Looking back on the new benefits for 2023

This is the second of a two-part series where we review the exciting changes to our UBC benefit plans for 2024 and look back on the changes since the start of 2023. 

Updated: From February 1, 2024, The Lifetime maximum for fertility treatment procedures and services is changing, now up to a lifetime maximum of $50,000 per family.

What were the benefit plan changes in 2023? 

Inclusive Benefits 

UBC’s commitment to equity and inclusion has led to significant enhancements in our benefit plans over the last year by including family-building, accessibility and gender-affirming care provisions. Here's a brief overview of these progressive changes (see New benefits added to improve equitable access to coverage) : 

Family building benefits 

  • Adoption: eligible expenses reimbursed up to $50,000 per family per lifetime. 
  • Surrogacy: eligible expenses reimbursed up to $50,000 per family per lifetime 
  • Surrogacy (non-medical): eligible non-medical expenses up to $2,000 per family per lifetime 
  • Fertility drug coverage 
  • Fertility treatments: eligible fertility treatment expenses reimbursed up to $50,000 (updated, Feb. 1, 2024) per family per lifetime 

Gender Affirmation coverage 

  • Eligible expenses for gender affirmation procedures not covered under the provincial medical plan up to $50,000 per lifetime 

Hearing Aids 

  • Maximum increased from $900 to $2,000 per covered person every five years 

Speech aids 

  • Up to $300 per covered person per calendar year. 

Non-Surgical Keratoconous lenses 

  • Added as an allowable vision care expense and subject to the combined overall vision care maximum of $400 ($600 – IUOE 115). 

Benefit plan changes based on collective bargaining  

From January 1, 2023 

  • CUPE 116 – Health Spending Account increased from $350 to $500 

  • BCGEU Okanagan – New Health Spending Account with a $200 annual amount. 

From August 1, 2023  

  • Faculty members can now access 20 weeks (up from 10 weeks) of Supplemental Employment Benefit (SEB) top-ups for parental/adoption leave. The SEB is used to top up the Employment Insurance benefit payments for eligible faculty members who are on parental/adoption leave up to 95% of a pre-leave salary – this is supplemental to the Federal Employment Insurance (EI).  

From September 1, 2023  

  • Faculty permitted to transfer tuition waiver credits (undergraduate and graduate) to spouses. Learn more with our Top Tips for Tuition Waivers story. 

Other changes to our benefit plans 

These updates do not include any new services for faculty and staff, but there were some important changes to how these benefits are delivered. 

What can you expect in 2024?

If you would like to know about the exciting changes to our UBC benefit plans in 2024, visit Looking forward to your new benefits in 2024.


  • HR
  • Benefits FYI
  • HR Network News
  • Healthy UBC

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