Gary Sawatzky | Chief Operating Officer, ARTA
ARTA’s benefit plans provide comprehensive coverage for our members’ needs. While each benefit is separate and specialized, they all combine harmoniously to provide holistic coverage, touching each part of our covered members’ health and well-being.
Extended Health Care (EHC) remains the core benefit provided by ARTA’s benefit plans. Coverage varies based on the specific plan chosen
by each member, but several fundamental benefits are provided under each plan. Covered benefits include not only goods such as prescription drugs and eyeglasses, but also services that may be beneficial to our members.
The most widely used EHC benefit is prescription drugs. Most of our covered members have some public prescription drug coverage, but often the public plans do not cover the entire cost of a medication, and certain drugs are not covered at all by the public plans. ARTA’s EHC plans provide coverage for a wide gamut of drugs, as long as they are considered eligible Medical Expense Tax Credits. In 2022, the ARTA plans covered over $17 million in prescription drug costs.
The next most widely used EHC benefit is services provided by paramedical practitioners — ARTA paid over $11 million in claims in 2022. ARTA covers nineteen paramedical practitioners, but almost 90% of the claims are made for services provided by chiropractors, physiotherapists, and massage therapists.
The ARTACares plan and ARTA’s Member Assistance Plan are two of the services that members can use as needed.
- Medical second opinion services, health care system navigation, health advocacy, support for a chronic disease, and caregiving consultations are made available by ARTACares.
- The Member Assistance Plan supports members’ mental health and overall well-being. You and your eligible dependants can each set up
an individual account to access five hours of counselling and five hours of couples counselling per contract year. Advisory services on topics
such as legal, financial, health, career, and life transitions are also included.
Other EHC items covered and enjoyed by our members include vision care, hearing aids, medical aids and appliances, ambulance, hospital, home care, and private duty nursing. All are available to our members to ensure their health issues are attended to and they receive the goods and services they require.
Many of our members love to travel and will choose one of the EHC plans that includes Emergency Travel coverage. ARTA’s travel insurance plan is amongst the best retiree travel plans in Canada, if not the best. Members with travel coverage can travel outside of their province of residence worry-free, knowing they are not subject to a stability clause for preexisting conditions (which is included in virtually every other emergency travel insurance plan in Canada). The majority (85%) of ARTA’s members enjoy their travel with Emergency Travel coverage.
Of members with EHC coverage, 82% are also covered for dental care benefits. Depending on the level of dental care coverage you have, eligible services range from exams and diagnostic services up to implants and crowns. Dental care claims accounted for almost $23 million in 2022. We encourage you to review the benefits provided by ARTA’s benefit plans to make sure you are getting the biggest bang for your buck and to consider using some of the other benefits you may not have realized are provided through ARTA’s harmonized plans.