If you’re like me when I started here, you probably haven’t given much thought to health and dental plans. Chances are you’ve been covered under your parents’ plan or something similar. But every year student have lots of questions about “the plan” so I figured I should give you a quick rundown.
What is it?
The DSU Health and Dental Plan and the DSU International Health Plan (for international students) are administered on campus by the DSU’s Health Plan Office, and provide coverage through a company called Student VIP.
If you’re Canadian, this is different than your provincial health plan (MSI, OHIP, MSP, or whatever it’s called in your home province). Unless you’re from Quebec, your provincial plan will cover the same types of things here that it does at home (e.g. basic doctor visits, certain hospital stays/procedures, etc.). But it’s not a substitute for the DSU plan, which is geared towards students and covers a bunch of stuff, including:
- Prescription drugs: If you need something new for that sinus infection or a refill of your regular meds, the plan can cover between 50–100% of the cost.
- Dental: When you have teeth like mine, it’s important to keep them healthy. Luckily the plan covers dental exams and teeth cleaning.
- Practitioners: Need to see a specialist that isn’t typically covered (e.g. physiotherapist, chiropractor, speech therapist, etc.)? The plan can help cover the costs here as well.
- Vision: Eye exams, glasses, frames, and contacts are all covered. No laser surgery, though.
- Travel: Study Break is going to be your favourite thing come February. Planning to head south to warmer weather to beat the winter blahs? Your plan will cover you while you’re out of the country.
So am I eligible?
If you’re a full-time student starting courses in September, you’re automatically enrolled. The cost of the plan is included in your student fees. Part-time, co-op/work term, and outgoing exchange students are also eligible, but you have to opt in. Contact the Halifax office (902-494-2850; email@example.com) or Truro office (902-893-4904; firstname.lastname@example.org) for more details.
How do I access it?
In Halifax, just stop by the Health Plan Office on the 3rd floor of the Student Union Building (SUB) and pick up your card. There’s also an office in room A102 in the B Building on Sexton Campus. In Truro, the office is on the main floor of the Dairy Building. You can visit the StudentVIP website for more information.
What if I already have a health plan?
If you’re already covered under someone else’s plan (like your parents’ or spouse’s), you have two options: (1) you can bundle them together for even more coverage; (2) you may be able to opt out and save yourself a few bucks—but you have to do it by September 18. And remember, your provincial plan isn’t a substitute for the DSU plan.
How do I opt out?
- Log in to DalOnline with your NetID and password
- Select “Web for Students”
- Select “Opt In / Opt Out” toward the bottom of the list
- In the “Select a Term” box, choose “2017/2018 Fall” option.
- Follow the rest of the onscreen instructions including the waiver and supplying info about your current coverage.
Once you’ve done all that, you’ll receive an email confirming that you did, in fact, submit an application to opt out of the health plan. But that doesn’t mean it’s a done deal. The Health Plan Office will review your application and get back to you in 3-5 business days with a decision. Make sure to check your Dal email account for your opt-out response. Remember, all opt-out applications and revisions must be done by September 18, 2017.
Do I save any money?
Of course! If you haven’t yet paid your tuition and fees for 2017–18, the cost of the Health and Dental Plan will be removed from your student account. If you’ve already paid, Student Accounts will issue you a credit on your student account for the cost of the plan.
Tiger doesn’t pay for a lot of insurance, but when he does it’s for the DSU plan.