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Health and dental benefits at CBC/Radio-Canada

Frequently Asked Questions
Supplementary Health Plan
Dental Plan
Short- and Long-Term Disability
Reports from the Consultative Committee on Staff Benefits

The following information outlines most of the major health benefits available to staff and long term contract employees of the CBC. Further details are contained in the Collective Agreement or can be obtained through your local Human Resources office or the national Guild office.

If you work as a permanent employee of CBC or if you are contracted to work 13 weeks or longer, you are eligible for the full range of health benefits.

(NOTE: If you work fewer than 13 weeks or work on a casual basis you are entitled to receive a payment of 12.5% of your base salary in lieu of benefits. As a CMG member, you are also eligible to enroll in the group health and dental benefits plan of the Writers Coalition. Click here for details.)

There are three basic kinds of benefits at CBC:

Supplementary Health Care: includes prescription drugs, hospital care, eye glasses, hearing aids, ambulance transportation and much more. In some cases the benefits “top up” provincial medicare plans. In others it provides coverage for items not covered under provincial plans. Coverage is provided by Great West Life Assurance Company and most of the cost is paid by the CBC. Employees pay some deductibles.

Dental: 90% coverage for basic care (“drill and fill”), including fillings, extractions, cleaning, and inspection every nine-months. As well, there is 50% coverage for such things as major restorative (bridges and crowns) and orthodontia (braces), although there are annual and lifetime limits on some of this coverage. The plan represents 1% of your basic salary. There are no employee-paid premiums; the salary scales reflect the cost of this plan.

Short-Term and Long-Term Disability: covers wages lost by employees who become ill or disabled. Short-Term Disability (STD) is paid for by the CBC and covers the first 85 days of illness. Long Term Disability (LTD) covers all periods of longer than 85 days and can be in place until an employee retires or dies. It is paid for by employees. This ensures that the benefits are non-taxable.

Supplementary health plan details

Prescription drugs are covered 100%, with a $5.00 deductible for each prescription, to a maximum of $150.00 a year.

Semi-private hospital rooms and Outpatient Services are 100% covered and there is no deductible charges for these services.

Other benefits: You are re-imbursed for 100% of the cost of the following items or services, but each employee pays an annual deductible of $75.00 (single) or $100.00 (family). Once you’ve paid the deductible there are no additional charges for these items or services:

• Eyeglasses or contact lenses: up to $240.00 every 24-month period for each insured person in the plan. (a family of 5 with everyone requiring glasses could claim $240 X 5)
• Hearing aids: up to $500.00 every 60-month period for each insured person in the plan
• Private hospital accommodation: to a maximum of $12 a day
• Convalescent hospital: to a maximum of 120 days per calendar year.
• Out of province medical services
• Private out of hospital nursing
• Ambulance transportation
• Paramedical services
• Diabetic equipment and supplies
• Alcohol and drug addiction treatments
• Physiotherapy
• Orthopedic shoes: to a maximum of one pair for each 12 month period for adults and where reasonable for dependent children under 18 years of age.
• One eye exam a year: where it is not covered by provincial plans
• Services provided by chiropractors, osteopaths, podiatrists, acupuncturists, naturopaths and licensed masseurs are covered up to $500.00 per insured person per year.
• Crutches, casts and other prosthetic devices such as artificial limbs or eyes, splints, trusses, braces with rigid supports are covered after reimbursement from your provincial plan

In addition, 90% of the cost of the following services is covered:
• psychologists
• speech therapy, to an annual maximum of $500

Dental plan details

The dental plan is corporate-wide and covers all employees covered by a collective agreement, working outside the province of Quebec and Moncton, N.B. There is no premium for full time employees or contract employees who work one year or longer. It is paid for as a part of CBC’s payroll. The plan covers most normal dental work (checkups, extractions, fillings, exrays, etc.)
It also covers 50% of the cost of major restorative (bridges and crowns) and orthodontia (braces). There is an annual limit of $1200.00 and there are lifetime limits on major restorative work and orthodontia.

Details on Short- and Long-term disability

These are actually two separate plans. Short Term Disability (STD) is provided by the CBC and covers all sick leave up to 85 days. Beyond that, employees are covered by Long Term Disability (LTD), which pays lost wages from the 86th day up to retirement or death. LTD is an insurance plan provided by Great West Life and paid for by employees. The benefits provide 60% of an employee’s wage and are not taxable. Payments for Pension, Life Insurance and Health Care Benefits are also covered by LTD insurance. STD coverage varies depending on length of service:

Length of service 100% of basic pay Two-thirds pay
3 months to 1 year 10 working days 75 working days
1 to 2 years 20 working days 65 working days
2 to 3 years 30 working days 55 working days
3 to 4 years 40 working days 45 working days
4 to 5 years 50 working days 35 working days
5 to 6 years 60 working days 25 working days
6 to 7 years 70 working days 15 working days
7 years or longer 85 working days

Long Term Disability provides wage replacement for employees who are disabled from performing “60% of their own job.” The benefit is equal to 60% of your regular base wage, but is not taxable because the premium is entirely employee paid. A disabled employee must apply for this coverage and that application must be accompanied by supporting medical information…generally from a specialist. After the first two years the definition of disability changes.

In order to qualify for continuing benefits you must be disabled from performing “any job” in which you can earn 60% of your “pre-disability wages.” In other words the ability to perform your former job is no longer the determining factor in deciding eligibility for benefits.

(NOTE: LTD and the rules concerning your eligibility for it can sometimes be very complicated. If you are ill or are diagnosed with an ailment which could lead to LTD, you should ensure the proper documents are being provided. If you are having any problems call your Guild representative)

Frequently Asked Questions

Q – I need a significant amount of dental work; how can I get the maximum benefit from the Dental Plan?

A – Depending on the type of treatment you require, you should attempt to stagger your treatments over two calendar years. In this way you can make the most of your “annual maximums.” (NOTE: Some coverage has “lifetime maximums.”) Also remember that all maximums are based on a per individual basis. In other words, each family member has her/his own maximum.

Q – I had a prescription filled several months ago but I’ve lost it; can I still get it covered?

A – Yes, your pharmacist will give you a “copy” of your bill and, if you haven’t claimed it previously, it will be covered by the plan. There is, however, a six month limit to coverage unless there are unusual circumstances. (NOTE: Forms for all benefits under the Supplementary Health Care Plan can be obtained through your local Human Resources office.)

Q – I’ve been rejected for Long-Term Disability even though my family doctor says I shouldn’t or can’t go back to work; is there anything I can do?

A – Yes. It is not up to your doctor to decide if you qualify for disability insurance. The insurance company makes that decision based on the medical evidence provided to it. Your doctor can provide additional information to support your claim or can refer you to a specialist. You are only considered disabled if you’re are unable to perform 60% of your job on an ongoing basis. If the insurance company denies your application, you can have that decision appealed. If it is still rejected and you still believe you should be eligible for coverage, you can have your case “adjudicated.” This is a hearing conducted on your behalf by a representative from the Guild. If you are denied LTD benefits, you should contact the Guild office as soon as possible. (NOTE: Make sure your application for LTD has been submitted well before your Short Term Disability has ended).

Q – Does our plan cover eyeglasses or contacts?

A – Yes. Up to $240.00 every two years. (For each family member if you have family coverage). Coverage includes both lenses and frames.

Q – Do I have any life insurance at CBC?

A – Yes. Every employee has life insurance equal to their annual wage. You can purchase up to an additional four times your annual wage. There is also”term life” coverage available, which is a good option if you have young children because it provides more coverage, at a lower rate, when it’s most needed. Also you can buy insurance for your spouse (up to $15,000) and/or your children (up to $7,500).

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