Referendum 2022 FAQ

Health and Dental Plan Referendum

Changes are coming to your student Health and Dental Plan. There will be one referendum question on the ballot during the SU’s By-Election, October 12 to 14, 2022.

The referendum question is the official mechanism to adopt or reject proposed changes to the SU’s Constitution in relation to the Health and Dental Plan. Students will vote and help determine the future cost and coverage of their plan.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • What does the H&D Plan cost currently?
    • Students pay a total of $203 per year for the extended Health Plan and Dental Plan combined:
      • $103 for the extended Health Plan, which has not increased since 1993.
      • $100 for the Dental Plan, last increased by $10.00/year in March 2022.
    • What do they pay at other schools?
      • Here are a sample of fees charged to students at comparator institutions for their Health and Dental Plans (based on student demographics and school size)
        • Dalhousie University: $479.95
        • Queens University: $309.38
        • University of Alberta: $305.00
        • University of Saskatchewan: $288.33
        • Western University: $385.68
      • I didn’t know that U of C students had a Health and Dental plan. Am I covered?
        • When you enroll at UCalgary, you are automatically enrolled in the SU’s Health and Dental Plan. It appears on your list of fees when you pay your tuition. The opt-out deadline is the same date as the fee payment deadline each semester. Some students opt out because they have similar coverage through their parents’ plan or other insurance plans.
      • If I’m not using the SU’s Health and Dental Plan, why should I care about responding to the referenda questions?
        • It is important for us to get feedback from as many students as possible, to ensure that the new health and dental plan aligns with students’ needs, budgets, and priorities.
        • Circumstances change – you may not be enrolled in the SU’s plan now, but in future years, you may not have alternate coverage. Many family plans don’t cover adult children after age 26, for example. Likewise, you may have siblings, friends or classmates that need the SU’s plan. It’s important to think about what is good for the whole student community when voting, not just your own current status.
      • Does the SU want to charge us more?
        • The SU is proud to offer access to affordable health insurance, but costs continue to increase annually due to inflation, while the price students pay for their insurance has remained the same.
        • The SU cannot afford to cover the difference anymore, and therefore is forced to either raise fees for the insurance plans or reduce coverage levels. This referendum, if approved, would allow the fees to keep pace with the cost of the plans and avoid needing to reduce coverage levels in the future.
        • Ultimately, students will make the decision by voting in this referendum.
      • If students vote yes, and tie the cost of the plan to inflation, would my fees increase every year?
        • These potential future fee increases would only be initiated if needed to sustain the funding of the plans and would be tied to the Consumer Price Index (CPI), a reliable measure of inflation calculated by the government, and tThe maximum annual increase would be limited to 4%.
        • This means that students might not experience an increase for several years, or that an increase may occur to only one of the plans. Students would be informed of changes to the price of their plan prior to the payment deadline, in case they wished to opt out.
      • Why can’t we just leave the plan as-is?
        • The SU cannot sustain the costs of the plans as they continue to increase due to inflation each year. The prices students pay for their health and dental coverage has remained largely the same since 1993, while costs have continued to increase. The SU’s student health and dental insurance plans continue to be some of the most affordable in the country for comparator schools, but in order to keep the price that students pay the same, the plan would have to be adjusted to reduce coverage, or fees would need to be able to increase.
      • Didn’t we already vote on this last year?
        • Last year in March, students voted in three referenda questions regarding their health and dental plan fees. Students voted to increase the Dental Plan fee by $10.00 to maintain current coverage, but voted against increasing the Health Plan fee, and against tying fees to inflation.
        • Because inflation continues to be a major global issue, this referendum is being asked again to students to see whether they would like to tie their health and dental plan fees to inflation (calculated by the Consumer Price Index) and limited to 4% annual increases, to help maintain the Health and Dental Plans in the long-term, with a reasonable limitation on annual increases.
        • This time, the wording of the proposed constitutional amendment has been altered to make the Consumer Price Index measurement more clear, and the Students’ Legislative Council has voted to support the “yes” side, to better articulate why the question is being asked.
      • What is the referendum question that will be asked during the By-Election?

To learn more about your student Health and Dental Plan, visit this page.