Taking care of your health in retirement
Opting into extended health care and dental coverage when you retire might be just what the doctor ordered.
There are many things to consider before you retire, like whether you can afford to sail away on a yacht or take up dance lessons. Whatever you decide, be sure to take the time to think about your health and dental coverage.
Extended health care and dental coverage (EHC) can be beneficial in your retirement years. The good news is, as a member of BC’s College Pension Plan, you are eligible to enrol in the plan’s optional EHC and dental coverage upon retirement. With the optional coverage, you may be reimbursed for some medical expenses not covered by the Medical Services Plan and some dental expenses. It can provide you peace of mind.
If you choose to enrol in the optional coverage, you have access to competitive group rates; this may mean your monthly premiums will be lower than if you purchase benefits on your own. Your coverage may also extend to your spouse and eligible dependants.
Keep in mind, as a retired member, your coverage may be more limited than under the health plans your employer currently provides (e.g., the lifetime maximum for benefits). It’s also important to remember the EHC and dental coverage offered by the plan is not guaranteed; therefore, your coverage, premiums and deductibles could change at any time.
Your EHC coverage may provide reimbursement for the following:
- Prescription drugs
- Vision care
- Hearing aids
- Medical aids and supplies
It may also partially cover the costs of some professional health care services, such as physiotherapy and other medical professionals.
There are two dental plans to choose from: Essential Dental and Enhanced Dental. The premiums, deductibles, and eligible services differ, but both plans offer some coverage for the costs of preventative and restorative dental services.
You can view additional information about your coverage through Green Shield Canada (GSC), on the plan website under Your pension.
Paying your monthly premiums is simple and straightforward. The premiums for your EHC and dental coverage can be deducted directly from your monthly pension payment. If your pension is not large enough to cover the cost, arrangements can be made to pay GSC directly from your bank account. Note that a yearly deductible and maximum lifetime amounts apply to EHC coverage.
If you have questions about your eligibility, you can find more information on the plan website. For specific questions regarding coverage, please contact GSC at 1-888-711-1119, Monday to Friday from 5:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. PST, or visit greenshield.ca.
If you do not enrol for coverage when you apply for your pension, you can only enrol at a later time if you’ve had continuous comparable coverage in another EHC and/or dental plan since your retirement date.
Once you sign up for coverage, you must remain signed up for a minimum of 12 months. After 12 months, you may cancel your coverage. However, if you cancel, you cannot re-enrol unless you’ve had continuous comparable EHC and/or dental coverage elsewhere.