Agreement on Changes to the Public Service Health Care PlanMarch 26, 2014
CAPE and all Bargaining Agents members of the National Joint Council have come to an agreement with the government’s representatives at the Partners Committee on changes to the Public Service Health Care Plan (PSHCP). This unanimous agreement was also endorsed by the pensioners’ representatives on the Committee and was accepted by the President of the Treasury Board.
In its February 2014 budget, the government stated that it will increase retiree premiums for the PSHCP and increase the years of service to be eligible for the PSHCP as a retiree. CAPE denounced these changes the day the budget was tabled. However, we found in our discussions with Treasury Board that these changes would be legislated if we did not agree.
While we negotiated under this threat by the Government, we were able to strike a deal which has a number of substantial improvements to the Plan.
The changes are:
- Deductibles for all PSHCP members (active and retired) will be removed as of January 1, 2015. The $100 per family or $60 for a single member will no longer be paid.
- Three new benefits to begin as of October 1, 2014:
- Laser eye surgery to be included under the plan with a lifetime cap of $1,000;
- Repairs and replacement parts for CPAP (sleep apnea) machines to be covered up to $300 per year;
- Increase the psychological services cap to $2,000 from $1,000.
- Current and future pensioners will move to paying 50% of PSHCP premiums. This will be phased in over four years, starting on April 1, 2015.
- Current retirees with incomes that make them eligible for the Guaranteed Income Supplement (approximately $16,728 for a single person and $22,080 for a couple) will continue to pay only 25% of the premiums.
- Retirees who are younger than 65 will have these same income thresholds apply to them.
- Employees will need six years of service in the public service to access retiree benefits. This will apply to current employees with the following exceptions:
- All current retirees and deferred annuitants;
- Veterans’ Affairs Client Group as described in the plan;
- Medical retirees, permanently disabled retirees;
- Spouses and dependents of employees who die with less than 6 years’ service;
- Members with more than 2 years’ service who are separated as a result of the Workforce Adjustment Appendix (WFAA).
- Letter of Understanding committing to ongoing negotiations of the PSHCP with a written commitment from the Employer not to bring any negative changes to the table before March 2019.