Each year, Brock students have access to comprehensive health coverage thanks to the Brock University Students’ Union (BUSU) and Graduate Students’ Association (GSA) — and that hasn’t changed, despite some Badgers taking classes remotely.
Student benefits include prescription drugs, health practitioner visits and dental, with undergraduate health plans also including travel and accident coverage. The health plans now also include a number of easily accessible offerings designed for the student lifestyle during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Provided through Student VIP and Medavie Blue Cross, the BUSU and GSA health and dental plans cover students for the entire year, from Sept. 1 until Aug. 31 of the following year. The plans provide access to health-care services and resources designed specifically for students, to save them time and money.
“During the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been particularly helpful that Student VIP benefits work exactly the same — even if you’re remote,” said Ammaar Ruxshan, BUSU Vice-President, Finance and Administration. “No matter where the student is located across Canada, they have full access to health and dental benefits, they can visit any registered clinic in the country, submit a claim and even access virtual service through the Direct2U Health Hub.”
Student VIP’s Direct2U Health Hub provides 24-hour, seven day per week access to a virtual doctor through a smartphone, tablet or laptop, and students can get screened for COVID-19 virtually from the safety of their home. In addition, students can have prescriptions delivered to convenient locations such as their home or the Campus Pharmacy in Heritage Plaza.
The Direct2U Health Hub now also includes virtual physiotherapy appointments and sessions from the comfort of home, unlimited access to streaming workouts including yoga classes, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) classes and bootcamp classes, access to a full wellness library online, and more.
Though both BUSU and the GSA use the same provider, the GSA benefits plan differs in terms of coverage and limits, recognizing the needs of the GSA’s student demographics. Graduate students tend to be older, many have dependents and may potentially experience different health-care needs than younger students.
Although the graduate student benefits do not include travel and accident coverage, they focus more on health and wellness needs in terms of eye care, musculoskeletal therapies, and emotional and mental well-being.
“The GSA has long recognized the value of providing health and dental plans to our members,” said GSA President Christopher Yendt. “As graduate students, we have different needs than undergraduates, which is why we work hard every year to adjust coverages to meet those needs. By doing this, we make sure that graduate students have the supports they need to maintain their health throughout their studies.”
Undergraduate students looking to access their benefits can find information at brockbusu.ca/healthplan and graduate students can access their health plan information on the GSA website. Both undergraduate and graduate students can download the free Medavie Blue Cross app to access their benefits card to save money at pharmacies, dentists and practitioners, and to view their usage data and instantly submit claims. The app also allows students to sign up for direct deposit to have their claims reimbursement paid right to their bank account
Those who already have comparable health coverage can apply to opt-out of the Student VIP plan by Thursday, Sept. 30. Similarly, those who wish to opt-in (part-time students, students with dependents, etc.) can do so until Thursday, Sept. 30.
For questions about the health and dental plan, undergraduate students can contact Joanne Matko, Health and Dental Plan Administrator, at email@example.com, and graduate students can contact Jennifer Meuser, Office and Health Plan Administrator at firstname.lastname@example.org