Memo: Change to MSP Premium Payment Arrangement Effective July 1, 2015 (June 1, 2015)

Memorandum
Date: June 1, 2015
From: UBC Human Resources
To: M&P and Administrative Executive Staff Enrolled in the Medical Services Plan through UBC
Subject:Change to MSP Premium Payment Arrangement Effective July 1, 2015


In July, 2001, the University implemented a number of improvements to the Management & Professional Extended Health, Dental Care and Basic Life plans. Such improvements included: prescription drug card, increased maximums for selected paramedical and psychological services, addition of hearing aids and orthotics, enhanced vision care, orthodontics and life insurance benefits and most recently, the addition of a Health Spending Account[1].

Each year since, with the support of a Benefits Consultant, we have monitored the annual cost of these improvements to ensure they fit within the available funding (1.0% of M&P payroll). Based on the latest review, the funding available no longer adequately covers the cost of the benefit improvements that you and your eligible dependents enjoy today.

We have explored various options with AAPS to ensure the costs of these improvements remain financially viable. It has been determined that the most equitable and tax-effective approach to maintain current benefit levels is to re-implement 100% payment of Medical Services Plan (MSP) premiums by employees[2].

Effective July 1, 2015, employees enrolled in the MSP through UBC will pay 100% of the MSP monthly premiums from their pay. As premiums are taken one month in advance, the change in premium will be reflected on your June 30, 2015, pay advice.

The new monthly cost is outlined in this table:

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Since any employer-paid MSP premiums are taxable to you (they appear in Box 40 of your T4), re-implementing employee payment of MSP premiums will mean a small reduction in your taxable income.

This option ensures that employees enrolled in the Management & Professional benefit plans continue to receive the same level of benefits coverage.

The usage of benefit plan improvements will continue to be reviewed to ensure that there are sufficient funds to cover them.

For Those Who Have a Spouse/Partner

If your spouse/partner has a group benefits package with their employer and their employer pays a portion or the full MSP premium[3], it may be to your advantage to cancel your UBC coverage and enroll as a dependent on your spouse’s MSP. To cancel your MSP coverage through UBC, complete the MSP Cancellation Form and return it to UBC Payroll for processing. The form and Payroll’s address is located on the Human Resources website: http://www.hr.ubc.ca/benefits/forms/.

Questions

If you have any questions, please contact Stephanie Mah at 604-822-6823 or stephanie.mah@ubc.ca.

Thank you.


[1] This benefit is not available to Paymaster Management & Professional employees.

[2] 100% payment of MSP premiums by employees was the arrangement prior to July, 2001, and also from February, 2007, to December, 2010, to address another deficit position.

[3] You can verify this by asking your spouse to contact their employer’s Human Resources department.

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