Montridge Financial Group Ltd.


Montridge Edge Update

Keeping You Informed
In This Issue
Budget Changes Affect Taxable Benefits
Benefits by Design Updates
Great-West Life Updates
Manulife Updates
Sun Life Updates
Montridge on Facebook


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Issue 16October 2012
Budget Changes: AD&D; CI Now Taxable Benefits

Note: Correction Made in This Article 


Recent changes to the Federal Budget have now made AD&D and CI benefits taxable.  These changes will be effective as of January 1, 2013.


Any employer contributions to a "group sickness or accident plan" will be considered taxable, similar to group life premiums. This would include premiums for AD&D and Critical Illness contracts.  


This change does not impact the tax treatment of private health services plans; these will remain non-taxable.


Should you have any questions on how this may affect your group benefit plan, don't hesitate to contact your Montridge advisor.   

Benefits by Design - Quarterly Updates   

Benaccount® Max Increased; Rates Reduced 

Effective January 1, 2013, BBD has increased the drug maximum for Benaccount® catastrophic coverage from $10,000 to $25,000.  In conjunction with this increase in coverage, clients will also benefit with a reduction in rates upon renewal.  


Dependent CI Now Available for Small Groups


Groups of 3-9 lives can take advantage of dependent Critical Illness coverage, effective January 1, 2013.  If you are interested in adding this feature to your current plan, please contact your Montridge advisor for a quote.    


BBD Introduces BenHR and New Supplier Arete®

Human Resources Inc. 

Effective October 1, 2012, BBD has introduced a new BenHR tool in unison with a new supplier Arete® Human Resources Inc, which replaces Solareh, for all plans with SSQ Financial Long Term Disability.

Two important additions clients will receive with the Aretec® product are Legal and Accounting Assistance for employees, which will be the first of many offerings with this new product. 

If you are interested in more information about these new services, don't hesitate to contact Montridge today.  


Great-West Life - Quarterly Updates   

GWL Expands Provider eClaims Service

This fall, employees will benefit from the addition of three more paramedical services to the Provider eClaims network: massage therapy, naturopathic services and accupuncture.  Similar to a dental office, these three practitioners will be able to register with the network and adjudicate claims at the point of sale, rather than having patients pay out of pocket and submit the claim at a later time. 

Registration of these paramedical services will take place in two phases for the next several months:

Phase 1: providers who are formally regulated through a regulating body

Phase 2: providers who are informally regulated through other provider associations

If you or your employees have any questions, don't hesitate to contact your Montridge service representative.

Manulife - Quarterly Updates   

Back To School Time: Overage Dependents & Students Studying Abroad

If you have an overage dependent still in school full-time, you need to confirm to Manulife that your dependent remains an eligible overage dependent to ensure their coverage continues.  A Request for Over-Age Dependent Coverage form should be submitted to your Montridge service rep.  Please contact us to obtain this form should you not have one on file.

Manulife is also reminding plan administrators that students studying abroad are covered for emergency out of country care for the amount of time allowed for in the contract (usually 60 days).  There is no emergency coverage beyond the day limitation.  However, a request can be made to waive this limitation; please contact your Montridge advisor for more information.

Drug Card to Have Greater Integration with Provincial Drug Programs 


Beginning in late September, Manulife has enhanced integration with the pay-direct drug card program, and provincial programs such as BC Pharmacare.  When a plan member uses their drug card, pharmacists will now be notified if the drug has been identified under the provincial integration system.  If it has, submission will first have to be made to the provincial program.

Manulife has prepared an information sheet for those who may have questions concerning this new initiative.  Note: only plans with a drug card will be affected.  To obtain more information, please contact your Montridge service representative. 
Sun Life - Quarterly Updates   

EFT Claim Payments Encouraged Regardless of Paper or Online Claim Submission

In an effort to provide more convenience for plan members, and to reduce their carbon footprint, Sun Life is encouraging plan administrators to submit banking information for plan members so that all claims can be directly reimbursed to an employee's bank account.  Whether a plan member submits a paper claim or an online claim, Sun Life would like to pay the claim directly by EFT.  While this is not a requirement for plan members, it will ensure a quick turnaround time for claim payments, as well as help the environment by producing less paper.

Sun Life has prepared an information sheet to help communicate this new standard to plan members.  Please contact your Montridge service representative for a copy.  
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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.