Faculty & Librarians: Benefit plan update for 2017-18 benefit year

Date: July 14, 2017
To: Faculty members and librarians
From: Steve Dyce, Director, Benefits & Pensions, Division of Human Resources & Equity
CC: CAO Listserv; Darlene Chow; Renee Brost; and, Sylvie Dawn Brown
Re: Message for Faculty & Librarians: Benefit plan update for 2017–18 benefit year

Benefit Plan Premiums


Effective July 1, 2017, there will be a modest change to premiums for the current health and dental plans and for life insurance.

  • As a result of rising claims cost, the monthly employee and employer premiums across all groups will increase by 2% for the Extended Health Care plan, and by 1.5% for the Dental plan
  • Life insurance premiums will decrease by 10%

There will also be an increase to the Joint Membership Plan monthly cost, which will vary by Plan, but will be no more than 2%.

These changes in monthly contributions will be reflected in your July pay.


New Health Care Spending Account (HCSA)


Effective July 1, 2017, faculty members and librarians will have access to their new Health Care Spending Account (HCSA) provision, which entitles full-time members to $650 per year. This allocation is prorated for part-time members or for those who commence employment during the benefit plan year.

You are eligible for the HCSA whether you are currently enrolled in other Green Shield benefit plans or not.

  • If you are already enrolled in a Green Shield benefit plan, your HCSA is another part of your existing benefit plan provisions, and you can submit claims to your HCSA using your existing Green Shield ID
  • If you have exempted from coverage under the Green Shield benefit plans, you will have a separate HCSA set up and administered by Green Shield (your Green Shield ID is UOT + personnel number + –00; for example, if your personnel number is 111222, your new Green Shield ID will be UOT111222-00)

Using your HCSA provision


You can use your HCSA to:

  • Pay for eligible health and dental expenses not fully covered by your group benefits or provincial health plan, including medical equipment, prescription eyewear, and paramedical practitioners, as well as co-payments or deductibles under your regular health / dental plans
  • Reimburse annual health and dental premiums that you paid during the plan year (July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018). Eligible expenses are considered those expenses eligible as a medical tax credit under the Income Tax Act and not eligible for reimbursement under your health / dental plans or provincial health

More details about this benefit are available on the Faculty & Librarians HCSA page on the HR & Equity website.


Enrolment


All eligible faculty members and librarians have been enrolled with Green Shield by the University. If you already have coverage under one or more Green Shield plans, we have added your HCSA plan to your coverage.

You will need to first get the registration key following the process on their site. If you have difficulties, please contact Green Shield customer service at 1.888.711.1119.

After enrolling with plan member online services, you can obtain a copy of your Green Shield card and submit claims to your HCSA, following the process outlined on Green Shield’s plan member site.


Making a HCSA claim


You can submit claims online through the plan member site, or submit paper claims using a claim form.

If you are enrolled in the other Green Shield plans, you can elect on a regular claim form to have any deductible, co-pay, or amount not covered under your regular plans directed to your HCSA on the same claim form. You can also  submit claims directly to your HCSA using the HCSA claim form, or through online claims on the plan member site.

Claiming your employee premium:

If you do not have any other eligible expenses, you can also request reimbursement — up to the maximum amount available in your HCSA — of the employee premiums you pay towards the Green Shield health and dental plans.

You can submit a claim for this amount after each six-month period so long as you have a balance remaining in your HCSA allocation for that year. This means that for the first Plan Year, you can submit a claim for reimbursement of premiums in January 2018 for the period July 1, 2017 – December 31, 2017. In early January we will make available a letter confirming your contributions for the six-month period so that you can submit that for reimbursement.


Your HCSA balance


Once you have registered for plan member online services with Green Shield, you can check the status of any claim and your HCSA balance online.

Your annual HCSA allocation is available for reimbursement of eligible expenses incurred on or after the date of allocation, and any unused portion expires 24 months after allocation. This means that if you have not used the full amount of your July 1, 2017 HCSA by June 30, 2019, the unused portion is forfeited and is no longer available to you. Claims can only be submitted in the current year and cannot be carried forward.

Your HCSA balance also expires upon retirement, termination or death. Any eligible claims incurred prior to this have to be submitted within 60 days to be considered for reimbursement.

Questions?

More information about the Health Care Spending Account is posted on the Human Resources & Equity website.

If you need more information, please call:

Green Shield Canada
1.888.711.1119 (have your Green Shield ID number ready)

Or contact us:
benefits.help@utoronto.ca