Extension of Dental Benefits for Retiring WTA members

WTA is Extending the Dental Plan for members retiring effective June 30, 2020

Ordinarily, members retiring effective June 30 have access to dental plan coverage until August 31.  As Dental services and treatment have been largely unavailable during the pandemic crisis, we appreciate that our retiring members may miss having access to dental care during their last few months of eligibility in the dental plan.  Therefore, the WTA will instruct Canada Life, our dental plan provider, to extend coverage for newly retiring members until October 31, 2020.  The extension may be revised after we review members’ actual experience accessing dental care in the coming months.

Extended Health Care Premiums

The WTA shares its members’ concern that full premiums are being paid to Manulife for extended health care benefits while some of these services are unavailable during the pandemic crisis. For example, presently members can’t access many paramedical providers.  Members have requested that premiums be lowered during the time that social distancing is being practiced.  In our extended health care plan, WTA members share in the plan’s experience.  When paid claims and expenses exceed premiums, we have to increase premiums.  When premiums exceed paid claims and expenses, an in-year surplus is created that can be used to offset future increases in premiums paid by the membership.  With members not accessing all of their benefits for a short period of time, it’s possible that premiums will exceed paid claims and there will be a positive impact on the financial position of our extended health care plan.  The WTA reviews plan experience each month.  After the pandemic ends, the WTA will analyze both the impact of the pandemic on the plan’s experience, utilization for the year overall as well as inflation and we will set fees accordingly effective March 2021.