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#BackToSchool: What you need to know about student benefits

September is a busy time for parents, but did you know that benefit plan administrators also should be aware of the back-to-school season?

Dependent children are generally covered under a benefit plan until they reach age 21, unless they’re in full-time post-secondary education. If so, the maximum age for benefits is usually 25 (26 in rare cases).

Most insurers require proof of full-time student status from the parent, or primary plan member. Otherwise, coverage will be updated on the child’s 21st birthday to reflect no coverage, and a new drug card is issued with the child’s name omitted.

At Beneplan, we send out a note in the month before the child turns 21 to remind the parent to update student status. After that, it’s up to the parent to notify us each year if the child is still in school.

> Fill out the online Beneplan student eligibility form here


Q: “My child is attending university in the U.S. this year. Are they still covered for Canadian employee benefits?”

A: You should check your own specific policy, as all are different, but generally, children are only covered for medical emergencies up to 30, 60 or 90 days out of their home province. An ’emergency’ will be defined in your coverage booklet – ask us if you’re not sure where to start. We generally recommend you purchase additional American health insurance to cover all your bases. Contact us to get help with that process: 1-800-387-1670.

Q: “Should I buy the Canadian university’s healthcare plan?”

A: It depends on your child and your situation – you should read their policy carefully to find out what is and isn’t covered, and keep in mind that once you’ve forfeited the ability to join during the eligibility period, your child may have to do a medical questionnaire to join after the fact.

Other questions? Call us at 1-800-387-1670.