IMPORTANT UPDATE for TAs (and RAs in lieu of TAs) Working in the Spring/Summer 2020 Term: May 04, 2020
If you are a working as a Class A TA or RA in lieu (i.e., a TA or RA in lieu holding an undergardaute degree) in the spring/summer 2020 term (but did NOT work in the Fall 2019 or Winter 2020 term) and you wish to enroll your family in family dental coverage or opt out of the CUPE 3906 dental coverage, please complete the change of coverage forms (below, same forms for fall/winter change of coverage) and email them with any required supporting documentation to: email@example.com. The deadline to submit forms is: May 18, 2020.
IMPORTANT UPDATE: March 16, 2020
Please note that our office is temporarily closed due to the pandemic.
You can still submit your Dental claims online at www.equitable.ca. Log-in with the Policy Number (97528) and your certificate number (your student/employee number). Follow the directions on the site to create a log-in and submit a claim.
Also, your dentist should be able to submit dental claims for you from the dental office. They simply need your Policy Number (97528), Certificate Number (your student/employee number) and your division (001 for TAs and RAs in lieu). You can still create a log-in at www.equitable.ca to view updates of your claim status and sign-up for direct deposit.
You can also contact Equitable Life’s Group Claims Department at 1-800-265-4556.
****CLICK HERE**** for an important and time-sensitive message for TAs and RAs (in lieu of TAs) working in the Winter 2020 Term (but not in the Fall 2019 Term) holding undergraduate degrees.
CLICK HERE for a message about change of coverage status for TAs and RAs (in lieu of TAs) holding undergraduate degrees who worked in the Fall 2019 Term***
** Please note that the dental premium rates for September 2019-August 2020 are:
- SINGLE–$125.00 yearly (Sept-Aug)
- FAMILY–$505.00 yearly (Sept-Aug)
CUPE 3906 provides dental coverage for Classification A Unit 1 members (excluding undergraduate students) who have a TAship or RAship in lieu of a TAship within the current academic year. Unit 1 consists of Teaching Assistants, Demonstrators, Tutors and Super Tutors, Markers and Research Assistants who have an RAship in lieu of a TAship. Please note that if you are eligible for the CUPE Dental Plan, you are not eligible for the Graduate Students’ Association Dental Plan (unless otherwise specified by the GSA). You cannot enroll in GSA dental coverage and opt-out of CUPE 3906 coverage.
Eligibility for the Dental plan runs by academic year (i.e., Sept 1st to Aug 31st). The eligible amount for reimbursement (i.e., the money that is available to you) runs by calendar year. This means that if you are only employed for one academic year your coverage will be terminated at the end of that academic year (i.e., August 31st). If you are returning as a TA (or an eligible Sessional Faculty or Postdoctoral Fellow member) in the subsequent academic year, your reimbursement funds will not be renewed until January 1st of that academic year.
Any questions about the CUPE dental plan should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org
*IMPORTANT! *Please note that the Employer will ONLY collect your individual dental premium contributions from your TA/employment pay (NOT your academic funding). The Employer will deduct the entire year’s single premium costs from the first pay of the year.
Also, we regret to inform you that the Employer is no longer offering the “direct debit” premium payment option for eligible members who do not work as a TA/RA (in lieu) until the Winter or Spring/Summer terms. For members who do not work until the Winter or Spring/Summer terms, this means that you will have to pay for any dental work costs you incur in the fall and have eligible costs reimbursed by Equitable Life once your Fall term premium contributions are collected from your first TA/RA (in lieu) in the Winter or (Spring/Summer) terms.
*IMPORTANT! BLACKOUT PERIOD *Please note that claims that are submitted in September may be initially rejected by the insurance company even if you are eligible for dental benefits. This is likely due to a payroll processing delay and benefit enrollment period and has nothing to do with your eligibility. Alternatively, if you are not receiving employment payment as TA/RA in lieu in the fall term you will not appear on Equitable Life’s eligibility list [and will have to submit your claims in the winter and/or spring/summer term(s)]. If you meet the eligibility criteria and your claim is rejected, please contact email@example.com. All eligible members may experience a delay in their receipt of reimbursement cheques for claims made in September.*
Members who qualify for the CUPE plan are automatically enrolled in single coverage. Members wishing to enroll in family coverage must fill out a family coverage enrollment form (see below).
*NEW: Please CLICK HERE for important information about OPTING OUT of the dental plan or ENROLLING IN FAMILY COVERAGE for the 2019-2020 academic year. This message contains information about important opt-out and enrollment deadlines. Please note that the deadlines may require your immediate attention and action.*
You can find the following information below:
- Who is eligible for the CUPE 3906 plan?
- Accessing Your Dental Benefits
- Coverage Booklet
- General FAQs
- Change of Coverage & Family Coverage
- Denied Dental Claims
- Coverage Questions
- Extended Health Coverage
Who is eligible for the CUPE 3906 plan?
- Unit 1 members who hold an undergraduate degree and are currently working (or hold a contract to work) as a TA (or RA in lieu of TA) are eligible for the CUPE 3906 Unit 1 dental plan.
- Please note: As of September 1st, 2017, Classification A members no longer have to hold a minimum TA contract for 130 hours to be eligible in the dental plan. Classification A members can hold a contract for any number of hours in the current academic year to be eligible for CUPE dental coverage.
Full time undergraduate students at Mac have dental coverage through the MSU. Any questions about the MSU plan should be directed to Victoria Scott at 905-525-9140 ext. 23251 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Graduate Students who do not qualify for the CUPE 3906 dental plan (ie/ those without a TAship or RAship) are covered by the GSA dental plan. Those eligible for the CUPE plan are not eligible for the GSA plan (unless otherwise specified by the GSA). Any questions about the GSA plan should be directed to email@example.com
Please note that MBA students are automatically enrolled in the MSU Dental Plan, but also covered by the CUPE dental plan. You’ll need to opt-out of the MSU plan as this is not currently being automatically processed.
If you are eligible for the CUPE plan before September 30, you will be automatically opted-out of the GSA plan. According to the new terms of the GSA plan, you will be mailed your dental reimbursement in the academic year. CUPE has no control over when the GSA issues its reimbursements. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions or concerns about your GSA dental premium reimbursement.
If you are working a TAship or RAship (in lieu) in the winter only, you are still eligible for the plan as of September 1, but you will not receive any reimbursement until January because you will not appear on Equitable Life’s eligibility list. This has to do with the implementation of MOSAIC, the Employer’s new payroll system. Unfortunately, this means that you must wait to submit claims until the subsequent term (e.g., January 1st).
If you become eligible for the CUPE plan after September 30, you may still be charged the GSA dental fee. Please contact email@example.com to discuss your individual situation.
A family dental plan is available for members who wish to enroll their spouse and/or dependents in the CUPE 3906 dental plan. You can enroll any number of qualifying dependents and receive $2000 worth of coverage for the calendar year. Members are responsible for the additional premiums.
*The Employer will deduct the full single premium from your first TA pay. Members are responsible for filling in a family dental enrollment form and direct debit form and remitting them to the Union Office by September 27th. Members will be required to remit the difference between the family coverage premium and the single coverage premium (amount to be determined) to the Prosure Group via direct debit in order to activate or maintain family coverage.
Please note that the eligibility period runs by academic year but the amount of money available to you is determined by calendar year. This means that if you are only employed for one academic year your coverage will be terminated at the end of that academic year (i.e., August 31st). If you are returning as a TA the subsequent academic year, your reimbursement funds will not be renewed until January 1st of that academic year. (Essentially, your coverage will be terminated on August 31st of the last academic year in which you TA and are eligible for dental coverage.)
If you become a member of another unit of the local (e.g., an eligible Unit 3 Postdoctoral Fellow or an eligible Unit 2 Sessional Faculty Member) in a subsequent academic year or term, the amount of money available to you does not get “reset.”
Accessing Your Dental Benefits
Please see the note about the benefits “black-out” period, above.
To access your dental benefits, bring a copy of the dental booklet (available for download below) and/or the following information to your dental appointment:
Insurance Provider: Equitable Life of Canada
Policy #: 97528
Division #: Division #001
Certificate #: your student ID # (If your dentist requires a 10-digit number, add three zeros to the beginning of your ID number.)
With this information your dentist should be able to process the claim electronically and bill the insurance company directly.
If the dentist cannot process your claim electronically, you will have to pay for your dental work at the time of your appointment then submit a dental claim form (available for download below) for reimbursement. The insurance company will mail a cheque to you at your home address. (Alternatively, you can also create a user profile at www.equitable.ca and sign up for direct deposit according to the instructions on the Equitable Life website.)
Some dentists may require that you pay for the dental work at the time of your appointment even if they can submit the claim electronically. In this case, the insurance company will mail you a cheque to reimburse you for your dental work (or you can elect to receive payment via direct deposit–see last paragraph). The claim will be submitted by the dentist and you will not have to fill out any paper work.
NOTE: The dental plan covers basic dental services such as cleanings and fillings to a maximum of$1000 per calendar year (or $2000 for family coverage). If you require non-standard work or work that you consider expensive (e.g., more than $200), we strongly advise that your dentist submit an estimate to the insurance company, checked against your coverage, before paying anything. This is called a predetermination, and your dentist should be able to submit this documentation to the insurance company at your request before you incur any expense, for your piece of mind.
If you have any questions, please check with the union office BEFORE going to the dentist.
There is one combined Coverage Booklet for both single and family coverage.
PLEASE CLICK HERE to obtain a copy of the Unit 1 Dental Opt-Out Form.
PLEASE CLICK HERE to obtain a copy of the Unit 1 Family Dental Enrollment Forms.
Dental Claim Form – Only use this form if your dentist was unable to file the claim electronically.
How do I get in touch with the insurer?
Equitable Life of Canada can be reached at 1-800-265-4556. Remember to have the group policy number (97528), division (1) and your personal certificate number (your student or employee number) on hand. You can also check the status of your claim online by going to the plan member website at www.equitable.ca
How much coverage do I have?
Members are entitled to $1000 per calendar year for basic dental services such as cleanings and fillings. Members enrolled in family coverage are entitled to $2000 per calendar year. See our dental booklet for a full list of procedures covered. (Please note that the eligibility year follows the academic year–September 1st to August 31st. See the “Eligibility” section for more information on this. If your coverage expires, you are not eligible for reimbursement regardless of how much money you did not claim when you were eligible.)
I am not sure if my dental coverage is current. How do I find out?
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or drop in to the CUPE office in KTH B111 and speak to Mary Ellen Campbell. You can also contact Equitable Life of Canada at 1-800-265-4556. Remember to have the group policy number (97528), job title (TA or RA in lieu, Post Doctoral Fellow or Sessional Facultys) and your personal certificate number (your student or employee number) on hand.
How do I sign up for direct deposit and/or create an online profile?
To view updates of your claims, to sign up for direct deposit, and to view/update your personal information with Equitable Life, you need to create a user profile at www.equitable.ca. Go to the top left corner, click “log in” and select “plan member.” This should take you to a page where you can select “active account” as on the right-hand side of the page. Select “plan member”. You will require your name, date of birth, Group Policy number (97528) and certificate number (your student/employee number). Please note! You cannot create a user profile online until your information and premiums have been remitted to the insurance company. If you have questions about the timing of this, please contact email@example.com. Also, you must provide Equitable with your direct deposit information through your online profile if you wish to sign up for direct deposit. Equitable has no way of paying your claims through the McMaster payroll system. *Tip! If you are having trouble logging on, try using your first and middle name as your “first name.”
Equitable Life has my incorrect address. How can I change it?
For a helpful video on updating your person information, please visit: https://www.equitable.ca/en/our-products/group-benefits/how-to-review-and-update-your-information-for-group-benefits/
If you do not have an online profile, you will need to fill out the relevant parts of the following form (i.e., “Plan Member Information”, Part 7, and Part 10) and drop it off a the CUPE 3906 Office (KTH B111): https://cdn.equitable.ca/forms/unsecured/group/438.pdf
*Tip! Equitable receives your address from the Employer. It’s a good idea to make sure that you update your address on MOSAIC.
I am sure that I qualify for the CUPE 3906 dental plan, but my dental office informed me that I do not have dental coverage.
Dental offices often contact the wrong insurer, especially if they have other patients from McMaster. (Other groups of employees have different insurers.) Your first step should be to confirm the insurance information that your dental office has on file. Our insurer is Equitable Life of Canada. The group policy number is 97528. Unit 1 members are part of Division 1. (Postdoctoral Fellow members are part of Division 2.) Your personal certificate number is your student number (or, for Postdoctoral Fellows, your employee number).
If your insurance information is correct but you are still having trouble making a claim, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or drop in to the CUPE office in the basement of KTH (room B111) and speak to one of our staff representatives.
I was employed last academic year/term as a TA at McMaster in my Master’s/PhD program but this year/term I am employed as a TA for a new graduate degree or as a Sessional Faculty or Postdoctoral Fellow. Does this mean that the reimbursement money that is available to me gets “reset” since I’ve started a new program/job classification?
No. You receive these benefits as an employee, not as a student, so a change in your student status (as a graduate student) does not “reset” your plan/eligibility amount. Similarly, a change between your employment status between units (e.g., from TA to Postdoc) does not “reset” your plan/reimbursement eligibility. As of September 1, 2018, all of our Units are enrolled in the same plan, which is in part why we can offer single coverage at a relatively low premium cost to members. These kinds of restrictions are typical of premium-based plans and coverage in many workplaces.
Why am I seeing premium deductions over multiple pay statements?
You should only have the single dental premium deducted once per academic year. When the deduction is made, it will show up in the “current deduction” column of your pay statement. The Employer dental benefit contribution appears in the column that also lists statutory contributions that the Employer must pay on your behalf. (Please note that you are not being charged/deducted the amounts shown in the Employer contribution column.) Your premium deduction will likely show in the “year-to-date” column of your pay statement until the end of the calendar year, but no further current “CUPE Dental” deductions should appear in the “current” deduction column for the remainder of the academic year. (If this happens, please contact our Staff.)
Can I get my dental work done internationally and have the claims paid by this plan?
No. Equitable will not pay dental claims for expenses incurred outside of Canada. Also, they only pay procedures at the Ontario rate, so if you get dental work done in another province and that province charges for procedures at a higher rate than Ontario dentists charge, you must pay the difference. If possible, get your dental work done in Ontario, and only visit registered practitioners.
Change of Coverage & Family Coverage
Can I opt out of the dental plan after September 30th?
- Members must opt out of the dental plan during the month of September if they are employed as Unit 1 members in the Fall term.
- Members who work as a TA or RA in lieu in the Winter term only may opt out during the month of January instead.
- Members seeking to opt out of the plan outside of these “change of coverage” periods should contact the benefits officer about their individual circumstances.
- Please note that exceptions are rarely permitted by the insurer
If I opt out of the CUPE 3906 dental plan, will I still have coverage through the GSA?
No, opting out of the CUPE 3906 plan will mean that you do not have dental coverage at McMaster. In fact, those eligible for the CUPE are not eligible for the GSA plan, and cannot opt-in (unless otherwise instructed by the GSA).
I opted out of the dental plan in September, but have since aged out of my parent’s alternate coverage. Can I opt back into the CUPE 3906 plan?
Yes, you can opt into the CUPE 3906 plan, but you may have to pay back premiums to bring your coverage up to date. Also, the insurance company will only consider this exceptional change of coverage within 30 days of when you became ineligible for your parents’ plan. Please contact email@example.com for more information on restarting your coverage.
My family member needs dental work done but I missed the opt-in deadline. Can I enroll my family member in the CUPE 3906 dental plan after September 30th (or after January 1st for TAs not working until the winter term?)
Exceptions to the change of coverage period can only be made in exceptional circumstances. Members can opt-in to family coverage outside of the change of coverage period ONLY if there has been a change in their family status (e.g. they got married or their spouse’s alternate coverage was terminated). To see if your particular circumstances qualify, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Members are encouraged to make decisions about their dental coverage needs for the academic year in September.
I want family dental coverage, but the CUPE 3906 premium is too expensive for me. I don’t care about the level of coverage. Can I enroll my family in the GSA plan instead?
You must be enrolled in the GSA plan to enroll your family in a GSA family plan. Students with CUPE 3906 coverage are excluded by definition from the GSA plan (unless otherwise specified by the GSA).
The CUPE 3906 plan is more expensive because it offers a much higher level of family coverage than the GSA plan. All basic procedures are covered 100% to a maximum of $2000.
I only want dental coverage for my spouse or one child. Can I enroll my spouse or child in the GSA dental plan since the CUPE 3906 plan does not offer a similar level of coverage geared towards couples or one child?
You must be enrolled in the GSA plan to enroll your family in a GSA family plan. Students with CUPE 3906 coverage are excluded by definition from the GSA plan (unless otherwise specified by the GSA).
Why is the CUPE 3906 family plan so much more expensive than single coverage?
There are three major reasons for the higher premiums: family coverage is not subsidized significantly by the Employer (single coverage is), there are fewer people in the family plan, which tends to push premium costs up, and the family plan permits members to insure multiple family members for the same rate. The CUPE 3906 plan offers a much higher level of family coverage than the GSA plan. All procedures are covered 100% to a maximum of $2000.
How do I access the family dental rebate?
*NEW: As of September 1st, 2017, we will apply the dental rebate amount directly to the cost of family premiums so that members have to pay less on the outset for family coverage. As of Sept, 2017, no family rebate cheques will be issued since the amount of the rebate will apply against the family dental enrollment cost.
Denied Dental Claims
My dental claim was denied. What can I do?
- Contact the benefits officer at email@example.com or drop by the CUPE office in KTH B111 and speak to one of our staff representatives.
- The benefits officer or staff rep will be able to serve you better if you know why the claim was denied. If you received an explanation of benefits in the mail, it should state a reason why the claim was not paid out. If you are unsure why the claim was denied call Equitable at 1-800-265-4556.
- Remember to have the group policy number (97528), division (1) and your personal certificate number (your student or employee number) on hand
How can I find out if the dental plan covered my dental work?
- Check on the status of your claim by going to the plan member website at www.equitablehealth.ca or by calling Equitable at 1-800-265-4556. Remember to have the group policy number (97528), division (1) and your personal certificate number (your student or employee number) on hand.
My dental claim was denied because my coverage was terminated. What should I do?
- Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or drop by the CUPE office KTH B111 and speak to Mary Ellen Campbell.
Do I remain eligible for the CUPE 3906 dental plan while on pregnancy and/or parental leave?
- Yes, you remain eligible for dental benefits while on pregnancy leave.
- Please contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org to find out about your options while on pregancy/parental leave(s).
Do I remain eligible for the CUPE 3906 dental plan while on sick leave, bereavement leave, jury leave or reservist leave?
- Yes, members remain entitled to dental benefits while on these temporary leaves
- Please contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org to find out about your options while on leave.
I was “bought out” of my TAship. Will I still have access to the dental plan?
It depends. The dental plan is only open to CUPE 3906 members who have a TA or RA in lieu contract. When a TAship is “bought out,” it is most commonly converted to a scholarship or some other type of non-Unit 1 work. Members in this situation no longer have access to the CUPE 3906 dental plan. They are enrolled in the GSA plan instead. In rare situations, a TAship is converted to an RAship in lieu of TAship. In such cases, you would remain eligible for CUPE 3906 dental benefits. If you are not sure of your status, contact your Department or ask one of the CUPE 3906 staff representatives to look into it.
How often can I go for check-ups? There is a 9-month recall limitation on regular check-ups. If you are uncertain if your check-up will be covered, please confirm with the Equitable Life of Canada group claims department (1-800-265-4556) prior to having your check-up performed.
Will the dental plan cover work done in another province?
You can you use your dental benefit in any province within Canada, but the benefit coverage only pays out on Ontario rates. This means that if a procedure costs $200.00 in Ontario, but $250. 00 in BC, the insurance provider would only pay $200.00. More information is available in our single coverage or family coverage booklets.
Does the dental plan cover crowns?
No, the CUPE 3906 dental plan covers basic dental care. Crowns are considered “major restorative” work and are not covered by the plan. More information is available in our single coverage or family coverage booklets.
Does the dental plan cover bridges?
No, the CUPE 3906 dental plan covers basic dental care. Bridges are considered “major restorative” work and are not covered by the plan. More information is available in our single coverage or family coverage booklets.
Please remember that your insurance coverage can be complicated! When in doubt, ask your dentist to submit an estimate to Equitable Life in advance of any procedures to make sure that something is covered. The insurance company can require detailed and specialized information about tooth surfaces, procedural codes, etc., to confirm coverage.
Extended Health Coverage
I am graduate student who is excluded from the GSA dental plan because I have coverage through CUPE 3906. What happens to my extended health insurance plan? Is it through the union as well?
- All Graduate Students are covered under the GSA Health Plan for extended health benefits. For more information on this plan visit www.studentcare.ca.
- All CUPE members in Unit 1 (TAs and RAs in lieu) also have access to the following benefits: Health Care Spending Account, Childcare, UHIP rebate, and the Hardship Fund. More information is available on our website here: http://cupe3906.org/benefits-forms/unit-1-benefits
- Questions about the GSA health plan should be directed to email@example.com
- Questions about CUPE 3906 benefits should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org
I am a graduate student and CUPE 3906 member. Do I have extended health insurance?
Yes, all Graduate Students are covered under the GSA Health Plan for extended health benefits. For more information on this plan visit www.studentcare.ca. Any questions about the GSA plan should be directed to email@example.com.
I am TA at McMaster who is not a graduate student. Do I have extended health insurance?
- CUPE 3906 does not provide extended health benefits to its members.
- All CUPE members in Unit 1 (TAs and RAs in lieu) have access to the following benefits: Health Care Spending Account, Childcare, UHIP rebate, and the Hardship Fund. More information is available on our website here: http://cupe3906.org/benefits-forms/unit-1-benefits
- Only graduate students are eligible for the GSA extended health plan