Am I eligible to opt out?

Like every other college or university, the health and dental plan at Vancouver Community College is a universal service, meaning that everyone is included. However, if you already have coverage for extended health and dental benefits, usually through an employer or family member, you can opt out of the plan provided by the Students’ Union. For you to be able to opt-out, the coverage you have already needs to be equivalent to the Students’ Union’s plan.

What is equivalent coverage?

Extended health and dental insurance commonly includes such benefits as prescription medication, paramedical and extended health services and products, and comprehensive dental coverage, each at a level that provides tangible benefits. So equivalent coverage would be a plan that has these essential elements, and is generally provided through a parent, spouse or employer. Examples of things that are not equivalent coverage include basic BC government (or other provincial) medical coverage, travel insurance, emergency medical coverage, and certain individual coverage packages.

Equivalent coverage doesn’t necessarily mean good coverage

Many benefit plans can still leave you with huge financial shortfalls for necessary treatments, prescription drugs or dental procedures. Compare your existing coverage and your bills from last year, and make sure you have enough coverage through your current benefit plan before opting out of the Students’ Union’s plan. Details of the Students’ Union plan can be found under WHAT’S COVERED. If you don’t think your current coverage is sufficient, consider keeping the Students’ Union coverage as well in order to make sure you are fully covered (having two plans means that you can claim from one plan for expenses that are not covered by the other).


When can I opt out?

The opt-out site is open year-round, but that does not mean that you can opt out at any time. The deadline to opt out is 30 days from the beginning of your program. Check your student record if you are unsure of the health and dental payment due date/opt out deadline. Late requests to opt out (opt outs received after the first 30 days of your program) cannot be accepted because those not opted out by the deadline will have already been enrolled in the Students’ Union’s plan.

When does my opt out take effect?

By completing the opt out process through this website, a request to opt out is sent to the Students’ Union, who processes that request by evaluating your information and ensuring that the equivalent coverage is valid. This process can sometimes take a few days or even a few weeks when volumes are high. Be sure to check your student record after the opt out deadline to ensure the fee is removed, and contact the Students’ Union if it looks as though your opt out was not successful.

How long does my opt out last?

Once you have applied to opt out and your request has been accepted, your student record is updated to reflect that you have declined the service in respect of your equivalent coverage. This remains your status for the length of your time at Vancouver Community College.

Can I opt back into the plan if I lose my coverage?

Yes, you can apply to be re-added to the plan if the coverage you supplied when opting out has been discontinued through no fault of your own (as in you lost a job, you aged out of parental coverage, etc). To opt back into the plan, you need to contact the Students’ Union within 30 days of losing your existing coverage to apply for readmission to the Students’ Union’s plan.