Renewal of the Public Service Health Care Plan (PSHCP): Tentative Agreement Reached
Monday, August 8, 2022
The PHSCP, which falls outside of collective bargaining and covers most federal public service workers and retirees, has not been meaningfully updated in over 15 years (2006). In 2018, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed committing Treasury Board to begin talks by March 31, 2019. Negotiations to renew the PSHCP commenced in 2019 at the PSHCP Partners Committee.
The goal of the renewal was to modernize the PSHCP to ensure it offers relevant and supportive benefits to employees and their families while remaining financially sustainable well into the future. The parties agreed that discussions would be based on data and science, and to this end, benchmarking and data analytics studies were conducted and served as the foundation for PSHCP renewal.
A particular focus has been made to enhance mental health supports by expanding mental health provider options, increasing the mental health annual maximum coverage and the introduction of a new benefit for gender affirmation coverage. AS well, improvements to vision care, paramedical practitioners’ coverage and premium rates while on parental and caregiving leave. The renewed plan also introduces industry standard cost-containment measures to keep up with PSHCP cost increases in the future, including a prior authorization program, mandatory generic substitution and pharmacist dispensing fee caps. A detailed list of benefit improvements can be found here.
The tentative agreement, will be presented to Treasury Board in the near future for ratification. This long-awaited benefit renewal will take effect on July 1, 2023, which is the same date that the new service provider, Canada Life, takes over the plan. In the next few months, more detailed information on the changes to the plan will be shared by TBS and Canada Life.
About the PSHCP
The Public Service Health Care Plan provides coverage for a wide variety of health-related products and services for the majority of federal public service workers. The PSHCP is negotiated by the bargaining agents of the National Joint Council (NJC) and the National Association of Federal Retirees (NAFR), directly with Treasury Board. This is done outside of the regular bargaining process for collective agreements.