GSA Health & Dental Plan
August 2020 Update from Studentcare regarding international students' opt-out period
Studentcare will host a special retro-active change-of-coverage (COC) period in July 2021, for international students of the Sept. 2020/Jan 2021 intakes who do not come back to Canada for the 2020-2021 academic year. This retro-active change of coverage period would be in addition to the regular (COC).
- International students may use the following as exceptional proof-of-coverage to opt-out of H&D:
- letter of enrolment provided by the institution
- approval-in-principle of a study permit (as per 2-stage process introduced in July 2020)
- existing study permit (if residing outside of Canada)
Read more: GSA Notes about International Student Exceptional Opt-Out Policy Relating to COVID-19 Pandemic here
April 2020 Update from Studentcare regarding GSA Health & Dental Plan:
- Desjardins is now accepting virtual visits (temporarily) for online physiotherapy & chiropractor services. It needs to be part of a continued treatment to be eligible.
- Students can still access the eye glasses/contact lenses coverage by buying their contacts/prescription glasses online
- Prescription drug and pay-direct services at pharmacies are still working
- Most dental offices are still seeing patients for emergency dental services
Clearly this is an unprecedented event for most insurers but we’re working with Desjardins to make sure students can still access most of their benefits via online services!
(March 2020) COVID-19 impact on GSA Health and Dental Plan: Read here
Visit the StudentCare website for the most updated details about the GSA Health and Dental Plan including plan coverage, how to claim, change your coverage, and so on.StudentCare website
Overview of the GSA Health & Dental Plan
To help University of Calgary graduate students pay for the health services they need, the GSA has partnered with Studentcare in order to provide students with extended health and dental coverage. The Plan is designed specifically to fill the gaps in provincial care (the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan - AHCIP)
All eligible full-time graduate students who are registered in classes are automatically covered by the Plan for 12 months of coverage (your student year), starting on the first day of the first month of your first term of study:
- September students: September 1 - August 31
- January students: January 1 - December 31
- May students: May 1 - April 30
- July students: July 1 - June 30
Certain exceptions exist. Please check your student account to confirm if you have been charged the Plan fees.
Part-time and distance students are not automatically enrolled, but may be eligible to enrol themselves in the Plan.
Among other features, the Plan covers health, dental, vision, and travel benefits
- Up to 80% for prescription drugs to a maximum of $10,000
- $1,825 for health practitioners (psychologists, master of social work, registered clinical counsellor physiotherapists, chiropractors, etc.)
- Up to $375 in vision care (eye exams, eyeglasses and contact lenses, laser eye surgery)
- Up to $850 in dental care (checkups, cleanings, fillings, extractions, endodontics, periodontics, etc.)
- $5,000,000 in travel health coverage per incident and 120 days per trip
- $5,000 for trip interruption and $1,500 for trip cancellation in the event of a medical emergency
- Ambulances, dental accidents, medical equipment, and more!
Alberta Health Care
Have no Canadian provincial health care? You'll need it to be able to use the Health and Dental Plan.
A provincial plan is a requirement for your insurance benefits plan (below) to be active.
To obtain Alberta Health Care: https://www.alberta.ca/ahcip-apply.aspx
*Any Canadian provincial healthcare card should work with the GSA Health and Dental Plan.
How Can I Save More?
You can further enhance your benefits by visiting health professionals who are members of the Dental, Vision, Chiropractic, Psychology, Physiotherapy, and Massage Therapy Networks. You are covered for one insured portion regardless of the health professional you choose. By consulting a Network member, you will get additional coverage. For example, by visiting a Dental Network member, you will receive an additional 30% off dental services, enabling you to get up to 100% coverage.
How Much Does It Cost?
The total annual cost of the Plan is $579.00 for students starting is September, January, May or July. The student year lasts 12 months from the first day of the month that your initial term begins. For example, students starting in September are covered from September 1, 2018 - August 31, 2019. The cost of the Plan is automatically included in your tuition and other fees.
(Please note: The fees listed below are effective starting May 2021.)
$579.00Health = $305.00Dental = $274.00
Add One Dependent (spouse OR child) for an additional
$579.00Health = $305.00Dental = $274.00
Add Family Members (spouse + unlimited number of children) for an additional
$1,035.00Health = $545.00Dental = $490.00
Can I Change my Coverage?
If you are covered by another extended health and/or dental plan (i.e. parent or spouse’s employee plan, not AHCIP), you can combine both plans to maximize your overall coverage and reduce or eliminate out-of-pocket costs.
Alternatively, you can opt out of the health portion, the dental portion, or the Plan in its entirety during the Change-of-Coverage Period, based on the month you started your studies.
Once the opt out is complete, you will receive a credit to your student account for the amount of the Plan. If you are eligible, the Change-of-Coverage Period is also when you can enrol yourself and your spouse and/or dependent children in the Plan.Submit your Change-of-Coverage requests here
Change-Of-Coverage Period is based on the month of your first term of study:
- May students: April 26 – May 14, 2021
- July students: June 23 – July 7, 2021
- Special July Change of Coverage period for international students to opt out: July 5 - 19, 2021
- September students: August 27 - September 24, 2021
- January students: January 7 - January 28, 2022
About Empower Me
Students covered by the GSA Health Plan have access to Empower Me - a mental health and wellness service that seeks to contribute to a resilient student community by supporting existing on-campus and Studentcare mental health resources.
Empower Me allows students to connect with qualified counsellors, consultants, and life coaches for a variety of issues. As a student covered by the GSA Health Plan, you're entitled to sessions delivered in person, by telephone, by video-counselling, or by e-counselling.
Visit the Empower Me page HERE.
Empower Me is:
- Available 24/7, 365 days per year
- Culturally sensitive
- Gender inclusive
- Faith inclusive
Connect with Empower Me:
- Call the 24/7 helpline at 1-833-628-5589 from anywhere in North America to be directly connected to a trained counsellor—the person answering the phone is not an operator, administrator, or receptionist.
Access Empower Me on the EAP Optima App
You can also connect with Empower Me through the EAP Optima mobile app, available for download from the App Store and Google Play. With the app, you can:
• Chat with a counsellor
• Consult professionals via videoconferencing appointments
• Call the 24/7 helpline
• Access other health and wellness resources
To create your account on the app, use this access code: 45295QG40
For a step-by-step guide to creating an account, click here.
Using Empower Me
You can always contact an Empower Me professional—no issue is too big or too small. Though Empower Me counsellors are qualified to support students in crisis, you don’t need to be in crisis in order to take advantage of the service.
You can get support for issues of any kind, including relationships, family care, depression, anxiety, addictions, stress, work conflicts, and much more. Empower Me also offers a full suite of academic life services, such as life coaching, financial planning, and nutritional counselling.
UCalgary Student Wellness Services
UCalgary Student Wellness Services offers health services, health promotion and outreach, and mental health services. For more details, visit https://www.ucalgary.ca/wellness-services
Out of Province students seeking health care
Student Wellness Services offers medical support for students. Students from out-of-province must arrange for Alberta Health Care coverage. For further information please see: https://www.alberta.ca/ahcip-apply.aspx
Resources compiled by the GSA Mental Health & Wellness Committee
- Keeping Mentally Healthy! Resources List – Aug 2018 updated
- Helpful on – and off – campus resources for UCalgary Graduate Students
- Our partners in StudentCare also offer a range of services and resources for Mental health. You learn can more about their services by accessing their website at www.studentcare.ca/talkitout