Like every other college or university, the health and dental plan at Okanagan College is a universal service, meaning that everyone is included. However, if you already have coverage for extended health and dental benefits, usually through an employer or family member, you can opt out of the plan provided by the Students’ Union. For you to be able to opt-out, the coverage you have already needs to be equivalent to the Students’ Union’s plan.
Extended health and dental insurance commonly includes such benefits as prescription medication, paramedical and extended health services and products, and comprehensive dental coverage, each at a level that provides tangible benefits. So equivalent coverage would be a plan that has these essential elements, and is generally provided through a parent, spouse or employer. Examples of things that are not equivalent coverage include basic BC government (or other provincial) medical coverage, travel insurance, emergency medical coverage, and certain individual coverage packages.
Many benefit plans can still leave you with huge financial shortfalls for necessary treatments, prescription drugs or dental procedures. Compare your existing coverage and your bills from last year, and make sure you have enough coverage through your current benefit plan before opting out of the Students’ Union’s plan. Details of the Students’ Union plan can be found under WHAT’S COVERED. If you don’t think your current coverage is sufficient, consider keeping the Students’ Union coverage as well in order to make sure you are fully covered (having two plans means that you can claim from one, expenses that are not covered by the other).
The opt-out site is open for most of the year, but that does not mean that you can opt out at any time. The deadline to opt out is the third Friday after your program start date. Request to opt out after this date cannot be accepted because those not opted out by the deadline will have already been enrolled in the Students’ Union’s plan.
By completing the opt out process through this website, a request to opt out is sent to the Students’ Union, who processes that request by evaluating your information and ensuring that the equivalent coverage is valid. This process can sometimes take a few days or even a few weeks when volumes are high. Be sure to check your student record after the opt out deadline to ensure the fee is removed, and contact the Students’ Union if it looks as though your opt out was not successful.
Once you have applied to opt out and your request has been accepted, your student record is updated to reflect that you have declined the service in respect of your equivalent coverage. This remains your status for the length of your time at Okanagan College. However, if you make course changes it may affect your opt out so please always check you tuition fee statement for the health and dental charges.
Yes, you can apply to be re-added to the plan if the coverage you supplied when opting out has been discontinued through no fault of your own (as in you lost a job, you aged out of parental coverage, etc). To opt back into the plan, you need to contact the Students’ Union within 30 days of losing your existing coverage to apply for readmission to the Students’ Union’s plan.