Effective September 1, 2024, the IBEW Local 353 Benefit Plan is introducing a standard generic drug program which was voted on at the Union’s April 7th Special Called Meeting. Most provincial and private drug plans have already made the transition to generic prescription drugs. Many brand name prescription drugs have generic alternatives available that are just as effective but cost much less than their brand name counterparts. Generic prescription drugs have the same active ingredients, in the same dosage strength, and the same dosage form.

What’s generic substitution?

As of September 1st, 2024, your prescription drug coverage includes automatic generic substitution. This means the amount you will be reimbursed for your prescription drugs is limited to the cost of the lowest-priced generic alternative. This helps keep the plan affordable, while still providing comprehensive prescription drug coverage. You may already be on a generic substitution drug, in which case there is no change for you at all.

Health Canada regulates all generic drugs sold in the country to ensure that they use the same medicinal ingredients as their brand name counterparts. If you have a concern about taking a generic drug, please discuss it with your doctor or pharmacist before September 1st.

If you or your covered family member are unable to take a generic drug, the prescriber may indicate “no substitutions” on the prescription and the name brand drug will be dispensed. Unless the prescriber has prescribed a drug by its brand name and has specified in writing that the product is not to be interchanged, the plan will cover only the cost of the lowest-priced equivalent generic drug.         

For more information contact TEIBAS. You can email us at members@teibas.com or call us at 416-637-6789 (toll-free: 1-800-267-0602).

What else should I know?

Always use your drug card for prescription drug purchases. This will ensure you’re not out of pocket for any expenses. Please refer to your Canada Life Assure Drug Card for your Plan Number and Personal Identification Number (PIN).

All expenses under the benefit plan are limited to reasonable and customary costs established by Canada Life. You can find out the maximum amount Canada Life will reimburse for a service by contacting them at the number above or online at https://my.canadalife.com/sign-in.

TEIBAS TIP: Save your drug card to your phone! If you register or have registered for Canada Life’s My Canada Life at Work app, you can download your drug card and save it to your smartphone’s wallet. The My Canada Life at Work app is an easy way to submit claims, review your claims history and more!

Visit my.canadalife.com/sign-in to register for an online account (if you haven’t already done so), then visit your mobile device’s app store to download Canada Life My Canada Life at Work app and remember to save your drug card to your phone. You’ll be glad you did!

Remember: The IBEW Local 353 Benefit Plan has a dedicated toll-free number for you and your dependents, at Canada Life: 1-844-232-4239. This direct line helps save you time by having your health and dental questions answered faster than the general inquiry number.