coverage had been interrupted. The BCGEU was not previously aware that the supplementary plan existed until the coverage was denied and we were contacted by the Employer.
At no time did the BCGEU state to RainCity, Pacific Blue Cross, or the Health Benefits Trust, that supplementary coverage should stop. From the beginning, your union has encouraged your employer to continue these benefits. However, as these benefits are in excess of the Collective Agreement, the Union cannot compel RainCity to continue them, the decision to continue or deny these benefits rests entirely in the hands of your employer.
When your union learned that the supplementary drug coverage had ceased, and that there were some challenges with the transition to HBT, we immediately reached out to HBT and RainCity to ensure that any impediments to continuing the supplementary coverage were removed. In September, we were assured that a solution had been found for RainCity to continue supplementary coverage, and potentially at a lower cost than they had previously been to the Employer. However, at that point, RainCity advised the BCGEU that they were now unsure if they wanted to incur the cost of continuing these supplementary benefits. Your union again encouraged the Employer to continue to provide these benefits.
The BCGEU reached out again at the beginning of November to RainCity to ask if a decision had been made on continuing the supplementary benefits. We were advised that the Employer has not yet made a decision.
The BCGEU has ensured that your employer has had every opportunity to continue to offer supplementary drug coverage after the transition to HBT. Unfortunately, we cannot compel them to offer these benefits, however we continue to strongly encourage your employer to do so, and remain hopeful that RainCity will soon make the decision to continue to cover their employees as they did before.
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