Temporary changes to the PSHCP application regulations for employees of organizations paid by Phoenix, but not serviced by the Public Service Pay Centre

22 November 2016

In collaboration with Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) and the Plan administrators, the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat has implemented temporary process changes to the administration of the group insurance benefit plans, including the Public Service Health Care Plan (PSHCP), that have been impacted by the Phoenix pay system.

The following changes to the PSHCP application rules, which are in effect retroactively from September 1, 2015 to March 31, 2018, are authorized for employees of the public service who are paid by the Phoenix pay system:

1. All waiting periods are waived

Until March 31, 2018, and unless retroactivity is requested, the date of all applications or coverage changes will be take effect on the first of the month, following receipt by the designated compensation office of a completed self-service electronic application in Phoenix or of an Employee Application form submitted in hard copy.

Applicants should first attempt to apply to the PSHCP or make the necessary changes to their coverage using the self-service electronic application in Phoenix. If this is not possible, a copy of the paper Employee Application form should be sent to the designated compensation office.

2. Retroactivity

A member may request a retroactive amendment to their coverage start date until
March 31, 2018. Such requests must be provided in writing to the designated compensation office and will take effect on the first of the month following the date that the employee first became eligible for the change in coverage requested. Retroactive coverage date requests cannot be established prior to September 1, 2015.

For example, an employee hired on January 21, 2016, and who has already applied or is just now applying for coverage may request a retroactive coverage date effective February 1, 2016.

3. Leave Without Pay (LWOP)

Members who begin a period of Leave Without Pay (LWOP) between September 1, 2015 and March 31, 2018, may request an amendment to their coverage without first returning to work provided they:

a) Submit a completed Employee Application form to the designated compensation office before March 31, 2018; and

b) Acknowledge that any retroactive contributions will be taken from their pay upon their return to work.

For more information on the measures being taken to address the pay service issues, members may visit the Phoenix pay system issues page on the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat website. Additional information for new employees can also be found on the New to the public service page.