orange iconOperational Response Level: Restricted ›

Healthy Minds Healthy College

Do You Have Dependent Children?

July 30, 2013

Dependent Children Eligibility

If you have children who are unmarried, natural, adopted or a step child who is under the age of 22 and not working more than 30 hours a week unless a full-time student, they are eligible for coverage through your group benefits plan with Great-West Life. If your child is age 22 or over, they must be a full-time student to maintain coverage until age 25.

A child is considered a full-time student if they have registered in an educational institution for 15 hours a week or more; sometime in the last 6 months. If your child is being paid to attend an educational institution, they are no longer deemed a dependent.

Dependent Children, age 22 to 25 – Don’t forget to reconfirm Student Status

It is important for employees with overage dependent children (over age 22) to remember to update their student status to ensure over-age student dependents continue to receive uninterrupted Health and Dental coverage for the duration of their formal education, or until age 25.

Watch for the student re-certification from Great-West Life each year!RRC July Blog Pic

Is your child covered while away at school?

The Out-Of-Country Emergency Care (OOC) provided through your Great-West Life plan only covers emergency medical situations while outside of Canada. An emergency is described as a sudden, unexpected injury or an acute episode of disease. Dependents attending school out-of-country will remain on your Health and Dental plan for the duration of their education, or until they reach age 25.

There are no pre-existing conditions on the OOC coverage; however, if the insured individual does have a medical issue, the condition must be stable and controlled for 3 months prior to their departure from Canada. If you are unsure, you should check with your doctor and Great-West Life.

So what does this mean for your child going out-of-country for school?

If your child is considered an eligible dependent, they will be covered for unexpected emergency medical while out-of-country. For a dependent who is not a student, no benefits will be paid for expenses incurred more than 90 days after the date of departure from Canada in the event of a medical emergency.

For a dependent who is attending school out-of-country, benefits will be extended if approval is given by the student’s provincial health plan. For more information on your provincial health plan, visit

Be aware that any routine or non-emergency services or expenses such as chiropractic care or prescription drugs incurred out-of-country will be reimbursed at the reasonable and customary amount charged in your home province of residence.

If you review your dependent’s coverage needs and require purchasing individual coverage, plans purchased in Canada for students abroad can be significantly less expensive compared to plans available through the school. Red River College employees have access to STRATA Benefits Consulting Inc.’s Emerge service which provides information and assistance in obtaining individual coverage. Contact an Emerge Specialist at or 1-866-787-2826 for more information.