One of ARTA’s strengths is our members, and how much you care for the organization. Below are answers to frequently asked questions. If you have a question that is not answered here, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is ARTA saving money? Where will that money go?
In the long term, yes, ARTA will be saving money. A conservative cost analysis on the move to self-administration forecasts that ARTA will save approximately $5.8 million over a four year period compared to current costs. While there will be a negative variance in 2020, the anticipated savings in expenses will be positive in 2021, with ARTA in a positive position by the end of 2022, and each year moving forward.
As ARTA is a not-for-profit association created by teachers, for teachers and like-minded professionals, all of the anticipated revenue will be re-invested in the Retiree Benefits Plan. This will result in plan improvements, a reduction in premiums, or a combination of the two as determined by ARTA’s Health Benefits Committee.
Were there alternatives to self-administration, and how much did they cost?
ARTA considered several alternatives to self-administration and presented these to the Board of Directors; ultimately, the option that was most cost-effective and increased the sustainability of the Retiree Benefits Plan was the option to self-administer the Retiree Benefits Plan.
Will there be an increase in premiums because of this change?
There will not be an increase in premiums because of the change to self-administration – rates are adjusted based on claim levels to maintain a sustainable plan. ARTA has been pleased to continue to offer Retiree Benefits Plan improvements while maintaining rates.
What will happen to my premiums?
Your premium payments and claims reimbursements will continue to be handled in the same manner that they are now – through direct withdrawal and deposit directly into your account. The only difference is that your bank statements will no longer read “ASEBP” for your monthly premium withdrawals and claim reimbursements. Instead, your bank statements will read “ARTA Benefits”.
Will I be able to use my current benefits card and number?
To prepare for ARTA’s move to self-administration, an information package was sent to all Retiree Benefits Plan members on December 9. Please watch your mailboxes for this critical package, as it contains your new Benefits ID card, which will be become your primary card effective January 1.
Will I receive new member ID cards for my spouse and my dependants?
ARTA is providing each primary plan member of the Retiree Benefits Plan with a new Member ID card, which also serves as the Benefits ID card. ARTA members have been vocal in their desire to have more self-service options as well as a more environmentally friendly and cost-effective plan. To reflect this, ARTA is providing each member with a single, all-inclusive card. As of January 1, 2021, you will be able to access your Member ID card directly from the new member portal, MyARTA (myarta.net), as well as via the ARTA Benefits mobile app, which will be available for both Apple and Android devices. Additional copies of your Member ID card can be downloaded and distributed to dependants as required.
If you require additional physical cards be mailed to you, please contact the ARTA Member Support team and the cards will be sent to you in early January.
Will I be able to submit claims online?
Yes. Self-administering ARTA’s Retiree Benefits Plan is allowing us to make significant improvements to how the Plan is administered, including a MyARTA portal to update your personal information, manage over-age dependents, and submit online claims. There will also be an ARTA-branded smartphone app, enabling you to access your benefits card and online claims on the go.
Will I be able to submit manual claims for reimbursement now that there is online claims submission?
Claims can still be submitted via paper claim form to the address indicated on the claim form.
I have benefits coverage under the ARTA plan as well as a government-sponsored plan (e.g. the Alberta Seniors Drug Plan). Will my coverage be impacted by the change to self-administration?
Where claims are processed by the provider (a pharmacist, dentist, or massage therapist, for example), they will still be able to coordinate your benefits so that each plan pays the appropriate amount, and this will not be impacted by self-administration.
In instances where you need to submit the claims paperwork (an ambulance ride, or where the provider does not process the claim), you may need to submit directly – and separately – to both the government-sponsored plan and to ARTA. While this is not a change for ARTA members residing outside of Alberta, it is a change for Alberta residents, who had co-ordination of all benefits done for them by Alberta Blue Cross and ASEBP. Our new claims adjudicator, HBM+, has a system that determines what claims will be covered by a public plan and will pay the ARTA-portion of the claim accordingly, so this process will be smooth for all ARTA members moving forward.
Will my benefits limits reset, or will my claim history be carried over? e.g. if I recently claimed for glasses in 2020, will I still have to wait 24 months to access the benefit again, or will my vision coverage limit reset on January 1, 2021?
Your claim history for all claims made prior to January 1, 2021 will be carried over.
I am a snowbird and will be travelling when my new ID card is mailed in December. What are my options if I need to access my benefits?
ARTA has designed a brand new portal – MyARTA – that will be launching prior to January 1, 2021, and you will be able to download your new ID card from there. Your ID card will also be available on the new ARTA smartphone app.
With ARTA self-administering benefits, will the benefit plan that I currently carry with ARTA change in any way?
No – the plan design will not be impacted by ARTA self-administering benefits. ARTA has completed an extensive plan design matching exercise with the new claims adjudicator to ensure the benefits provided are not affected by the change to the new adjudicator. The ARTA benefits plan is reviewed annually, and it ‘renews’ on November 1, 2020. You will receive a renewal package in mid-September outlining annual changes. These changes are reviewed by ARTA’s Health Benefits Committee and approved by the ARTA Board of Directors, and were reviewed and implemented separately from the move to self-administration.