Notice of Plebiscite – By-Election 2021

September 13, 2021  |   Found in Elections

These three (3) plebiscite questions will appear on the 2021 By-Election ballot.

Question 1:

Background Information: The Students’ Union Dental Plan was established by Referendum in 1991, and its premiums have never been increased. Students pay $90 annually for the Dental Plan, which provides partial coverage for dental services such as cleanings, fillings, extractions, and dental emergencies. Due to the rising costs of providing the Dental Plan, current coverage levels cannot be sustained without an increase in fees. Without an approved increase, the SU Dental Plan will need to reduce coverage and services to remain financially sustainable. The Dental Plan covers only full-time students, and students may opt-out of the Dental Plan if they have comparable coverage. Changes to this fee would have no effect on students who opt-out of the Dental Plan.

The current low cost of the Dental Plan is only possible because of an exclusive contract with Dental Choice as the provider of all services. Changing this structure to give students more options in which dentist they see would result in a higher fee for the Dental Plan.

Which of the following statements best represents your priorities regarding the SU Dental Plan?

  • I opt out of the Dental Plan, or otherwise do not have an opinion on the cost of the Dental Plan.
  • I am not willing to pay more, and understand that service coverage may need to decrease to keep the Dental Plan at a total cost of $90. This may include decreasing coverage in areas such as preventative services such as cleanings, or decreasing the amount of coverage provided for services such as filling cavities.
  • I am willing to pay up to $10 more each year to maintain current coverage levels and keep Dental Choice as the exclusive provider of these services, for a total cost of $100. No changes would be made to the number of included services, or the total amount of coverage provided for each service.
  • I am willing to pay up to $15 more each year to make some coverage improvements and keep Dental Choice as the exclusive provider of these services, for a total cost of $105. This may include increasing the coverage available for preventative services such as cleanings or increasing the amount of coverage provided for services such as filling cavities.
  • I am willing to pay up to $35 more each year to expand my service provider options beyond Dental Choice, for a total cost of $125. This option would increase the cost of the Dental Plan, but likely would not include any additional services at this time. Students would be able to receive services from the dentist of their choosing at any accredited dental office.

Question 2:

Background Information: Students voted in 1989 to establish a Students’ Union Undergraduate Health Plan, and last increased the fee for this plan in 1993. Students pay $103 annually for the Health Plan, which provides partial coverage of services such as prescription drugs, vision, ambulances, and access to health practitioners. Due to the rising costs of providing this plans, current coverage levels cannot be sustained without an increase in fees. Without an approved increase, the SU Health Plan will need to reduce coverage and services to remain financially sustainable. The Health Plan covers only full-time students, and students may opt-out of the Health Plan if they have comparable coverage. Changes to this fee would have no effect on students who opt-out of the Health Plan.

Which of the following statements best represents your priorities regarding the SU Health Plan?

  • I currently opt out of the Health Plan, or otherwise do not have an opinion on the cost of the Health Plan.
  • I am not willing to pay more, and understand that service coverage would need to decrease to keep the Health Plan at a total cost of $103. This may include decreasing service coverage in areas such as vision services such as eye exams, eye wear and contact lenses, as well as decreasing the percentage of coverage for prescription drug reimbursements.
  • I am willing to pay up to $10 more each year to maintain current coverage for services, for a total cost of $113. No changes would be made to the number of included services, or the total amount of coverage provided for each service.
  • I am willing to pay up to $25 more each year to increase coverage levels and amounts, for a total cost of $128. This may include increasing the amount available for vision services such as eye exams, eye wear and contact lenses, as well as increasing the amount covered per visit for paramedical practitioners such as counseling, physiotherapy, massage therapy, and others.

Question 3:

Using an inflationary adjustment measure, similar to the Consumer Price Index (CPI), to adjust the cost of the SU Health and Dental plans over time could ensure these plans remain sustainable without requiring large, infrequent increases to the cost of the plans through successful referendum questions. These increases would occur a maximum of one per academic year, and would only occur if necessary to ensure the plans remained financially viable. This means that students might not experience an increase for several years, or that an increase may occur to only one of the plans, as needed. Students would be informed that the price of their plan was changing prior to the payment deadline. At this time, the SU is considering an increase of up to 4 per cent annually.

Would you be supportive of amendments to the SU’s Constitution that would allow modest increases to the SU Health and Dental Plans to occur without student referendum, if tied to an inflationary adjustment measure?

  • Yes, up to a limit of 4 per cent annually.
  • Yes, without an annual limit.
  • No.

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