ADRP representatives to the Dalhousie Benefits Advisory Committee attended the Budget Advisory Committee (BAC) Meeting on Wednesday June 17, 2020. There are 2 outcomes from that meeting that will affect early retirees who subscribe to the Extended Health Benefits and Travel plan, i.e. those under the age 65.
- There will be a EHB premium holiday of one month since claims have drastically dropped since the CoVID-19 pandemic and if premiums continue at the current rate it potentially can cause problems with calculating the premium rates for the next year. It was felt that members would rather get a premium break now since now when money is tight and work scarce. This most likely will affect current employees more but still it will help recent retirees. Look at your June pension stub to see the effect.
- Starting September 1, 2020, the EHB plan will cover the claims of the Continual Glucose Monitoring System for managing diabetes up to $4000 per year (80% reimbursement). You have to be insulin dependent to get this but a note from your doctor to Blue Cross is necessary. It covers both the monitor and the detectors; note that the limits here are more than what is available for the over age 65 retirees which may or may not make a difference to insulin dependent persons. The difference in reimbursement rates is that retirees pay all the premium whereas employees do not and so the early retirees are being helped along by the regular employees until they turn age 65. I sincerely hope the Nova Scotia Seniors Pharmacare Program will soon take on this benefit; it costs the same or less overall from the old strips and the insulin dependent people are much better off health-wise.