Montridge Financial Group Ltd.

 

Montridge Edge Update

Keeping You Informed
In This Issue
Travelling Abroad
2011 Dental Fee Guide Adjustments
Sunlife.ca login changes
2011 CPP / EI changes

 

 

 

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MONTRIDGE
FINANCIAL GROUP
LTD. 


Vancouver: 604.682.1603

Toll-Free: 1.866.682.1603

Facsimilie: 604.682.1621


Suite 1200

1111 West Hastings St.

Vancouver, BC
V6E 2J3
Issue 11February 2011
Travelling Abroad - What You Need To Know

Knowing how your coverage works is important

  

If you are travelling outside Canada, a little preparation is important to enjoying some time away.  You should know what coverage you have in place; who to call in case of a medical emergency; and how to make a claim for any out-of-pocket expenses.  According to 2008 data from Great-West Life, the average out-of-country hospital bill was roughly $35,000, while the average outpatient invoice was approximately $2,400.

 

Out-of-country coverage under your employee benefits plan is designed to provide benefits during a medical emergency while you or your insured dependents are temporarily outside Canada for business, education, or vacation.  Most group plans provide coverage for medical expenses incurred only during the initial treatment of a medical emergency, such as physician fees, lab fees, and hospital fees.

 

Your provincial coverage must be in place in order for your employee benefits coverage to apply.  The provincial plan is always considered the "first payor" in a medical emergency.

 

Travel assistance is a separate type of coverage from out-of-country emergency medical coverage.  While out-of-country coverage focuses on the medical costs of an emergency, travel assistance coverage provides aid through coordinators who can direct you to an appropriate health care facility, or assist with travel arrangements following a medical emergency.

 

Most employee benefit plans do not include coverage for trip cancellation, trip interruption, or loss/damage of baggage.  You many want to consider obtaining these types of coverages from other sources.

 

Before you depart, make sure you have your travel assistance card with you.  Some countries require proof of medical coverage when travelling (such as Cuba).  If required, let us know and we can help you obtain this from the insurer.

 

If you experience a medical emergency, contact your insurer's out-of-country providers (noted on the back of your travel assistance card).  They will not only help coordinate the claim, but frequently can negotiate the cost of coverage to save your plan money.  Also, inform your plan administrator as soon as possible, and we will work with them to ensure your claim is processed properly and handled efficiently.

 

 

2011 Dental Increases

Provincial Dental Fee Increases 

 

It's that time of year when most provincial and territorial dental associations release their annual fee guides.  Typically there is an increase across the board for dental services performed by general practitioners.  The information in provincial fee guides helps insurers establish reimbursement levels for the dental services your employees receive.

 

The table below summarizes overall fee guide increases by province.

 

British Columbia - overall 1.8% increase effective February 1st

Alberta - overall 4.93% increase effective February 1st 

 

(As Alberta doesn't produce an annual fee guide, this is an estimated insurer adjustment based on the previous two years' of claims history).

 

Saskatchewan - 3% overall increase effective January 1st

Manitoba - 3.49% overall increase effective January 1st

Ontario - 2% overall increase effective January 1st

Quebec - 1.6% overall increase effective January 1st

New Brunswick - 2% overall increase effective January 1st

Nova Scotia - increase TBA effective February 1st

PEI - 2.27% overall increase effective January 1st

Newfoundland & Labrador - 6% overall increase effective January 1st

Northwest Territories - 2.5% overall increase effective April 1st

Nunavut - no change for 2011

Yukon - increase TBA effective April 1st

 

Employees should always keep in mind that dentists are not bound by the fee guide; they can charge what they wish for dental services rendered.  However, insurance companies are bound by the fee guide, and anything outstanding is the responsibility of the patient.  It's always a good idea to check with a new dentist as to whether they follow the fee guide.       

An Easier Way to Login to Sunlife.ca

New email access IDs make it easier

  

Sun Life has now streamlined its login process for sunlife.ca.  In the past, members had to use a 12-14 digit number to log in, which can be difficult to remember.  Now, Sun Life has modified its login to allow members to access sunlife.ca with their own email addresses.  Members have the flexibility and control to update their contact email within the password-protected site.
 
If members call the Customer Care Centre or use the automated telephone system, they will still need to use their numerical access IDs.
2011 CPP & EI Changes
The federal government recently announced an increase in the CPP and EI maximum insurable earnings amount, and corresponding increases to the benefits.

Effective January 1, 2011, maximum insurable earnings will increase to $44,200 per year (from $43,200).  The contribution rate for employees is 1.78% of insurable earnings, while the employer rate increases to 2.49%.

The maximum EI benefit also increases to $468/week (from $457).

CPP payroll tax rates for employers and employees have held steady since 2003, at 4.95%.  The 2011 CPP maximum pensionable earnings $48,300 (up from $47,200 in 2010).
Disclaimer
This newsletter is for general information only and is not intended to provide specific personalized advice including, without limitation, investment, financial, legal, accounting or tax advice.  All information and opinions contained in this newsletter are obtained from various sources and are believed to be true and dependable; however, accuracy of content is not guaranteed and is not to be read or applied as professional advice.