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Benefits update

News

Published: 19 Dec 2006

The Staff Benefits Advisory Committee (SBAC) has completed its annual review of the Benefit Plans. We are pleased to report that the financial status of all the plans remains very positive.

In its annual review, the Staff Benefits Advisory Committee evaluates the plans with a view to ensuring that they are kept current and competitive with other university plans. We are pleased to announce that there will be improvements to the Health and Dental Plans and the Long Term Disability Plan effective January 1, 2007.

Supplemental Health and Dental Plans

The improvements are as follows:

Health Plan

The services of dieticians will be added to the list of eligible health practitioners included as eligible for reimbursement. Therefore, the list of practitioners will now include the following: chiropractors, osteopaths, chiropodists, naturopaths, podiatrists, massage therapists, acupuncturists and dieticians.

In addition, the annual combined maximum for the services of these practitioners increases from $500 to $600.

Dental Plan

1. Endodontal/Periodontal: The amount payable for these services will increase from 70% to 80%.

2. Major Services: The amount payable for these services will increase from 60% to 70%. These services include crowns, dentures, bridges and oral surgery.

3. Combined Annual Maximum: The amount will increase from $2,000 to $2,100.

4. Orthodontics: The lifetime maximum will increase from $2,000 to $2,500.

The contributions for 2006 for both the Health and Dental Plans were sufficient to cover the claims experience for the year. Nonetheless, increases are required to cover the future claims experience, inflationary trends in the costs of health and dental care, and plan improvements. Although prescription drugs account for the largest portion of our benefits costs, other factors associated with the delivery of health and dental care also contribute (e.g., transfer of previously government-sponsored programs, usage of psychological services, utilization of private clinics, etc.). All these translate into the need for regular, annual increases to ensure that the financial demands of the plans are met.

The SBAC has recommended that the rates for the Supplemental Health Plan and Dental Plan increase in 2007. The University has accepted their recommendation.

The new MONTHLY contribution rates for employees and pensioners, effective January 1, 2007, will be as follows:

Health / Dental

Present:

Single $33.50 / $19.00

Family $66.00 / $42.50

January 1, 2007:

Single $38.30 / $20.60

Family $75.50 / $46.00

Plus 9% sales tax for Quebec residents.

As always, the University will match these contribution rates.

Long Term Disability Plan

Given its positive financial status, the committee decided to review the benefit payable under the Long Term Disability Plan, as it had not been increased for several years. I am pleased to advise that as a result of this review, the benefit payable under the Long Term Disability Plan will increase effective January 1, 2007.

The benefit amount payable under the LTD plan is non-taxable. The calculation used in determining the amount payable is based on a two-tier formula. The benefit formula will improve as follows:

Current: 60% of the first $2,083 of your covered monthly earnings plus 40% of the balance of your covered monthly earnings to a maximum of $130,000.

January 1, 2007: 60% of the first $3,000 of your covered monthly earnings plus 45% of the balance of your covered monthly earnings to a maximum of $130,000.

The premium for 2007 will increase from $0.84/$100 of monthly salary to $0.94/$100 of monthly salary.

Any questions concerning the above should be addressed to the Benefits Office at 398-4900.

Robert Savoie, Executive Director
Human Resources

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