Only days remain to opt-out of SU healthcare plan


Sheridan students don’t have to be covered under the school’s healthcare plan, according to the Student Union president.

Sheridan College currently has an “Opt Out” program for the healthcare plan that is automatically included in all of Sheridan Colleges’ student fees. Unlike most of the fees, however, the medical insurance, which costs $240, can be reimbursed to the student if they already have health insurance under another company or can be used together with another healthcare plan.

The ability to opt out of the healthcare plan was first introduced five years ago after a school wide referendum on the issue where more than 50 per cent of students voted for an option to opt out of coverage, according to Jenna Pulver, president of the Sheridan Student Union.

“We do a survey every year to see how satisfied students are,” said Pulver.

The current plan provides all students with medical, dental, vision and travel care in varying degrees.

While there isn’t an exact number of how many of the 18,000 students who attend Sheridan each year opt out, Pulver estimated that not many opt out.

“I can say that not an overwhelming amount of people opt out. A lot of people choose to keep both plans because you can use them interchangeably, so some people use them interchangeably and some that are lucky enough to live under their parents and have health coverage opt out.”

She added that a vast majority of students who keep the student health plan list said that it was important to them.

The plan is reviewed annually with the most recent sample size of 1,600 students giving feedback on the program and what can be done to improve it amongst students.

“Every year, we kind of get back of what are people using and what are they not really using, what’s the areas where we might need more coverage, what areas do we use a little bit less.”

The most common uses for the healthcare plan include paying for prescription drugs, dental work, travel insurance and vaccinations. In addition to this, it also covers eye exams, medical equipment such as wheelchairs or crutches and health practitioners such as chiropractors, massage therapists and psychologists.

To opt out of this plan, students must go to the website where they fill out and submit proof of coverage from another company to the website. Currently there are two different types of opt out plans; one is an annual plan, which is done for the entire school year (Sept. 1 2013 to Aug. 31 2014) or a permanent opt out plan, which allows you to opt out for your entire duration at Sheridan.

For the current semester, the opt-out period lasts until Sept. 16. After this, the next opportunity to opt out comes during the winter semester, from Jan. 3 to 17.