RyeSAC examines dental plan

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By Elizabeth Pagliacolo

Many a toothache could be soothed if RyeSAC manages to introduce a dental plan for students.

RyeSAC is looking into offering a dental plan along with their existing health plan, at the suggestion of Gallivan and Associates brokerage firm, which underwrites health plans for several universities and colleges.

But getting into the business of dental coverage would require a long approval process until it could be put to students in a referendum.

“We need to find out if there’s enough interest from students before going to referendum,” said Vladimir Vasilko, RyeSAC’s v.p. development and finance, who is working with Jude Shawera, student council’s health and safety commissioner, to implement the dental plan.

“I have talked to a lot of students — some of them have loved [the idea of a dental plan] and some have not,” Vasilko said.

RyeSAC’s president David Steele said student council’s board voted two years ago against introducing a dental plan to Ryerson students, because they felt the cost of it wasn’t worth the coverage.

“It’s going to almost double the cost of the current health plan,” Steele said. Students pay $109 a year for health coverage, which is provided by RyeSAC as a non-profit service.

“It’s not that students wouldn’t appreciate it. What students are getting isn’t worth it,” Steele said.

Vasilko said a dental plan could offer fully covered cleaning, 80 per cent off fillings, a possible 50 per cent off root canal expenses and up to $1,000 reimbursement of dental fees a year. Students could purchase the dental plan separately from the health plan.

The disadvantage is that to be covered under the plan, students would have to go to one of four designated dentists.

“There will be different options for different rates,” said Vasilko. “$95 to $110 is the average [deal] for universities. It’s all economies of scale — depending on how many services the student wants.”

Vasilko and Shawera will meet soon will Galivan and Associates.

A proposal would have to be presented to RyeSAC’s executive committee, then if approved, to RyeSAC’s board of directors. Final approval for a referendum would have to come from Ryerson’s board of governors.

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