PSHCP Fiasco - Contractual Penalties go into effect & Policy Grievances

The preventable failures of Canada Life to meet its obligations under the updated Public Service Health Care Plan (PSHCP) contract will finally have an impact on their bottom line. When unions and procurement experts gave feedback on what to include in the 2023 PSHCP contract, we insisted on beefing up compliance provisions. Like many government contracts, there needs to be incentives for good performance and penalties for underperformance. Government officials have confirmed that they are now applying these penalties to Canada Life. We say, it’s about time.

Unions and retiree associations are not privy to all the details, nor were we able to insist on specific contract metrics. We urged the government to learn lessons from the previous contract with Sun Life. This included adding very specific language to measure performance. These recommendations are finally hitting Canada Life, as it continues to fail to meet contractual obligations - especially, we assume, involving its out-of-country subcontractor MSH International. 

The plan administrator has invested massively in improving its service.Our members are reporting much-improved call centre and claims approval turnaround times; however, out-of-country claims remain unacceptably slow and error-prone. Canada Life insists it is doing everything in its power to hold its chosen subcontractor, MSH, accountable. Progress is slow, but going in the right direction. These latest fines, we expect, will accelerate that progress.  PIPSC, like our peer unions across the public service, has also filed policy grievances against the poor handover as part of a larger strategy to lobby for change and restitution. 

The PSHCP covers most active and retired PIPSC members working in the federal public service, including at separate agencies. Members with questions about their plan are invited to check PIPSC’s detailed members’ guide on the PSHCP, which also has information on how PIPSC members, including those with other Health plans, can benefit from 90 percent drug coverage on their medication through our Serviceplus pharmacy partner Mednow. Some restrictions apply.