Add to clipboard  Print this page

Recent Events  Archive


Air Quality and Smoke in Edmonton and area (June 2011)

The haze hovering over Edmonton and surrounding area is smoke blowing in from the wildfires burning in Northern Alberta. The largest wildfire in Alberta history, the Richardson Fire, has burned an area roughly the size of Prince Edward Island in Alberta’s North.

Alberta Health Services and Alberta Environment report that the fire is causing poor air conditions in this area, and recommend residents take necessary precautions against potential health risks associated with fire smoke air conditions.

Smoke contains fine particulate matter that can be absorbed deep into the lungs, where it can cause health problems. Those with chronic respiratory conditions, such as COPD and asthma, or chronic cardiac illness, like congestive heart failure or angina, can be more sensitive to the effects of smoke.

“Residents who have conditions such as asthma, bronchitis, emphysema or angina should continue to monitor their symptoms and take any preventative measures their physicians have previously recommended," advises Dr. Chris Sikora, Medical Officer of Health, Alberta Health Services. "If you experience difficulty breathing or chest discomfort, consult your physician."

Dr. Sikora also recommends that residents suffering from respiratory conditions remain indoors, keep windows closed, and limit strenuous physical activity.

Residents can contact Health Link Alberta to speak to a registered nurse 24 hours a day, seven days a week, toll-free at 1-866-408-LINK (5465).

Covered members can also address their health-related questions by calling ASEBP’s Health Information Line toll-free at 1-888-431-5875.

Air quality monitoring data is updated hourly on the Alberta Environment Air Quality website.

Sources:
Alberta Health Services
Alberta Environment

Posted: Jun 27 2011


Postal Strike (June 2011)

The postal workers have been legislated back to work. They are to report to work on Monday, June 27 and it is expected pickup and delivery will commence on Tuesday, June 28. All mail previously held by ASEBP will be sent out for general delivery on June 28.

For more information on the resuming postal operations, please visit Canada Post's website.

ASEBP wants to thank you for your patience during the postal interruption.

Updated: Jun 27 2011


ASEBP Telephone System Upgrade (June 2011)

ASEBP is upgrading its telephone system on June 29 in order to continue providing superior customer service to covered members, with minimal disruption.   If you are calling ASEBP during the afternoon of June 29, you may experience a brief outage as we transition from the old phone system to the new. We ask for your patience during this time and suggest that if you do experience this outage, that you wait a few minutes then attempt your call again.

Posted: Jun 15 2011


Mail Delivery for Communities affected by Forest Fires (May 2011)

Canada Post has issued a media release advising residents of Northern Alberta that mail is now being dispatched to most northern communities. However, alternate mail delivery is being implemented for those evacuated from Slave Lake, Canyon Creek, Widewater, and some communities north of Slave Lake who are still unable to return to their homes. Effective Thursday, May 19:

  • Those evacuated from communities north of Slave Lake can collect their mail at the High Prairie post office, located at 4801, 52nd Avenue. Photo identification is required.
  • Customers from Slave Lake, Canyon Creek, and Widewater who were evacuated to Athabasca can collect their mail at the Athabasca post office located at 4909, 49th Street. Photo identification is required.
  • Slave Lake, Canyon Creek, and Wide Water residents relocated to other evacuation centres (Edmonton, Westlock, High Prairie, Wabasca, and Peace River) can have their mail redirected to the main post office in their temporary community. Evacuation centres and the post offices in these communities have been provided with a unique change of address form developed specifically for this emergency.

Posted: May 20 2011


Enhanced Maintenance Drug Management (March 2011)

Beginning April 1, 2011, ASEBP will promote an enhanced maintenance drug management practice — the dispensing of a longer supply of maintenance drug products.

Maintenance drug products are often prescribed to patients with chronic conditions that can be managed on a long term basis. In these cases, there is a low likelihood the dosage will change and the medication is usually administered continuously during the course of treatment. Maintenance medications include drug products that treat a range of chronic conditions such as heart disease, gastrointestinal disorders, diabetes and arthritis, to name a few.

Where a covered member has incurred four consecutive claims for the same drug product and dosage in the preceding 12 months, a message will appear to the pharmacist stating that the patient is now eligible for a maintenance supply of 90 to 100 days. All further claims may be submitted with a maintenance supply of 90 to 100 days, as appropriate.

Pharmacists will have the opportunity to work with the prescriber to move the patient to a 90 to 100 day cycle for maintenance drugs.

In order to raise awareness of the change, and to give pharmacists, prescribers and patients time to make the necessary adjustments, the pharmacist will receive a warning message if the prescription is eligible to be dispensed for a longer period of time.

While the costs of the medications remain the same, this enhanced service reduces the annual number of dispensing fees paid by ASEBP’s covered members. Monies saved help to keep the Extended Health Care plan comprehensive and sustainable so that it continues to positively support the health of all covered members.

ASEBP’s focus is to provide comprehensive benefits and position our services as clearly distinct from the traditional insurance and supplementary health care providers. ASEBP will be one of the first plans in Canada to implement a monitoring program for the dispensing practices of long term maintenance medications.

If you have any questions or concerns about this enhanced service, please contact an ASEBP Benefit Specialist toll-free at 1-877-431-4786 or by email at benefits@asebp.ab.ca.

Posted: Mar 31 2011


New Government of Alberta Health Care Initiatives (February 2011) 

Alberta Health Act

The Government of Alberta recently passed the Alberta Health Act, with the intention of making Alberta’s health care system “the best performing, publicly-funded health-care system in Canada” (Premier Ed Stelmach).

In September 2010, the “Putting People First – Recommendations for an Alberta Health Act” report was published. It contained 15 recommendations for improving Alberta’s health care system, which were based on extensive consultations the government had with Albertans over a four-month period. The Government of Alberta accepted these recommendations and subsequently passed the Alberta Health Act on November 30, 2010, which took effect immediately.

For more Information, please click here.

Alberta Health and Wellness Pharmaceutical Strategy

Under phase two of the Alberta Health and Wellness pharmaceutical strategy, new generic medication pricing and a pharmacy transition allowance were implemented on April 1, 2010, that affect both public and private benefit plans, including ASEBP’s. As a result of this strategy, there are a combination of short-term costs and long-term savings to ASEBP’s Extended Health Care (EHC) plan.

For more Information, please click here.

Posted: Feb 15 2011


ASEBP Staying Connected Newsletter (January 2011)

ASEBP has published a brand new Staying Connected newsletter, full of information about changes to your plan and new ASEBP initiatives. Read the newsletter now!

Posted: Jan 26 2011


2011 Plan Design Changes (January 2011)

The ASEBP Trustees have approved changes to ASEBP’s benefit coverage, effective January 1, 2011. For a complete list of the changes, please click here.

Posted: Jan 14 2011


Introduction of Step Therapy Program (December 2010)

Effective January 1, 2011, ASEBP will be introducing the Step Therapy Program. The Program will be implemented for a small number of prescription drugs (topical corticosteroids, alternate diabetic medications, and bromocriptines) covered under ASEBP’s Extended Health Care (EHC) plan.

Step Therapy promotes the use of ‘first-line’ drugs, which are considered to be safer and less expensive, before a ‘second-line’ drug is eligible for reimbursement under ASEBP’s EHC plan. In cases where the first-line drugs have been deemed not effective or may have caused adverse reactions, the second-line drugs will be available. Second-line drugs will also be available to those covered members with other medical conditions that may interact negatively with the first-line drugs.

ASEBP values the health of its covered members, and therefore believes Step Therapy will be beneficial to both the health of the covered member and the health of the plan. If you have any questions regarding Step Therapy, please contact an ASEBP Benefit Specialist toll-free at 1-877-431-4786 or by email at benefits@asebp.ab.ca.

Posted: Dec 28 2010


ASEBP Launches a New Website (November 2010)!

We are thrilled to announce the launch of our new website! This website is the result of consultations with covered members, school jurisdictions, and leaders in Alberta’s public education sector, and we believe that it will provide a positive and much improved online experience to you!

The website features an updated look that provides a fresh and unique interpretation of ASEBP’s identity and better reflects the creativity and diversity of our covered members. It is a playful, vibrant, and modern look that we feel clearly distinguishes us as a health organization for Alberta’s public education sector.

New Features!

We’ve also added new features to the website to enhance your visit:

  • Enhancements to My ASEBP – we’ve also added some great new features to My ASEBP, including the ability to view your submitted dental and health claim history! If you don’t have a My ASEBP account, click here to read some of the other benefits of a My ASEBP account, or click here to register now!
  • Enhanced intuitive design - the main navigation is now accessed from the blue navigation bar, located beneath the orange banner. Simpler navigation means it will be easier than ever to access health and benefit information, as well as answers to common questions.
  • Improved search engine - the website search engine provides more accurate results.
  • Focus on your health - We will begin to offer practical monthly health themes that are relevant to the education sector and contain strategies that can be easily implemented.
  • New Online Benefit Guides - the benefit guides replace the Benefit Handbook and inserts previously available on the website. These new benefit guides are designed so that you can search for terms or phrases within them or print specific pages for future reference. These new guides will always contain the most current information regarding your benefits, so when possible, we recommend that you return to the online guides if you have any questions.
  • Accessible forms - claim forms are now quickly found on the main navigation bar.

Tell us what you think!

Have a look around and familiarize yourself with the new layout and new features. If you have any comments or suggestions, please send an email to feedback@asebp.ab.ca.

Posted: Nov 12 2010


Direct Billing for Physiotherapy Claims (October 2010)

ASEBP is now offering direct billing for eligible physiotherapy claims, effective October 18, 2010. Covered members receiving physiotherapy treatment will be able to present their ASEBP ID card and have their Extended Health Care (EHC) physiotherapy benefit automatically applied to the total cost of the visit, subject to claim limits and maximums.

To confirm your EHC coverage, please refer to your ASEBP ID card. You can find a full description of ASEBP’s physiotherapy benefit on page 28 of the Benefit Handbook, in the Extended Health Care section.

If you have any questions about direct billing, contact a Benefit Specialist toll-free at 1-877-431-4786 or send an email to benefits@asebp.ab.ca.


Direct Billing for Chiropractic Claims (August 2010)

Effective August 3, 2010, ASEBP will be offering direct billing for eligible chiropractic claims. Covered members receiving chiropractic treatment will be able to present their ASEBP ID card and have their Extended Health Care (EHC) chiropractic benefit automatically applied to the total cost of the visit, subject to claim limits and maximums.

To confirm your EHC coverage, please refer to your ASEBP ID card. Refer to the Extended Health Care Benefit Guide for a full description of ASEBP’s chiropractic benefit.

If you have any questions about direct billing, contact a Benefit Specialist toll-free at 1-877-431-4786 or send an email to benefits@asebp.ab.ca.


Minister of Education Announces Funding for Teachers' Salaries (July 2010)

On July 7, Minister Hancock announced a funding increase for teachers' salaries effective September 1, 2010. For the official release from the Minister, please click the link below:

The Alberta Teachers' Association has also made an official announcement regarding Minister Hancock's funding announcement. The link is below:


New Documentation Required for Travel to Cuba (May 2010)

Effective May 1, 2010, the Cuban government requires all travellers entering the country to have proof of valid travel insurance.

Covered members planning to travel to Cuba should contact ASEBP in advance of their departure to receive a letter that will provide sufficient proof of coverage for the Cuban government.

For more information about this change, please visit the Government of Canada website by clicking here.

For More Information

Changes to your Prescription Medication Coverage (May 2010)

Health Canada regularly reviews drug products and their categories to determine if some should be reclassified from prescription status to over-the-counter status. Those drugs that are reclassified become ineligible for inclusion in group health plans, including ASEBP’s Extended Health Care (EHC) plan. As the Canada Revenue Agency deems over-the-counter drugs ineligible for Medical Expense Tax Credits, those drugs that are reclassified are also ineligible expenses for Health Spending Accounts.

As a result of Health Canada’s reclassification, effective May 1, 2010, the following drugs will no longer be covered by ASEBP’s EHC plan and will no longer be eligible expenses for Health Spending Accounts.

Category Description Current DIN Drug Name
Antifungals 02241898 APO-FLUCONAZOLE-150 150 MG CAPSULE
  02243645 NOVO-FLUCONAZOLE-150 150 MG CAPSULE
  02245697 MYLAN-FLUCONAZOLE 150 MG CAPSULE
  02282348 PMS-FLUCONAZOLE 150 MG CAPSULE
  02323419 CO FLUCONAZOLE 150 MG CAPSULE
  02141442 DIFLUCAN 150 MG CAPSULE

For More Information

2010 Plan Design Changes

Effective January 1, 2010, changes will take effect for ASEBP benefit coverage. For a complete list of the changes, please click here.


Media Release: ASEBP and NLSD Bring Healthy Living Program to School Employees (January 2010)

The Alberta School Employee Benefit Plan and Northern Lights School Division No. 69 are pleased to announce the launch of Phase 3 of the Healthy Living Program. For the full media release, please click here.