We all know that special health-related expenses can be a concern for anyone. This awareness has led the Consultative Committee on Staff Benefits (CCSB) to create a Special Assistance Fund (SAF), to help CBC employees and pensioners, and their families, with such expenses, when traditional or other benefits do not fully meet the need.
A surplus has built up over several years in various employee-paid insurance programs, and the SAF was created as a fair way to distribute those surplus funds.
Who decides what expenses are paid?
The CCSB has set up a special SAF Committee to evaluate reimbursement requests; the committee may consult outside medical advisers. The SAF Committee will meet as necessary, generally just before the quarterly CCSB meetings, to review submitted claims and recommend acceptance or denial of the claim for action by the CCSB as a whole. The SAF Committee currently includes:
- three union representatives;
- one CBC pensioner representative;
- one representative from CBC management; and
- one representative from Mercer Human Resource Consulting, consultant to the CBC and the CCSB on benefit matters.
Confidential information is only known to the members of the SAF Committee, who agree to abide by strict confidentiality guidelines.
The decision of the CCSB is final on reimbursement from the SAF.
What expenses are eligible for reimbursement?
The SAF is available to help you when you have out-of-the-ordinary health-related expenses, only when you can’t get those expenses reimbursed by any other program, private or governmental. In fact, if you are eligible to participate in the Supplementary Health Care Plan but are not a member, you may not apply for SAF assistance for any expense that could be paid under the plan.
All expenses must be related to a service or supply that is necessary to the well being of the person (yourself or your dependents) for whom it was incurred. It must also be an expense that qualifies as a “medical expense” under the provisions of the Income Tax Act. The list of eligible expenses is extensive and includes medical and hospital supplies and services, and treatments rendered by recognized medical or paramedical practitioners.
The SAF Committee decides how much is reimbursed in each case, depending on the details of your claim and the funds available. Generally, the Committee will not consider claims of less than $200. Approved claims are reimbursed at up to 100% of the eligible expenses, to a lifetime maximum of $10,000 for any one employee, pensioner, or family member.
How do I make an SAF claim?
Once you have investigated all other possibilities of getting an expense reimbursed, you can apply, in writing, to any member of the CCSB. If you are a confidential or a management employee, please apply in writing to the Manager, Benefit Plans Administration. Make sure to provide enough details and receipts to allow the committee to easily assess the claim. Claimants must also include an Authorization Form, agreeing to have the committee discuss the case. All CCSB members will have copies of the necessary form.
Will my claim be automatically covered at the levels described above?
No. Funds available for payment of health claims are limited. Each claim is assessed by the CCSB, and reimbursements are made based on the merit of the claim and overall funds available to provide for claim payments.
Download the SAF application form (Word document).