Memo: Changes to Faculty Vision Care Benefit: Effective Aug. 14, 2017 (Aug. 30, 2017)

Date: Aug. 30, 2017
To: Bargaining (Faculty Association) and non-bargaining faculty, postdoctoral fellows and academic executives enrolled in Extended Health
From: Human Resources
Subject: Changes to Faculty Vision Care Benefit: Effective Aug. 14, 2017

As a result of the new UBC and Faculty Association Collective Agreement, we are pleased to inform you that effective Aug. 14, 2017, the vision care benefit under the Faculty extended health plan will be changing as follows:

Vision Care Old New – Effective Aug. 14, 2017
Reimbursement 100% 100%
Maximum per person $250 in a 24-month period $400 in a 24-month period
Eligible vision care expenses prescription frames* prescription frames*
prescription lenses* prescription lenses*
prescription sunglasses* prescription sunglasses*
contact lenses* contact lenses*
eye exams
laser eye surgery when performed by an ophthalmologist

*Prescription frames, lenses and contact lenses must be prescribed by an ophthalmologist, licensed optometrist and also obtained from an ophthalmologist, licensed optometrist or optician.

We have compiled a list of frequently asked questions to explain how the change will impact you:

Q: What is my maximum for vision care?

A: Effective Aug. 14, 2017, the new vision care maximum is $400 in any 24-month period for each covered individual. In other words, you and each of your insured dependents will be reimbursed for eligible vision care expenses up to $400 each.

Q: What if I, or one of my covered dependents, have already submitted and been reimbursed for vision care claims in the last 24 months?

A: If you, or one of your covered dependents, received reimbursement for eligible vision care benefits in the last 24 months, starting Aug. 14, 2017, you will receive reimbursement for $400 less the amount already reimbursed for vision care benefits in the previous 24 months.

For example:

If you were reimbursed $175 for eyeglasses during the period Aug. 14, 2015, to Aug. 13, 2017, your vision care balance is $225 ($400 – $175) commencing Aug. 14, 2017.

However, if you, or one of your covered dependents, had no vision care claims from Aug. 14, 2015 to Aug. 13, 2017, you or your covered dependents are eligible for $400 of vision care benefits on Aug. 14, 2017.

Q: Can I re-submit a vision care claim that was reimbursed prior to Aug. 14, 2017, and receive reimbursement for the difference between the old maximum of $250 and the new maximum of $400?

A: No, the higher maximum of $400 only applies to claims with a date of service or purchase on or after Aug. 14, 2017.

Q: What if the service/purchase date of my vision care claim was on or after Aug. 14, 2017, and I was reimbursed up to the previous maximum of $250 and not the $400 maximum.

Some vision care claims may have been reimbursed based on the previous $250 maximum because the date of service occurred between the effective date of the plan change (Aug. 14) and the date Sun Life’s claims payment system was updated. Sun Life will identify individuals that did not receive the appropriate reimbursement and will process the claim. You do not need to resubmit the claim. This will be done in the next 5 to 10 business days.

Q: How can I find out my current vision care balance?

A: You can check online by logging onto Sun Life’s website or mobile app, or you can call the Sun Life Call Centre at 1-800-361-6212.

Q: What else is new under the vision care plan?

A: Commencing Aug. 14, 2017, eye exams and laser eye surgery when performed by an ophthalmologist are now eligible for reimbursement under the vision care plan.

Q: Are the new vision care services limited to the $400 maximum?

A: Yes, the maximum reimbursement you and your dependents can receive is $400 per covered individual for all eligible vision care expenses combined.


If you have other questions about this memo, please email