EDMONTON RETIRED TEACHERS’ ASSOCIATION
“a voice for Edmonton’s retired teachers”
Ron Rhine shares some laughs with friends and colleagues at ARTA's 50th anniversary dinner in the fall of 2013. Ron was one of the major contributors to the development of our ARTA benefit plan.
©Edmonton Retired Teachers Association 2012
The long and fruitful relationship that ARTA had with Johnson Inc., the insurance broker and administrator of the ARTA Health and Wellness Benefit Plan, officially came to an end on December 31, 2012.
The relationship began eighteen years ago after Ron Rhine, the new ARTA Executive Secretary at the time, received a telephone call from an ARTA member who related a story about her conversation with a member of the Superannuated Teachers of Ontario (STO) who had travel insurance as part of her medical insurance coverage. Ron investigated the possibility and negotiations with a Johnson Inc. representative by phone, on paper and in person began shortly thereafter.
Johnson Inc. and Maritime Life Insurance indicated that they might be willing to provide insurance coverage but only if a minimum of 1500 Alberta retired teachers would state, in writing, their intent to participate in the plan. Although Ron did not have access to the contact information of retirees because of the new Privacy Act, a letter describing the medical, dental, hospital and travel insurance opportunity was included in an ATRF mailout.
It is likely that Johnson Inc. and Maritime Life wanted to expand to the west. Although barely 1500 responses were received, a Johnson representative suggested that a meeting take place to discuss the possibility of creating an insurance plan for Alberta retired teachers. Every clause of the plan was negotiated using the STO package as a guide. Ron added a couple of last minute conditions—that the plan be only available to ARTA members and that ARTA receive a 1% rebate of all monthly sales to cover the extra expense the Association would assume to oversee the plan. Maritime Life became the insurance provider and Johnson Inc. the plan administrator.
The ARTA Health and Wellness Benefit Plan was launched, effective September 5, 1995, with an open enrollment for a limited time to get the plan established. It has grown from the 900 retired teachers that joined initially to over 8,600 education, public and private sector members who are plan policy- holders today.
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