New family building, accessibility, and gender-affirmation benefits added to improve equitable access to coverage for extended health plan members

UBC is pleased to announce new benefits provisions that improve equitable access to coverage for faculty and staff extended health plan members and their covered dependents.

These include coverage for:

  • Family building benefits for fertility, surrogacy, and adoption
  • Accessibility provisions to help reduce the cost of hearing, speech and vision care equipment
  • Gender affirmation benefits, for procedures not covered by public health care plans

The coverage for these extended health benefits provisions is now available for plan members. Any eligible expenses incurred on or after January 1, 2023, can be submitted to Sun Life for reimbursement subject to the terms and conditions of the extended health plan for your employee group. Please note some of these benefit provisions have different application and claiming procedures and links to information on our website are provided below.

What’s new in our benefits plan

Family building benefits

Accessing fertility, surrogacy and adoption procedures and treatments can be complex, stressful, and costly. The family building benefits provide important financial support for faculty and staff extended health plan members (and their dependent spouse) trying to start or expand their family, including coverage for:

  • Fertility treatments up to a maximum of $40,000 per extended health plan member per lifetime and includes coverage for physician and lab services, expenses related to egg, embryo and sperm, and genetic testing.
  • Prescription drugs to treat infertility for extended health plan members
  • Surrogacy benefits provisions that reimburse for medical expenses such as genetic testing, insemination and fertilization incurred on behalf of the surrogate up to $50,000 per lifetime per family.
    • In addition, non-medical (wellness) surrogacy benefits up to $2,000 per lifetime per family.
    • For more detailed information on the new Surrogacy benefits coverage and how to enrol a surrogate in the plan, please visit the Family Building benefits page
  • Adoption benefits provisions for costs related to the adoption process up to $50,000 per lifetime per family. This may include agency, legal, and consultant fees.

Hearing, speech, and vision coverage

We’ve enhanced accessibility benefits for hearing, speech, and vision care, as follows:

  • Hearing aids: Increased maximum from $900 to $2,000 every five years per extended health plan member.
  • Speech aids: Equipment for speech impairments such as bliss boards and communication aids up to a combined annual maximum of $300 per extended health plan member.
  • Vision care: Contact lenses for the treatment of severe corneal astigmatism, severe corneal scarring, keratoconus or aphakia added and subject to the vision care maximum for your employee group extended health plan.

Gender affirmation benefits

New gender affirmation benefits provisions to support plan members who seek to align their gender expression with their identity and includes coverage for procedures not covered under provincial plans, as follows:

  • Up to a lifetime maximum of $50,000 per extended health plan member for eligible procedures not covered under the provincial health care plan, such as British Columbia’s Medical Service Plan (MSP).
  • For more detailed information on gender affirmation benefits coverage including eligibility requirements and the application process, please visit Extended Health Page.


If you have any questions, please contact the Benefits team.


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  • Benefits FYI

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