Retirement health coverage and you

Support your health and peace of mind. Learn about the coverage options available to you as a retired member of BC's College Pension Plan.


Applying for coverage

Enrolling when you retire

When you apply for your pension, we will provide you with information about the extended health care and dental plans available to you. You can apply for these plans for yourself, your spouse and/or eligible dependants through the online retirement process in My Account or by submitting a form along with your paper Retirement Application Package.

These are optional plans and you are not required to enrol in them. You may already have coverage under a spouse's plan or through another employer, or you may decide you don't need extended health care and/or dental coverage.

Application deadline

You must apply for coverage within 60 days of your pension effective date.

If you do not enrol within 60 days of that date, you may still be able to enrol at a later date, but restrictions will apply.

Start of coverage

Your extended health care and/or dental coverage begins the first of the month after the month your pension is effective. A deduction will come off your first pension payment.

For example, if you retire on April 30, your pension is effective May 1, and your health care and/or dental coverage will begin June 1. The deduction for June will come off your May pension payment.

If you require extended health care and/or dental coverage beginning the first of the month your pension is effective, you can indicate this when you apply for your pension. An additional deduction will come off your first pension payment: one for the current month and one (in advance) for the following month.

If your pension payment cannot cover your extended health care and/or dental premiums, you can also arrange to pay Green Shield Canada directly through pre-authorized debit from your bank account. Contact the plan for details.

Your pension must be processed before we can set up your coverage. This means you may have to pay for drugs and services until you receive your Green Shield Canada identification card. You can make a claim to be reimbursed for these costs on the date your coverage begins.

Applying after you have retired

If you do not apply for retirement health coverage for yourself, your spouse and/or eligible dependant(s) within 60 days of retiring, you may be able to apply at a later date.

If you have had continuous coverage under another extended health care and/or dental plan (such as your spouse's employer group plan), you can apply to enrol yourself, your spouse and/or dependant(s) within 60 days of the end date of that coverage.

If you are already enrolled in extended health care and/or dental coverage through the College Pension Plan, you can apply to enrol:

  • your spouse – within 60 days of the date you marry, or the date on which you and your common-law spouse have lived together for 12 months
  • eligible dependant(s) – within 60 days of the date the individual becomes your dependant 

If you, your spouse and/or eligible dependant(s) do not apply within these deadlines, you will not be eligible to join the extended health care and dental plans offered through the College Pension Plan.

Cancelling and rejoining the plan

If you cancel your coverage and want to rejoin at a later date, you must reapply within 60 days of becoming eligible to do so. This would apply, for example, if you cancelled coverage because you were living outside of Canada. When you returned to live in Canada, you would have 60 days after your return to apply for coverage.


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External links for retirement health coverage

Green Shield Canada

Medical Services Plan of BC

Related content for retirement health coverage and you

Planning for retirement

Applying for your pension