The WTA Group Benefits Committee made a number of improvements to the WSD group benefits plan.
Premiums for the WSD Teachers’ Dental plan were retained in 2016 at 1.35% of payroll. These rates are unchanged from last year. Effective January 1, 2016 and ending December 31, 2016, there will be a deductible holiday. Further, that effective January 1, 2016, dependent coverage was changed so that dependent means your unmarried children under age 21, or under age 25 if they are full time student. This harmonizes the maximum age limits for the WSD dental group plan and the WSD extended health care plan.
Regarding the WSD Manulife Extended Health Care Plan, premium rates effective March 1, 2016, will remain unchanged with no increase. For active teachers the rates will continue to be Single- $51.00 and Family – $106.00. Rates for retired members will continue to be Single – $61.68 and Family – $128.71.
Effective March 1, 2016, these two benefits will be added to the Manulife Extended Care Plan for active teachers: custom ear plugs, paid to reasonable and customary maximums, requiring a prescription; and a Pay Direct Drug Card (Manulife brochure).
EHC Plan eligibility requirements were relaxed: “The loss of coverage due to a spouse’s retirement is considered to be voluntary withdrawal and therefore is not considered a Life Event,” was deleted from the definition of Life Events.
The EHC plan will also be improved effective March 1, 2016, for retired teachers (in Classes B and H), with an increase to the maximums allowed for paramedical claims to $850 per person per calendar year. Paramedicals include Acupuncturist, Audiologist, Chiropractor, Dietician, Massage Therapist, Naturopath, Osteopath, Podiatrist/chiropodist, Psychologist and Speech Therapist.
Mores specifically, effective March 1, 2016, EHC rate are:
Class A: Single – $51.00; Family – $106.00
Class B: Single – $61.68; Family – $128.71
Class C: Single – $6.95; Family – $12.78
Class D: Single – $51.00; Family – $106.00
Class H: Single – $61.68; Family – $128.71.