Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Important Changes to Your GSS Benefit Plan

Since there will be significant changes in january to your GSS benefit plan I am sending this out again:
The GSS has partnered with Studentcare to bring you a better student benefit
plan at a LOWER COST.  As of January 2010, SFU graduate students who are
signed on to the plan will enjoy all of the health and dental benefits
already offered, but with much better customer service and easier paperwork
­ all at a lower price!

Here are some of the improvements:

- Reduced Administrative Costs = Lower Plan Fees, Effective January 2010
The GSS is pleased to announce that these changes in policy and
administration of your Plan will result in cost savings of about $35 per

- Call Centre: 1 866 369 8795  Monday - Friday: 8:30 AM ­ 4:30 PM -
effective immediately!
We are happy to be able to provide telephone service to students every
weekday  ­ a significant increase compared to our current service levels.

- Rapid Email Support: - effective immediately!
Studentcare answers all e-mails within 48 hours.

- Interactive Website - Coming in January - watch for details.

The Graduate Student Society will continue to be able to answer your
questions and take your claim forms, but we encourage students to contact
the new member services team who are expertly-trained to answer your
questions by telephone or email.  These new services will help graduate
students get the detailed answers and speedy assistance they need.

- New Interactive Website Coming in January
The new website will offer more information, will be easier to navigate, and
provide faster processing of opt outs.  Neat features including custom
google-mapping tools to find Network dentists and health professionals that
will greatly improve the accessibility and usefulness of the Graduate
Benefit Plan.

- Streamlined Policy Year and Opt Out / Enrolment Dates: NO MORE COMPLICATED
The Graduate Benefit Plan is moving to a full-year fee and enrolment system
to better serve the majority of graduate students. This means that in future
years, the enrolment and policy period will always be September 1st ­ August
31st, and the full-year fee will be assessed all at once instead of per
term. Graduate students will be able to change their coverage or add family
at the start of every academic year each September, no matter what your
previous enrolment anniversary date was. Once enrolled, graduate students
will always be covered until August 31st, even if their registration status
changes from term to term.

What does this mean for January 2010?
To transition to this new fee system, all grad students enrolled in the plan
will be assessed a pro-rated fee in January for 2 semesters ending August
31st. This means your payment in January 2010 will be a larger initial
amount, but no payment will be required in May and you will retain coverage
until August 31st regardless of your registration status in May. And
remember ­ the overall annual fee is being reduced by nearly $35.

If you have opted out previously, including this September 2009, your opt
out will be carried forward as usual. However, as a one-time exception, if
you would like to make any changes to your coverage (opt out, cancel your
opt out, or add family) you may do so in January 2010 without penalty or
restriction based on previous enrollment or anniversary dates.

(Proof of comparable coverage is needed to opt out of the health and dental
portions of the Benefit Plan.  Information regarding how to submit an opt
out request will be available in December 2009.)

Brought to you by the Graduate Student Society at SFU and Studentcare

For further information please also visit the Benefit Plan Website:

Thomas Unsoeld

Friday, December 04, 2009

GSS Food Drive - A Caucus Challenge!

(full details available here:

The GSS is sponsoring a competition between graduate Caucuses in hopes to raise food and money donations for both the SFU Campus Food Bank and the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society.

Between December 2 and 18 2009, Caucuses are challenged to bring in donations to the GSS office.  Your donations will be scored based on the point system we've developed with the Food Banks.

At 12:00 PM (noon) on December 18, the GSS will announce which Caucus has won the most points.


$250 Gift Certificate to the Highland Pub at the Burnaby Mountain Campus!

Treat your Caucus to an amazing Christmas party or ring in the new year with a welcome-back pub in January!

Bring your donations to the GSS office between 8:30 AM - 4:00 PM Monday - Friday (MBC 2205 next to the bookstore).  GOOD LUCK!

Questions?  Contact:

Elaine Parker, Executive Director

The Graduate Student Society at Simon Fraser University
MBC 2211, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC, V5A 1S6
(778) 782-8710  --