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By Andrea Maclean

Associate News Editor

Going to the dentist could soon be a less painful experience for part-time students.

As early as fall 2009, part-time students could have their own health and dental coverage, said Jeremy Salter, VP finance for the Continuing Education Students’ Association of Ryerson (CESAR).

CESAR is negotiating a plan for part-time students through the National Student Health Network — a service provided by the Canadian Federation of Students.

“This service is designed to make the every day lives of our members a little bit easier, a little bit more financially manageable,” Salter said. “It helps to alleviate the costs of prescription drugs or physiotherapy or dental work that students can have.”

Salter said that there were some important pillars that were required in the health and dental plan.

“It needed to have health and dental coverage for both,” he said.

“There needed to be an option for people to opt-out of the plan if they had alternative coverage and we wanted a health plan provider that had experience within the student movement that had done student plans previously.”

The plan in consideration, provided by Greenshield, is similar to the one offered to members of the Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU).

For coverage part-time students will pay approximately $195, considerably less than the RSU health and dental plan that cost members $295.

Services and drugs most often used by students will be covered in the plan, Salter said.

“We want a wide gambit of different drugs being covered,” said Salter. “We want to make our plan as useful and as usable as possible.”

Contraceptives are the number one medication used by university students while depression medication holds the second position. Salter said that these drugs and others most commonly used by students will be covered in the plan.

“We want to include as many benefits as possible and stay within our premium,” he said. Those included are orthodics, physiotherapy, message, dental work and prescription drugs.

According to Salter, CESAR won’t be signing a multi-year agreement for their health and dental plan.

“We like the idea of having the negotiating power with our health plan provider on a yearly bases, after we’ve been able to reevaluate claims fluctuations or different experiences that the plan has had.”

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