Dalhousie

DSU Health Plan blackout period leaves students without coverage

DSU website doesn’t have details of period, but pharmacy says it lasts until Oct. 20

DSU Health Plan blackout period leaves students without coverage photo by : Alexandra Sweny
written by Erin Brown
October 10, 2017 3:20 pm

For students who chose to opt-in to the DSU Health and Dental plan this year, they may be unaware of the blackout period in their medical coverage. A blackout period means that students are not covered.

The DSU could not be reached for comment on the blackout period; the website the DSU refers students to for information says the blackout period lasts from September until early October, but the Guardian pharmacy on Coburg Road said the blackout lasts until October 20.

The last day to opt-out of the DSU Health Plan was September 18, leaving 32 days between the opt-out period and the beginning of medical coverage for students.

StudentVIP, the third-party company that sells the plans, confirms that students are not covered while the blackout is in effect, and will not be able to seek reimbursement from Medavie Blue Cross or access their member portal until the period ends.

International Strategist with Student WIP, Samantha Morneau confirmed in an email that the blackout period starts September first each year and ends when Dal sends them the final enrollment list.

“Students are able to receive services, obtain medication and submit claims during the blackout period but no reimbursement is made until the blackout period is over,” said Morneau.

Direct2U Prescriptions is an Ontario-based company that ships prescriptions and is stated as operating as normal during the blackout period.

If students have their doctor fax Direct2U their prescription and fill-out the online form, the prescription can then be sent to “any location designated” once the student has submitted to receive a one-month supply of medication delivered free to campus. Alliance Pharmacy Group is the company responsible for getting information from the student and sending the prescription.

The DSU website has not posted dates of the blackout period, or that there is a blackout period in effect. To find out what students’ options are while they wait for the blackout in their medical coverage begin, the DSU Health Plan office can be reached at dsuhealth@dal.ca.