Sun Life, OPSEU, and the Council have prepared a special benefits booklet for faculty entitled Your Benefits:
Sun Life & Your Benefit Plans
Sun Life is the carrier for our Benefit Plans (including the Extended Health, Dental, Vision, and Hearing Care). You can download a Dental Form or Extended Health Care Form. You can access detailed information on your claims records at the Plan Member Services page of the Sun Life website.
Documents are kept by HR at GBC, you can go to their web-page for information about your benefits.
Medicinal Cannabis is not covered by Sun Life
Reason: To be covered drugs must have a Drug Identification Number (DIN) and be dispensed by a licensed pharmacist. Medical cannabis does not meet either of these requirements. A DIN is assigned by Health Canada when it is approved for sale by them in Canada. Medical cannabis, while available in Canada, is not actually approved by Health Canada for sale. It became legal via a Supreme Court of Canada decision and therefore Health Canada never approved it for sale for medical purposes and thus never gave it a DIN. In order for a DIN to be assigned drugs need to go through rigorous testing, which medical cannabis has not (at least that meets the standards of Health Canada). Experts say that it is unlikely that cannabis will ever go through the testing required to get a DIN.
Medical cannabis is also dispensed by a licensed producer. Licensed producers aren’t required to have pharmacists on staff and therefore cannabis is also not dispensed by a pharmacist, another requirement of the plan.
You can read more about the reasons for this in a bulletin issued by pharmacists here and an access activist group here.
Should you be denied coverage for any of the claims you submit, you should appeal the decision through Sun Life's appeal process and through the Joint Insurance Committee (JIC). However, before appealing, please consult with the Union office for advice on other means to reverse the decision. Often, it is simply a matter of providing more thorough/exact feedback about your claim.
“Benefits You” – A JIC Publication
Check out Benefits You, a publication of the CAAT-Academic Joint Insurance Committee (JIC) for more information about your benefits.