Written by: Srijani Datta, Assistant News Editor
As of September 1, 2018, student health and dental plan pricing will be effectively reduced. The enhanced plan and the basic plan, which cost $267.75 and $207.90 respectively, will be reduced to $254.36 for the enhanced plan and $197.51 for the basic plan.
This fee reduction was finalized by the Simon Fraser Student Society (SFSS) Board of Directors through a motion passed on June 15.
When asked why the coverage plan was revised, vice-president student services Samer Rihani explained that every school in Canada who is partnered with Studentcare has a claim fluctuation reserve. This reserve essentially holds a certain amount of the money that students pay in their plan for emergency situations or for cases “where we feel it necessary to provide new services to students.”
Rihani stated that the SFSS “felt as though the reserve that was for [students] was too high, and [that they] could help lower the cost of the plan, while keeping the reserve stable.”
According to Rihani, the new price was determined based on a referendum passed in 2016. “Students had voted in the referendum allowing SFSS to either increase or decrease the health and dental fees by up to 5%,” he said.
Rihani also mentioned that last year’s board of directors went through a request for proposal (RFP) process, working with different providers to determine the best provider for the new plan. Based on the results, the SFSS’s ongoing partner, Studentcare, was selected. “The SFSS has been with Studentcare for numerous years now, and always found them to be reliable and care for the best student experience,” he stated.
The revised plan will be covered by Pacific Blue Cross, replacing Desjardins Insurance, which was the provider last year.
The SFSS press release mentioned that the current board of directors pushed to ensure that students were able to pay less for their Health and Dental payments, while being able to receive the same coverage. “Nothing whatsoever will be changed,” confirmed Rihani. “The benefits you had in the 2017/2018 year will be the exact same, but now at a cheaper price.”
According to Rihani, “last year’s Board brought the motion forward as a collective team lead by Jimmy Dhesa, the vice-president student services of the time. This was done to make sure that we could keep providing the best Health and Dental services available to our students.”
“We are proud to be working with Studentcare and know that we can provide our members with what’s truly best for them,” Rihani concluded. “We urge our students to visit the Studentcare health and dental office located on the MBC 2000 level and ask any questions that may come to mind.”