New health plan more flexible

Students can choose different health coverage options

A new health benefits plan provides full-time George Brown students with more choice and convenience for a lower fee.

Last fall the health insurance fee was $212 for domestic students, this year it’s down to $191.54. International students in the postsecondary programs saved $88.66 this fall with their health insurance costing $570.82.

“We think that this plan is going to be a good option for the students,” said Yukiko Ito, the Student Association’s (SA) senior co-ordinator of member services. The Dialog is funded by the SA.

Both the international post-secondary plans and the domestic student health benefit plans offer four options, each focusing on a specific type of health care.

  • The Balanced Plan, which is the default plan, offers a mix of compensation for drug, dental, vision, and other medical care services.
  • The Enhanced Drug Plan, provides 90 per cent co-insurance coverage for eligible medications up to $6,500 as well as up to $500 for dental care.
  • The Enhanced Dental Plan, offers up to $3,000 for drugs, and up to $1,000 for dental care.
  • The Enhanced Extended Health Care Plan offers the most compensation for eye-related services and $150 for lenses and frames, as well as 90 per cent coverage for paramedical practitioners, such as clinical psychologists.

While the plan is still in its early days, Ito said that some students have already expressed excitement at choosing their own plan for their own needs.

Students that already have health coverage have until Oct. 6 to opt-out of the plan. International students can opt-out by visiting an SA office at any George Brown campus, and domestic students can opt-out online at the health plan’s website.

The website that accompanies the new plan was made by ACL Student Services. The site was designed for users to spend as little time as possible looking into their insurance, according to Jonathan Hillis, national sales and marketing director for ACL.

“The last thing we want to do is spend an ample amount of time at a website about insurance,” said Hillis. “Insurance isn’t glamourous.”

ACL has also built an app for the SA, which includes a portal to the health benefits plan. The app has 2,200 downloads as of Sept. 20, according to Hillis. The app is available on Apple or Android.

Through the website and app students can file drug, dental, and extended health claims. Claims for hospital, physician, and walk-in clinic visits as well as blood tests, X-rays, ultrasounds, and diagnostic imaging must be submitted by regular mail.

Every two years, the SA reviews dental and health plan providers and decides which benefits package to acquire for students. The previous plans were under Green Shield and Allianz Global Assistance.

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New health plan more flexible