By Enobong Ukpong, October 13 2021—
From Oct. 13-15, students will have the opportunity to vote on the future of the current student health and dental plan. The health and dental plan is an insurance plan that allows students who have paid the appropriate fees to have free or reimbursed health and dental services at the University of Calgary.
Citing the increasing costs of insurance premiums, the Students’ Union (SU) has determined that it can no longer financially support the health and dental plan in its current state. For the first time since 1993, the SU is considering changing the price of the health and dental fees.
At $193 a year, the University of Calgary’s health and dental student fees are one of the lowest in the country. For comparison, the University of Alberta and Queens University both have student fees around $300 a year for about the same coverage. In a Student Legislative Council (SLC) meeting, Mickail Hendi, vice president operations and finance, said that the SU loses about $12.95 per student.
The plebiscite will consist of three questions that ask if students would like to maintain coverage with increased fees, maintain fees with reduced coverage or increase coverage with much more increased fees. There is also a question that asks if students would be supportive of an amendment to the SU constitution that would allow the SU to tie the costs of student fees to an inflationary measure, thus allowing the fees to be increased each year without the need for student referendum.
While these plebiscite questions are non-binding, students will have the opportunity to heavily influence the SU’s decision on this matter.
These plebiscite questions will be on the same ballot as the election of several faculty representatives and the Senate Student-at-Large.
More information on the health and dental plan plebiscite can be found here.