As a beginning teacher, I had no idea what benefits were, let alone how to access them. I hope I can share some insights for our newer members and perhaps some reminders for our veteran colleagues
When we signed contracts with our employer, we received a package of information. If you were like me, you filed it (not in the round filing cabinet!) and focused on the next day’s lesson plan. In that package was some important information! A booklet on Manulife Extended Health Benefits, a Great-West Life Dental plan booklet (now Canada Life) and all kinds of life insurance information (Manitoba Public School Employees Group Life Insurance Plan). Here’s the low down.
MPSEGLIP is administered by the Manitoba Teachers’ Society and the Manitoba School Boards Association in consultation with the firm of Mercer. It offers basic life insurance (up to 700% of earnings), family life insurance and Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance. When you look at your pay stubs, you’ll see the cost of these in the deductions portions. If you have questions about this plan, refer to the website or you can contact Glen Anderson at the Manitoba Teachers Society or check the following website: https://mpsebp.ca/manitoba-public-school-employee-group-life/
There is a great informational booklet available via a link at the bottom of the page.
Our dental plan is run through Canada Life Assurance Company (Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life were combined in January 2020). Benefits include reimbursements at the following rates: routine treatment 100%, major treatment 60% and orthodontic treatment 50%. Maximum amounts apply to orthodontic treatments as well as any routine or major treatments. ALL orthodontic treatment must first be submitted to Canada Life (your dentist or orthodontist will do this). Plan information can be found here: http://www.wta.mb.ca/services/benefits/ and by clicking on the Canada Life link.
Our extended health benefits plan is run through Manulife. It is different than the one offered by MTS which is run through Blue Cross. Information can be found here: http://www.wta.mb.ca/services/benefits/ and clicking the Extended Health Care Plan link.
The booklet explains the many benefits for active and retired teachers. Highlights include: access to massage therapist, chiropractor, osteopath, podiatrist/chiropodist, naturopath, speech therapist, dietician, audiologist, physiotherapists, athletic and occupational therapists, psychologist, acupuncturists, drug expenses, hospital care, ambulance care and vision testing. Expanded access to mental health and some counseling services was added this year.
The website for Manulife is www.manulife.ca. Look for the Manulife Group Plan Member link. You can sign up for on-line submissions of receipts which speeds up the reimbursement process. There is also a mobile app that they support. If you have questions about a claim, you can call them at 1-800-268-6195 or live chat. Make sure you have your plan details ready.
Benefit programs are designed to take care of us when we need them. In these times of uncertainty, I encourage all of us to (re-)familiarize ourselves with one of the tools in our toolbox that will help us focus on our work and personal lives with less worry.
Winston Blakey, WTA Group Benefits Committee Chair