Important Information on Leave Without Pay

1 November 2018

Plan members with Supplementary coverage who have been authorized to go on Leave Without Pay (LWOP) have the option of continuing their coverage under the PSHCP or opting out for the period of their leave. A member going on authorized LWOP who does not opt out of the Plan for the period of their leave may pay the required contributions in advance by cheque or money order made payable to the Receiver General for Canada. Alternatively, an employee who has not opted out of the Plan for the period of their leave and who has not chosen to pay the required contributions in advance will be deemed to have opted to pay the contributions retroactively when returning to work or ceasing to be employed. The contributions owing may be paid in a manner to be determined by the employer. Coverage under the PSHCP cannot be cancelled retroactively.

If a member wishes to opt out of the Plan for the entire LWOP period, the member must provide advance notice in writing to Compensation or their personnel office. Coverage will be cancelled the month following the month in which the notice is received by the designated officer, and reinstated the first day of the month following the member’s return to work.

If travelling, Plan members who continue their Supplementary coverage while on LWOP are covered under the Out-of-Province Benefit, which provides emergency travel assistance and coverage for eligible medical expenses up to $500,000 if emergency treatment is required within 40 days of departure from their province/territory of residence. Beyond 40 days, the Out-of-Province Benefit no longer applies, and Plan members must obtain emergency coverage from another private plan.

Comprehensive coverage while on LWOP is only available to employees living outside Canada who are:

  • Posted abroad (and the LWOP starts when they already have Comprehensive coverage);
  • Serving with an organization outside Canada because the leave has been deemed beneficial to their department or to the Government of Canada;
  • On employer-approved education leave that has been deemed beneficial to their department or agency.

For more information on LWOP, click here.