RyeSAC’s pursuit of dental plan stalled

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By Yaseen Hemeda

While getting a dental plan for Ryerson students is still a long way off, Queen’s University in Kingston is on its way to establishing an affordable package that would allow students to see any dentist they want.

The school’s student council, the Alma Mater Society (AMS), is looking at three plans — two from Canada Life and one from Altima — that would provide coverage of up to $500 a year. Both Canada Life plans would allow students to visit their own dentist.

AMS says the plans wouldn’t cost students more than $100 a year. Queen’s students already pay $87.50 for their health plan.

If the AMS assembly decides which plan to support, a referendum is expected to be held in March asking students if they want to increase their student fees for a dental package.

Although Queen’s has managed to solicit dental plans that would not limit the number of dentists students are allowed to chose from, RyeSAC has spoken to only one brokerage firm — Gallivan and Associates — that offers four designated dentists.

This is one reason why RyeSAC executives haven’t shown much enthusiasm for a dental plan.

Vladimir Vasilko, RyeSAC’s v.p. development and finance, is working with Jude Shawera, student council’s health and safety commissioner, to bring a dental plan to Ryerson. He says another stumbling block is that the council’s board rejected a proposal two years ago because they felt the cost to students wasn’t worth the coverage.

But Vasilko hasn’t given up on the idea, and says he will reopen discussion with RyeSAC’s newly elected executive.

“I will meet with the new executives to see if they have interest in pursuing [the dental plan] further,” says Vasilko, who will maintain his v.p. posiiton.

Vasilko says the ideal package wouldn’t cost students more than $100 and would allow them to visit their dentist of choice.

So far, he says some students have expressed interest in establishing a dental plan, after RyeSAC was approached about the idea by Gallivan and Associates.

He says RyeSAC should conduct a survey to determine how many students would support the initiative, but doesn’t expect one to be administered this term.

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