Should you opt-out of the Health and Dental Plan?

Photo Credit: Zoe Archambault

Photo Credit: Zoe Archambault

Most students believe that if they have the option to opt-out of a service offered by their university they are better suited to take that route. With tuition costs already at an all-time high, saving as much as you can from a service you think you don’t need can seem beneficial. However, it can also be a big mistake.

One of the services offered to all full-time undergraduate students through the Brock University Students’ Union is the Health and Dental Plan — it is also one of the services that students are most confused about. The fee for the package is a total of $243.97 with the option to opt-out during the month of September. A total breakdown of the plan is $139.78 for health insurance and $104.19 for dental insurance.

BUSU has a partnership with Blue Cross as the insurance provider and the plan can provide students with coverage of 50 per cent to 100 per cent, all depending on where the prescription is filled. It’s recommended that students use the Campus Pharmacy, which is located across the street from the main campus, to get their prescription filled.

Using the Campus Pharmacy will give students 100 per cent coverage on generic drugs and 80 per cent coverage for brand name drugs. If a student chooses to use another pharmacy the coverage falls to 70 per cent on generic drugs and 50 per cent for brand name drugs. If you have trouble accessing the Campus Pharmacy, students have the ability to register for Direct2U, a service that allows students to get the coverage that is offered by Campus Pharmacy and get their prescription delivered to them.

Some students make the quick decision to opt-out of the BUSU offered plan because they’re covered under their parent’s health and dental plan. What most students don’t know is the BUSU plan may provide services not available through parental coverage and can combine the two plans together. Examples of services available through BUSU that you may not receive with other coverage are vaccinations, vision, orthotics, wisdom teeth removal and 365 days of worldwide travel — which is important if you are a student travelling abroad.

BUSU provided a couple examples of how you could combine your health coverage:

For one, if you are getting your wisdom teeth removed at a cost of $2,000 and your parent’s coverage is only going to provide payment for half, BUSU’s plan will then pay 80 per cent of what is leftover. Meaning you are only paying $200 out of your pocket after using both insurance plans.

Another example comes through the major upgrade that students will be provided for vision benefits through BUSU. Starting September 1, students can get 80 per cent coverage for eye exams up to $150 every 24 months. For prescription glasses and contact lenses, students can get 80 per cent covered up to $200, every 24 months.

Therefore, if a student needs prescription glasses at the cost of $350, and their parental plan only provides $200, the student plan will pay an extra $200. This would give a student in this situation full reimbursement for the glasses.

With this information students can decide if they want to pay the full $243.97 for the Health and Dental Plan offered by BUSU, either because they do not have coverage or even if they’d like to combine it with what they get through their parental plan. To opt-out, students “must provide information for another comparable extended health and dental plan,” according to Student VIP.

The opt-out process begins on Sept. 1 and runs until the end of the month. The process can be found online at brockBUSU.ca/healthplan. Students cannot opt back into the plan under any conditions once opting out. However, you will be eligible for the plan if you return to Brock the following year, as every student is re-enrolled beginning Sept. 1.

Students can also find the breakdown of ancillary fees on their BrockU portal. Fees include the health and dental plan, health service fee, the universal bus pass and day care fee. The latter three do not include options to opt-out.

If you have questions about the Health and Dental Plan service, students can contact healthplan@brockBUSU.ca or call 905-688-5550 ext. 4194.

 

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