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    • 03 JAN 18
    • 3
    Gaps in Our Benefits

    Gaps in Our Benefits

    Will your benefits support you and your family when you need it most?

    Taco Niet, FSA Member & Tech Rep

    Listening to the rhetoric from BCIT Human Resources, one gets the impression that BCIT will support its employees whatever happens, in health and with a good benefits plan as one of “BC’s Top Employers”. The reality, however, is that both BCIT and the extended health insurance company they contract for our benefits are prepared to let members and their families fall through the cracks in times of need. Recent cases have highlighted some of these gaps.

    If you are unlucky enough to get ill and require long term disability (LTD), but are able to work part time, our LTD plan does not provide any benefit. You may be able to rely on sick leave for a while, but that is limited as well. Members able to work part time despite an illness are sooner or later in a bind where they cannot get any LTD benefit and cannot get any sick day benefits. This means that your income is significantly reduced at a time when you are already hampered by an illness.

    Two additional challenges occur for anyone in the position of being able to work part time. If they fall below a 50% workload, even for documented medical reasons, they lose their extended medical coverage. So, you can’t get LTD because you can work part time, but you can’t work enough to get benefits. And, to add insult to injury, if you fall below 10 paid working days per month, you don’t accrue any vacation days, not even pro-rated.

    Do you have dependents that are attending university? If they are covered by our extended health plan you’d better hope they don’t get ill. If they get ill and, due to illness, fall below a full time course load, their medical benefits disappear. So, rather than providing support for an ill dependent student, our extended health coverage leaves them out in the cold as they are too ill to get coverage.

    The response from HR when asked about these situations (which we hope no one else has to experience) is that there are very few people in this type of position. Rather than doing the right thing and saying, yes, there are few people in this position so we are going to make it right, BCIT says it can’t do anything. Advertising BCIT’s top employer status and promoting ‘health and wellness’ while letting people fall through the cracks is at best misleading. If BCIT wants to say it supports its employees as a top employer, it needs to stop being a penny-pinching institution that lets those in need who might cost them money fall by the wayside.

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  • Posted by Bella Villa on January 8, 2018, 8:38 am

    This is a great initiative. We really have a problem with regards to our Extended Health Plan. I am usually in pain and needs regular Physio but because I have to pay my Physio therapist fee in advance, I never used the benefit. I find it too expensive.
    Is there a way that benefits like this can be allotted to the employee per year and that employee does not have to pay any money upfront. If this could happen, it would be great.

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  • Posted by Jacquie Gaudet on January 19, 2018, 9:33 am

    Paying in advance isn’t a great detriment because our extended health benefit is only “$500 per year, limited to a maximum of $10 per visit for the first 5 visits in any calendar year” and physio is combined with massage therapy. So, depending on fees and how many appointments you need, you are reimbursed $50 for the first 5 visits (and pay the rest out-of-pocket) and then are covered for the next 5 or 6 visits. And then you are on your own.

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  • Posted by lorraine clarke roe on January 19, 2018, 10:10 am

    Interesting information – one hopes to never be in that kind of situation but it is good to be informed. thanks

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