Important Changes to the Public Service Health Care Plan

OTTAWA – The National Joint Council is pleased to announce that an agreement on the Public Service Health Care Plan (PSHCP) has been reached between representatives of the bargaining agents of the National Joint Council, the Federal Superannuates National Association and the Treasury Board Secretariat.

The Public Service Health Care Plan is an important program providing health care benefits and services to over 500,000 members and their dependants. The agreement is the product of a collaborative process that began in 2004. The terms of the new five-year agreement will improve benefits and ensure that the PSHCP continues on a sound financial foundation for the future. The new terms of the PSHCP will come into effect April 1, 2006 and will mark the first major changes in benefits under the Plan in over a decade. The agreement introduces:

  • increased financial assistance for members who face high prescription drug costs;
  • coordination of benefits for couples where both spouses are members of the PSHCP;
  • increased flexibility in the payment of contributions for members on leave without pay;
  • increased coverage for vision care to $275;
  • increased coverage for hearing aids to $1000 every five years;
  • increased out-of province coverage for members and other modifications to benefits and services under the Plan.

In addition, the agreement provides for the introduction of a pay-direct drug card that will eliminate the need for plan members to pay for their prescription drugs up-front and seek reimbursement later. Although work to this end will begin as soon as possible, it is not expected that the card will be introduced before 2008. Plan members will be kept informed of the progress of this work. For pensioners, the agreement provides for a monthly contribution increase of $5.70 for single coverage and $12.14 for family coverage for the next five years which essentially restores the historical funding ratio of 75% from the employer and 25% from pensioners. Additional information on benefit changes will be provided to members as soon as possible. This information will also be available on the following Web sites: and