The AMS/GSS Health & Dental Plan is extended health and dental coverage, designed specifically for students to cover expenses not covered by basic health care plans such as prescription drugs, dental care, travel health coverage, health practitioners, vision care, and more.
The Plan was mandated by student referendums in 1999 and 2001. More detailed information about the Plan, including claim forms and details on how to enroll family or opt out, is available at ihaveaplan.ca or at the Health & Dental Plan Office on campus.
- Who is covered?
- What is covered and how much does it cost?
- What if I already have health and dental coverage?
- Can I enroll my spouse or dependants?
- Change-of-Coverage Period
- Blackout Period
- Health Plan Premium Assistance Fund
- Mandatory Health Insurance for new International Students (iMED)
- B.C. MSP
- B.C. Fair PharmaCare
All AMS and GSS members who pay AMS fees for the Health & Dental Plan are automatically enrolled, including full and part-time students, international students, and those auditing a course. To verify if you are enrolled in the Health & Dental Plan, check your fee statement and look for the “AMS med/dent fee” line item. You can do this online through the Student Services Portal.
The Plan includes benefits for prescription drugs, travel health coverage, vision care, health practitioners (including psychologists), dental benefits, and more. The total cost of the Plan is $214.37 per student, included automatically with University fees each Sept. The policy year is from Sept. 1, 2011 to Aug. 31, 2012. Students beginning in Jan. 2012 will be assessed $142.91 for coverage from Jan. 1 to Aug. 31, 2012.
If you are covered by another extended plan (i.e. parent or spouse’s employee plan) you can combine both plans to maximize your overall coverage and reduce or eliminate out-of-pocket costs. You may also choose to opt out of the AMS/GSS Plan and have the fee reversed from your student account. All opt outs must be completed within the Change-of-Coverage Period (see below). If it is your first time opting out, you will be asked to provide proof of other coverage. Visit ihaveaplan.ca and follow the on-screen instructions for opting out.
Yes, students have the option of enrolling their spouse and/or dependent children each year by paying an additional fee, over and above their fee as a member of the AMS/GSS. Common law and same-sex couples are eligible. Visit ihaveaplan.ca and follow the on-screen instructions for enrollments. If you want to cover your spouse or dependants, you must renew your family enrollment during the Change-of-Coverage Period each year (see below for deadlines).
Students can opt out or enroll their family during the following periods only:
- For students starting in September: Sept. 6 to 27, 2011
- For students starting in January: Jan. 3 to 25, 2012 (New winter term two students only)
Please note that if you graduate in Term 1 and do not return to UBC in Term 2, you will remain covered by the Plan until Aug. 31, 2012.
Claims processing is delayed while ihaveaplan.ca waits for complete enrollment lists, after opt outs and enrollments have been processed. Claims can be dropped off at the Health & Dental Plan Office, but they will not be processed until the Blackout Period ends. You may also hold your claims until this time. Remember: claims are your responsibility until received by Pacific Blue Cross. Practitioners and pharmacists can’t accept Pay Direct or assignment of benefits during the Blackout Period.
Partial or full reimbursement of the Health & Dental Plan fee ($214.37) is available on a need basis from the AMS and GSS through the AMS/GSS Health Plan Premium Assistance Fund.
Returning students as well as Students who began their academic year in September and who have not opted out of the AMS/GSS Extended Health & Dental Plan may apply for the bursary. The application form is available at www.gss.ubc.ca/health/.
For more information, contact Ahmed Mtiraoui at email@example.com.
iMED is the mandatory basic health insurance program the University provides for new international students. All new international students are automatically enrolled in the iMED plan, which provides coverage for the three-month waiting period for B.C. MSP or for the entire length of a one-term exchange. Medical benefits include emergency hospitalization and medical services for an unexpected sickness or injury (for the full policy, please visit the website). Once you register for your first class, the fee of $120 (for all students except one-term exchanges students, for whom the fee is $170) will appear on your student account and your card will be sent to you via email; print it and keep it with you at all times. For more details about the iMED policy, coverage dates, opt-out eligibility, addition of dependents, and other related information, please visit the iMED website.
In order to claim health benefits under the AMS Health Plan, you must be covered by the B.C. Medical Services Plan (MSP), or have other equivalent basic coverage such as other provincial health care or private basic health insurance. MSP is public health insurance, but most people still have to pay premiums, unless eligible to apply for MSP Premium Assistance (see the web site below for details). Anyone residing in B.C. for longer than six months is required by law to enroll in the B.C. MSP and pay premiums directly to the plan. All residents of B.C. (including international students) are eligible to apply to the MSP, but your application will take three months to process.
There is a waiting period before MSP coverage begins; this is the rest of the month in which you arrive in B.C. plus two months. For example, if you arrive in B.C. on Aug. 25, you will be eligible for MSP on Nov. 1. Be sure to contact MSP within one month after submitting your application to confirm that they received your application.
It is our understanding that any eligible person who submitted an application will be covered after the waiting period, even if their CareCard has not arrived. If this happens to you, you may need to pay at the time you receive health care, keep the receipt, and request reimbursement from MSP once your card arrives.
B.C. MSP: 604-683-7151 or healthservices.gov.bc.ca.
B.C. Fair PharmaCare – register and save money!
With Fair PharmaCare, students now have access to the second most generous drug coverage in the country! The B.C. government introduced Fair PharmaCare to replace the PharmaCare program and improve the health status of residents across the province. The income-based program is designed to provide fair access to coverage for prescription drugs – the lower your income, the more assistance the government will provide toward your eligible drug costs. For example, if your net income from two years ago was less than $15,000 and you have registered for Fair PharmaCare, you will have 70 per cent of your eligible prescription drug costs covered immediately, with no deductible.
All B.C. residents are eligible for Fair PharmaCare and all eligible AMS/GSS Plan members must register for the program.
Five good reasons why you should register for Fair PharmaCare:
1. To maximize your overall drug coverage;
2. To reduce out-of-pocket costs;
3. To help offset costs for the Plan, keeping the fees at a lower rate for all students;
4. To have the appropriate deductible assigned to you by Fair PharmaCare (students who do not register will automatically be assigned the highest deductible level);
5. To have your claims properly coordinated with your AMS/GSS drug plan.
To register for Fair PharmaCare, please visit health.gov.bc.ca/pharmacare/# or call 604-683-7151. Students who are not eligible for Fair PharmaCare can still claim prescription drug expenses under their AMS/GSS Health Plan. Please contact studentcare.net/works for more information at 1-877-795-4421.