Postdoctoral Fellows Benefits Overview

Your benefits have moved to Sun Life

If you were eligible for benefits prior to March 1, 2023, you need to submit your claims to Canada Life by May 31, 2023. Please review the FAQs for more information and who to contact if you need help. Learn more.

Read about benefits for full-time postdoctoral fellows. Please note: part-time postdoctoral fellows are not eligible for benefits.

For information about awards, funding and career development, visit the Postdoctoral Office website.

Benefit details

Benefit highlights for postdoctoral fellows
Alberta Health Care The Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan is a government-administered health plan for medically necessary hospital and health care services. How to apply. Alberta resident Provincially funded
University of Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan If you are not eligible for Alberta Health Care, then you must enroll in the University of Alberta Health Insurance Plan (UAHIP). UAHIP covers international students, employees, postdoctoral fellows and their families who are residing in Alberta for less than 12 months. Date of appointment View the UAHIP brochure, which includes current rates
Health Spending Account Reimbursement of additional health and dental expenses not covered under supplemental benefits. See details below. See details below Paid by department/faculty
Supplemental Benefits Additional health and dental benefits for some hospital, medical and dental care expenses not covered by Alberta Health Care (eg, prescription drugs, ambulance costs). Your department/faculty is responsible for covering supplement benefits. See details below. First day of the month following your appointment date Paid by department/ faculty
Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) Provides total confidential, professional counselling for a broad range of personal and family problems. Date of appointment Paid by the university
Parental leave The university does not have a parental leave provision for postdocs. Some funding agencies will provide supplements for parental leaves. Postdoctoral fellows and supervisors should refer to the funder regulations for details. You may also be eligible to apply for Employment Insurance Maternity and Parental Benefits. N/A N/A
Paid leave Paid leave may be included as part of the appointment. Check your appointment letter for details. This time should be taken before the end of the term at a mutually agreed upon time. Paid leave for time not taken is not paid upon termination. Date of appointment Paid by department/ faculty

Supplemental Benefits

The Supplementary Health Care Plan covers you and your dependents through Sun Life. Eligible expenses include hospital, medical, and dental care expenses which are not covered by Alberta Health Care (e.g., prescription drugs, ambulance costs). For complete details please refer to the benefit booklets. Note new Sun Life booklets will be available later in March but plan coverage remains the same.

Cost of benefits

The current annual cost of the postdoctoral fellow supplemental benefits is $757.32 for single coverage; or $2,213.16 for family coverage as of August 1, 2022.

In addition, the Employee and Family Assistance Program is $8.00 per month and the cost of Workers Compensation Board (WCB) is $0.40 per $100 of the stipend based upon an annual stipend.

Enrolling in the Plan

  • Your coverage will start the first of the month following your start date.
  • You will receive an email from the university with instructions on how to add your dependents (if applicable).
  • Tell your providers, such as your pharmacist or dentist, that you have coverage.
    • Your coverage is with Sun Life under policy 25379.
    • Your ID is your seven digit university ID number (not your CCID).
  • Claims must be made no later than 90 days after the benefit year (January to December). Details on how to submit claims are available on the Making a Benefits Claim page.
  • You can set up your online account to submit claims electronically. Visit the Sun Life Member Services page for instructions on how to obtain your access ID and log-in. There is also information regarding the Sun Life mobile app and other features.
Definition of a dependent
  • Resides in Canada
  • Your spouse, legal or common-law. Common-law spouse is a person who has been living with you in a conjugal relationship for at least 12 months.
  • Your unmarried children or the your spouse’s unmarried children, including stepchildren, adopted children, or other children (e.g. grandchild, foster child) who are legally dependent upon the you for support and maintenance and who are under the age of 21, or under the age of 25 if they are full time students.
  • Children who are incapable of supporting themselves because of a physical or mental disorder are covered without an age limit if the disorder begins before they turn 21, or while they are students under 25, and the disorder has been continuous since then.
Adding a dependent

If you recently got married, became common law, had a child, adopted a child, or your dependents have now arrived in Canada, you have 31 days from a life event date to add them to your benefit plan. To do so please fill out the Canada Life group coverage change form in sections 1 and 5, sign in section 13 and send the form to the Staff Service Centre.

Opting out

You can voluntarily opt out of the Supplementary Health Care Plan if you are covered under your spouse/common-law's benefit plan. To opt out please complete the Canada Life group coverage change form in sections 1 and 3, sign in section 13 and send the form to the Staff Service Centre.