RTAM: A Sustainable Future

RTAM: A Sustainable Future?

RTAM offers programing and products for our members’ health and mental well-being. Currently, we have a little over 10,000 members.

Statistics Canada estimated that 21.8 % of the current workforce is between 55 and 64, and therefor on the verge of retirement. As they retire, they will draw more on extended health and dental benefits. As the demand increases, costs will outstrip premiums being paid and the rate of health care insurance will increase.

RTAM offers health, dental, and travel group insurance through Johnson Insurance. The premiums for these services depend on several factors:

  • Member Count: An increase in membership will decrease the overall cost of premiums as more members are contributing.
  • Demographics of Members: All though our members’ ages range from age 55 to 100 plus, the number of persons aged over 85 years is significantly increasing. As we age, our heath needs increase and we use more of our extended health benefits. As we use more benefits, our group insurance premiums go up.
  • Prescription Drug and Health Services Costs: Annually, health services and prescription drug prices increase. In addition, as Health Canada approves more drugs in the marketplace, clients’ claims increase and costs of extended health claims for medications and services increases. In 2022, overall drug plan spent per member went up by about 4.3% and in 2023, about 5.2%. However, there was a 2.6% reduction in the number of people claims.

In 2022-2023, Retired Teachers Association of Ontario (RTAO) reported a membership of just over 80,000 compared to about 10,500 for RTAM. Because of the numbers of members, RTAO can offer cheaper health, dental, and travel insurance rates. To continue to increase their size, they are actively welcoming retired teachers from other jurisdictions such as RTAM. RTAM will lose members if there are cheaper insurance plans elsewhere. If our membership decreases, our premiums will go up. As our premiums go up, more members will leave for cheaper premiums. So, it becomes a spiralling downwards scenario. How long can RTAM survive as our membership keeps decreasing?

To break this cycle of downward spiral, the Board of Directors would like to work actively to increase our membership and thus assure the long-term viability of RTAM. To mitigate this, another classification of RTAM membership is needed. The Board of Directors propose that we introduce Community Membership for non-Kindergarten-Grade 12 teachers. Here is what our membership may look line:

  1. Full Members: Retired teachers. These members can vote and sit as RTAM Board members. This membership solely controls the direction and the future of RTAM.
  1. Associate Members: These are spouses of deceased RTAM members who wish to continue with RTAM as well teachers from other jurisdictions from outside of Manitoba. They can not vote nor can they sit on any RTAM Board position. Thus, they do not have a say in the future of RTAM.
  1. Community Members: These are interested parties wishing to join RTAM. They do not have to be educators but need to have worked in an educational setting. They are non-voting members and can not sit on the RTAM Board. They can not influence the direction and the future of RTAM.

Retired teacher associations in other provinces accept non-teacher members as long as they were employed in an educational institution. By allowing Community Members, the cost of health care insurance for our members may decrease and RTAM can maintain to be a sustainable and a vibrant organization.

Sources:

Express Scripts Canada 2024 Drug Trend Report:

Drug Trend Reports | Express Scripts Canada (express-scripts.ca)

Statistics Canada Demograhpic Division

Population and demography statistics (statcan.gc.ca)