Editorial Archive

Benefit changes

5/26/14 3:15 PM

From the Human Resources Department

Friday, May 16th saw the ratification of the last of four collective agreements that were successfully negotiated between the TTC and its various unions. The following is a summary of the benefit changes applicable to unionized employees, staff employees, pensioners and surviving spouses.

Vision Care
Effective July 1, 2014, the vision care benefit will increase by $50 for all employees, including pensioners:
> For unionized employees, coverage increases from $400 to $450, every two years;
> For staff employees, coverage increases from $400 to $450, every two years; and
> For pensioners, coverage increases from $275 to $325, every two years.
> This benefit change does not apply to surviving spouses.

Compression Hose/Surgical Stockings
Effective upon ratification, the compression hose/surgical stocking entitlement will be reduced to a maximum of four pairs per year for all employees, including pensioners and surviving spouses.

Orthotic Devices and Orthopaedic Shoes
Effective upon ratification, eligibility for orthotic devices and orthopaedic shoes will be based on reasonable and customary charges for orthopaedic shoes and orthotic devices when recommended by a podiatrist, chiropodist or specialist physician. This is for all employees, including pensioners and surviving spouses.

A specialist physician is a doctor who has undergone structured, post graduate training in a specific field of medicine. Examples include: orthopaedic surgeon, physiatrist, rheumatologists, endocrinologists, etc. A medical recommendation by a chiropractor or family physician will not be accepted.

Prescription Medication Dispensing Fees
For unionized employees, effective upon ratification, dispensing fees for prescription medications will be capped at $9.00. This cap will expire on March 30, 2018 for unionized employees only. The dispensing fee cap does not apply to pensioners who were unionized employees.

For staff employees and surviving spouses, effective upon ratification, dispensing fees for prescription medications will be capped at $9.00.

For example, if your pharmacy charges a dispensing fee of $12.00, the drug plan will pay up to a maximum of $9.00, and you will be out-of-pocket a total of $3.00 for the dispensing fee. The $1.00 deductible per prescription will still continue to apply. 

To avoid out-of-pocket expenses, you are encouraged to shop for a pharmacy that charges dispensing fees of $9.00 or less. Additional information on average pharmacy dispensing fees may be available from an internet search of pharmacy dispensing fees in Ontario. Another option is to take advantage of the prescription drug preferred provider arrangement between Manulife Financial and Costco Wholesale. Costco’s pharmacy dispensing fees are very low and you do not need to be a Costco member to use the pharmacy. The pharmacist can also arrange to deliver medications to you at no additional charge, simply ask. Visit www.costco.ca/WarehouseLocatorView to find a Costco Wholesale pharmacy near you.

Any questions concerning benefit changes may be directed to Pat Daniels at 416-393-4370 or Maddy Hoogstraten at 416-393-2635.

(Original Signed)
Gemma Piemontese
Chief People Officer
May 26, 2014

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