Plan Underway to Administer Supplemental Mental Health Benefit

June 04, 2024
Members currently paying out-of-pocket for mental health services encouraged to enrol today

BCNU has successfully developed the process to administer the new Nurses’ Bargaining Association (NBA) Supplemental Mental Health Benefit (SMHB) available through the Nurse Support Fund, a one-time financial support negotiated by BCNU to support the mental health and wellness of nurses covered by the NBA collective agreement.

In partnership with Pacific Blue Cross (PBC), members are now able to access up to an additional $5,000 lifetime benefit amount that is available to cover the cost of a registered psychologist, social worker, or a registered clinical counsellor as well as internet-based cognitive behavioural therapy (iCBT). 

Eligible members seeking urgent access to this fund are encouraged to apply immediately in order to receive reimbursement as soon as possible. For those members who are not in urgent need of access to this fund, the enrolment process is ongoing and can be submitted at any time.

For more information about the NBA SMHB, including how to enrol, claim submission deadlines and benefit coverage details, please visit the NBA SMHB page on our website. 

BCNU is proud to establish the process for members to access the fund, following months of debate over whether member information registered under the current employer benefit plan would be seamlessly transferred to this new benefit policy and expedite the enrolment process. The employer ultimately confirmed that it would not allow it. As a result, BCNU will be the plan administrator, and has been diligently working with PBC as plan service provider to set up this new policy, which offers superior coverage to members than what is currently provided by their employer.

Once enrolled, NBA members will be able to claim mental health service expenses of up to 20 percent more than the current allowable per visit limit available in their employer plan. Given the purpose of this benefit is to address the need for enhanced mental health support for BCNU members covered by the Nurses’ Bargaining Association (NBA) provincial collective agreement, BCNU believes this structured approach will best support as many members as possible. 

About the Nurse Support Fund

The Nurse Support Fund is a one-time $60-million-dollar fund negotiated by BCNU on behalf of all members covered under the NBA provincial collective agreement. The purpose of the fund is to support the mental health and wellness of nurses. Members will be approved and reimbursed subject to the available fund balance. Payments will stop once the funds have been depleted.

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