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Retirees who are signed up for EHC and Dental coverage via Green Shield have recently experienced much longer wait times for claims settlement, and virtually no phone support. A notice was placed on the Teachers’ Pension Plan website a few weeks ago, advising retirees that the employees of Green Shield Canada (GSC) were in fact on strike.

Based in Windsor, Ontario, the staff responsible for caring for many thousands of clients across Canada walked out way back on March 1st. GSC did not send out notices to those enrolled on the plan, leaving it to the Teachers’ Pension Plan to inform retirees some weeks later, when they eventually became aware of the situation. However, very few retirees would think to look on the TPP website to find out why their claim was being delayed, so there was some frustration for those not sure of why things were not operating per usual.

After more than a month and a half of idle time, GSC workers have struck a deal with their Ontario-based employer. A key aspect to the contract was the union’s demand to hire more staff to serve the needs of plan users, as staff shortages have been a chronic problem for the provider. BCRTA was informed that the Teachers’ Pension Plan Trustees met with Green Shield Canada on April 29 and were advised that GSC are working hard to clean-up the backlog of claims and other requests. Apparently GSC’s backlog meant that they had 10,000 calls on a single day, and  the calls have continued at 8,000 per day. So expect longer than usual wait times.

To address this unprecedented backlog, GSC claims to have made improvements and updates to the Integrated Voice Recognition (IVR) System (the system that allows you to interact with their computer). With the shortage of staff for live phone support, there has been a significant increase in the use of this system, GSC says. (1-888-711-1119 GSC Customer Service)

BCRTA members are encouraged to use online services and the automated phone system to support your needs but if you experience difficulty with Green Shield you are advised to call the Teachers’ Pension Plan who is the group benefit sponsor. (1-800-665-6770 press 6 or stay on the  line).

Also, keep the BCRTA  in the loop by advising us of any issues you experience. BCRTA continues to advocate for fair treatment of retirees, regardless of the EHC option they choose.

See the CBC report: