Montridge Financial Group Ltd.

 

Montridge Edge Update

Keeping You Informed
In This Issue
2012 Client Survey
2012 Sanofi-Aventis Healthcare Survey Results
Generic Option Available for Crestor® Drug
Attention Employers with Manitoba Employees
Client Spotlight: Mardon Insurance Brokers Ltd.
Benefits by Design Updates
Great-West Life Updates
Manulife Updates
Sun Life Updates
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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 15June 2012
2012 Montridge Client Survey

Respond and WIN!    

 

Check your inboxes - the 2012 Montridge client survey is here! Your feedback is greatly important to us, and helps us to maintain the high level standard of service that we adhere to. Plus, everyone who completes our survey will be entered to win a $250 gift certificate to Vancouver's hottest new restaurant, Hawksworth! Deadline for replies is June 22, 2012. 


2012 Sanofi-Aventis Healthcare Survey Results Released

 

Sanofi Canada is committed to working with the private payor community to demonstrate the value of health benefit plans, as well as promote an understanding of the underlying drivers of health and disability. Their important annual survey gathers data and opinion from thousands of plan members and plan administrators across the country, with an objective to generate solutions that will create more capacity in the healthcare system.

 

Every year, the survey provides staggering details on the state of healthcare in Canada, right from the people who experience it: you. Some highlights of this year's survey include:

  • Fifty-one percent of plan members expect their benefits to continue after retirement-pointing to an opportunity for retirement planning as a retention tool
  • Plan members rate the quality of their plans highly and are more willing than expected to help their employers with cost-sharing measures in order to protect their benefits
  • When asked about education for diseases, 69% of plan members agree it should be a priority for their employers

The 2012 results suggest there are many opportunities and ideas to educate and retain employees. Montridge can help! Contact your advisor to assist in putting together a Q&A education seminar for your employees.

To view the entire 2012 Sanofi-Aventis Healthcare Survey Results, click HERE 

  

Generic Option Now Available for CrestorŽ Drug

Due to an unexpected breaking of the patent for the popular drug CrestorŽ, a generic version of the blood cholesterol lowering drug is now available in Canada. Consistently one of the most popular and high-spend drugs in employee benefit plans, Apo-Rosuvastatin represents the second largest generic product launch to date, second only to Lipitor.

 

It is well-known that generic substitutes for drugs often mean a lower cost to the patient, which in turn lowers overall spending of an employee benefit plan. Employers with older employees will likely experience lower drug spending on their plans, since this particular drug is commonly used among older individuals. However, the provincial government has yet to determine how the generic version will be priced in various provinces, so exact cost-saving data is not yet available. Montridge will keep you informed as more information becomes available.

Attention Employers with Employees in Manitoba!

Manitoba Budget Affects Group Life Premiums  

Effective August 1, 2012, the 7% provincial retail sales tax (RST) announced in the Manitoba government's budget tabled in April 2012 will apply to group life insurance premiums. The RST is to apply to all forms of group life insurance premiums: employee life, survivor income benefit, optional life, paid-up life, dependent life and creditor life insurance.

 

Any consulting, placement, administration or service fees which are charged in addition to group life insurance premiums, will also be taxable. However, financing fees will not be taxable.

 

The RST will apply only to employees who reside in Manitoba. Where the group consists of Manitoba residents and non-Manitoba residents, the tax will only apply to the portion related to Manitoba residents.

 

The tax will not apply to group health, dental, accidental death and dismemberment or disability insurance plans. It also will not apply to self-insured plans or individual life insurance contracts.

 

Taxable group life insurance premiums must be segregated from non-taxable premiums on premium statements or invoices for the application of RST. If not, RST will be chargeable on all premiums.

 

Any employer paid share of the RST on group life insurance premiums is a taxable benefit to employees. If you have employees in Manitoba and have questions as to how this will affect your benefit plan, contact your Montridge advisor today.


Client Spotlight - Mardon Insurance Brokers Ltd.  
 

It's a frequent question - "Do you know someone who can help with my other insurance needs?" And we love giving the answer - absolutely!

 

Mardon Insurance Brokers, a leading firm in the Lower Mainland since 1928, specializes in all forms of business, home/tenant, auto, and marine vessel insurance. With locations in Coquiltlam, Richmond, Surrey, Vancouver and White Rock - as well as on-line - securing coverage is easy.

 

Furthermore, through Mardon Group Insurance, qualified groups of 50+ members can take advantage of enhanced coverage - at preferred rates - for home, business & auto insurance.

 

We take pride in being able to offer the expertise and service of Mardon to our clients, and look forward to shouting their praises. Learn more at www.mardoninsurance.ca or ask us for more info.

   
Benefits by Design - Quarterly Updates   

Changes to All Benefit Plans 

BBD has recently made several changes to their benefit plans in an effort to create cost-savings and ease of use for their clients. Some of these changes include:

  • Currently at age 65, Life / AD&D volume decreases by 50% to a maximum of $50,000. Effective May 1st - this maximum has been increased to $100,000.
  • Dental book rates were reduced 10% across the board. Talk to your advisor about this at your next renewal date!
  • The standard termination age for EHC & Dental has now been increased to age 75.
  • You can now customize the travel options for your plan to no-travel, stand-alone, and 60-, 90- and 120-day options with $5 million per incident coverage. Contact your Montridge advisor for more information.
Great-West Life - Quarterly Updates   

Changes to GroupNet

GWL recently made several enhancements to its GroupNet for Plan Member website. These changes are aimed at further increasing value and efficiency of claim adjudication. Some of the changes include:

  • Plan members can now submit coordination of benefit claims for all benefit types online. Previously, GroupNet accepted submission of online claims only if GWL was the first-payer or if there was no other coverage.
  • Ontario residents can now submit claims online for covered plan members who are over the age of 65. Note: the claimant him/herself must be younger than 65.

EOB Statements No Longer Mailed Out

GWL is reducing its carbon footprint by no longer mailing Explanation of Benefits (EOB) statements for claims submitted online, for certain health, dental, STD and LTD claims. EOB statements will no longer be mailed in the following situations:

  • The benefit payment amount is zero
  • The claim is declined
  • The benefit payment is paid directly to the provider
  • The submission is a dental estimate

Note: plan members can still log into GroupNet and print EOB statements should they wish to do so.

 

This change will eliminate about 96,000 individual mailings each year!

 
Manulife - Quarterly Updates   

Coming Soon: Online Password Re-Set

A surprising number of plan members and administrators forget their password to access Manulife's secure sites. Starting this summer, rather than having to call Manulife customer service to have their password re-set, plan members will now have the option to create personal identification security questions and re-set their password online.

 

Update: Natural Health Practitioners of Canada Review & Massage Therapy Claims


Earlier this year, we informed you that Manulife was conducting a review of the credentials of practitioners who were members of the Natural Health Practitioners of Canada. At this stage of this ongoing review, Manulife has confirmed that approximately 1,600 of the 6,000 NHPC members meet the criteria to be an eligible provider of massage therapy.

 

Manulife has created comprehensive new guidelines and timelines for massage claims for practitioners belonging to the NHPC. If you or your plan members have questions concerning this, please contact the Montridge office.

Sun Life - Quarterly Updates   

New Expatriate Solution for Employers

Do you have employees working abroad? Sun Life has launched their new expatriates benefit solution - Global2Go. This new product covers almost every country on the globe and includes all benefits - medical, dental, life, disability, EAP and war risk coverage. If you have employees working abroad and are interesting in providing benefits for them, contact your Montridge advisor for more information and rates.

A New Kind of EAP

Sun Life RightDirections is a new kind of Employee Assistance Program (EAP), one that offers a flexible, competitively priced and integrated approach. RightDirections offers a three-tier design that provides coverage options to suit unique employee needs. If you're interesting in adding or refining an EAP program, RightDirections could be the answer you're looking for! Contact Montridge today for more information.

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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.