My deceased spouse would have met the ARTA Retiree Benefits Plan eligibility criteria. Am I eligible to join the ARTA Retiree Benefits Plan as a surviving spouse of a retiree who would have otherwise been eligible?
If you can provide supporting documentation that your deceased spouse would have otherwise been eligible and you are age 55 or older, you are eligible to participate and enrol without evidence of good health in the ARTA Retiree Benefits Plan as long as you apply for coverage within your qualifying period.
I am going to retire June 15 and will lose my employer benefit coverage effective June 30. What date would I put on the application form for the ARTA Retiree Benefits Plan coverage to start?
You should put June 30, as the date of termination for your benefit plan coverage. If you apply within 60 days of that termination date, your new ARTA Retiree Benefits Plan coverage would be effective the day after the termination of benefit coverage date—July 1. You can send your application to ARTA a month or two in advance of retirement/termination of coverage indicating date your coverage will end.
When can I join the plan without having to provide medical evidence?
You have 60 days following termination of your group benefits coverage to join the ARTA Retiree Benefits Plan without needing to submit medical evidence of insurability. Following this 60-day period, you need to provide medical evidence of insurability to participate in the Extended Health Care plan, and your Dental Care benefits will be prorated for the remainder of the current year.
What does an affiliate ARTA member mean?
To join the ARTA Retiree Benefits Plan, you are required to become a member of the Alberta Retired Teachers’ Association. Teachers and other members of the education sector have voting rights within ARTA. As an affiliate member, you enjoy all the benefits of being an ARTA member, but you don’t have voting rights.
As an ARTA affiliate member, what additional programs are available to me?
You would have access to:
- Discounts on travel, accommodations, computers, and phones
- Home & Auto Insurance Program
- Scholarship and endowment programs
- ARTA’s news&views Magazine
- ARTA Retiree Benefits Plan
- Affinity Programs
Can I enrol in the Emergency Travel coverage later?
You will have to submit evidence of good health if your wish to add the Emergency Travel benefit after your initial enrolment.
What does evidence of insurability or evidence of good health mean?
This means you would be required to fill in a medical questionnaire and may, as a follow-up, be asked to submit to a medical examination. This is required if you are eligible and did not join the Extended Health Care plan within the 60-day open enrolment window. If you join within 60 days of your current coverage terminating, you do not have to provide evidence. It is a good idea to join early so that this plan is in place when your current plan ends.
How and when do I join the Alberta Seniors’ Drug Plan?
Prior to turning age 65 you will receive an application from Alberta Health for enrolment in the Alberta Seniors’ Drug Plan effective on your 65th birthday (or your partner’s 65th birthday, if he or she is older than you). You will receive a Seniors’ Drug Plan card in the mail and you must register your card with your pharmacy(ies). The ARTA Retiree Benefits Plan is second payer to the Alberta Seniors’ Drug Plan.
I am covered by the Seniors’ Drug coverage? Why join ARTA? Wouldn’t that duplicate coverage?
The seniors’ drug coverage varies from province to province/territory. The Alberta Seniors’ Drug Plan covers many commonly used drugs; however, you pay a portion of the cost not covered by the Seniors’ Drug Plan. This cost is an eligible expense under the Extended Health Care plan. Some prescription drugs which are not on the Seniors’ Drug Plan list may be covered under the ARTA Extended Health Care plan. The Seniors’ Drug Plan in Alberta is the first payor of prescription drug costs. Then any amounts over what they pay may be eligible for claim under the ARTA plan.
How can I determine which prescription drugs are covered by the ARTA Extended Health Care Plan/Plans?
Once you are covered by the ARTA Retiree Benefits Plan, simply visit MyARTA.net, log into your account, go to the “MyARTA Claims” tab and then click “Access Claims portal,” and click “Drug Look-up”.
What is the Step Therapy Program included in the ARTA prescription drug plan?
A step Therapy Program encourages covered members (and their physicians) to try a less expensive, therapeutically advantageous, and/or safer product in an effort to protect and optimize treatment to the patient, as well as manage benefit plan costs. Special authorization requests would be available for covered members who cannot take a first-line (less costly) drug.
What is LCA?
The ARTA retiree plan includes a Least-Cost Alternative (LCA) provision. This means that if your doctor prescribes a brand name drug and there is an approved interchangeable (most often generic) version available, the plan will only pay the equivalent of the cost of the interchangeable product.
Generic drugs are only allowed to be considered interchangeable with the brand-name drug if they are considered to be “equivalent” to the brand-name drug. Equivalent means that a generic drug must have exactly the same amount of the active medicinal ingredients as the brand-name drug. In addition, the generic drug’s intended use, effects, side effects, risks and safety must be the same as the original drug.
What drugs are covered under the ARTA plan?
Covered prescription drugs include those medical preparations approved for use by ARTA. Certain drugs which are paid by federal or provincial programs are not eligible for payment under ARTA (for example, cancer drugs).
Experimental, cosmetic, and natural health product drugs are not covered. Certain lifestyle drugs (for example, erectile dysfunction treatment and hair loss medication) are not covered under ARTA’s Health Wise or Total Health Extended Health Care plans but have limited coverage under the Health Wise Plus and Ultimate Health Extended Health Care plans. Over-the-counter drugs are not eligible drug expenses under any plan.
Where can I find the details of what is covered in each benefit offered by the ARTA Retiree Benefits Plan?
The plan texts for each of the benefits coverage options offered are available on ARTA’s website. You may also call the plan administrator at 1-855-444-ARTA (2782) and speak with a Benefit Plan Coordinator regarding questions specific to the ARTA Retiree Benefits Plan.
Can I change my coverage level at any time, or are my options locked-in?
For Extended Health Care, upon initial enrolment you can choose between two calendar-year maximums for prescription drug coverage: $1,200 or $2,000 per person per calendar year. If you select the $2,000 calendar year drug maximum option upon initial enrolment, or if you increase your coverage level to the $2,000 calendar year drug maximum, you are required to remain covered at the $2,000 calendar year drug maximum level for a minimum participation period of 24 months before reducing your calendar year drug maximum option to $1,200.
If you choose to participate in either the Health Wise Plus or Ultimate Health plans, you are required to remain covered at that coverage level for a minimum period of 24 months before reducing your coverage to either the Health Wise or Total Health coverage options.
For Dental Care, upon initial enrolment you can choose between Dental Care Plan Options A, B, or C. You are required to remain covered under the selected Plan Option for a minimum period of at least 24 months from the effective date of coverage under that Plan Option prior to reducing coverage (for example, reducing coverage from Plan Option A to Plan Option B) or terminating your coverage. You may improve your coverage at any time (for example, improving coverage from Plan Option B to Plan Option A), but you are required to remain covered at that new Plan Option for at least 24 months from the effective date of coverage under that Plan Option.
What changes can I make to my benefit coverage?
You are able to make the following changes to your extended health care (EHC) options:
- Change your calendar maximums for prescription drug coverage. Please note that if you are currently enrolled in the $2,000/year maximum, you must stay at this level for a minimum of 24 months before you can change your plan to the $1,200 maximum.
- Change your EHC coverage options. Please note that if you are currently enrolled in the Health Wise Plus or Ultimate Health extended health care plans, you must stay in this plan for a minimum of 24 months before you are able to reduce your level of coverage or opt-out.
You are able to make the following changes to your dental care options:
- You may increase coverage at any time. To cancel or change your dental care coverage option, you must be enrolled in Plan A, B, or C, for a period of 24 months.
You are also able to change your coverage level from single to couple or family status, or vice versa, during a major life event such as an addition of spouse or dependent, loss of spouse’s coverage, or removal of a dependent or spouse from the plan. Changes need to be requested to the ARTA Retiree Benefits Plan within 60 days of the life event, or late applicant provision may apply.
All requests to coverage option or level changes need to be made in writing, and either mailed, emailed, or faxed to the ARTA Retiree Benefits Plan.
Having trouble properly viewing your MyARTA account?
It might be your browser! In order to properly access your MyARTA account and all of its functionality, you will need at least Internet Explorer 8 or the latest version of Firefox, Safari, Chrome, or any other browser installed on your computer.
To upgrade your browser, use the links provided below:
- Internet Explorer 8
- Firefox 15 or higher
- Google Chrome 22 or higher
- Safari 5 or higher
- Opera 11 or higher
Why does ARTA need my banking information?
Banking information is needed in order to pay your claims (e.g. dental, extended health care). We also require your banking information to withdraw benefit premiums, if you are responsible for paying for them.
What is my email address used for?
Your email address is used to confirm your MyARTA account registration and to send transaction confirmations.
Who do I contact to update the address on my profile?
If you have a MyARTA account, you can update your address via the Profile page once logged in. This will update your address with the ARTA Retiree Benefits Plan. You may also contact an ARTA Benefit Plan Coordinator to update your address with the Benefits Plan by calling 1-855-444-2782.
Who are the service providers of the ARTA Retiree Benefits Plan?
ARTA’s emergency travel plan insurer is CUMIS General Insurance Company, and travel assistance provider is Allianz Global Assistance. ARTA has partnered with Allianz Global Assistance to continue to provide you with market leading travel benefits now and into the future. Allianz is known for their efficient and world-renowned claims service through their emergency travel provider assistance team.
How do I submit travel insurance claims?
All ARTA Retiree Benefits Plan emergency travel claims must be directed to Allianz Global Assistance, at the following number:
1-844-996-9003 in North America, or collect from anywhere in the world at 1-519-342-0142.