Montridge Financial Group Ltd.


Montridge Edge Update

Keeping You Informed
In This Issue
Changes to Taxable Benefits
EI Max Increases in 2013
Great-West Life Updates
Manulife Updates
Sun Life Updates
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Issue 17December 2012
Effective January 1, 2013:
AD&D; CI Now Taxable Benefits to Employees

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

Premiums for these benefits under an employer-sponsored benefits plan will be considered taxable, similar to Life Insurance premiums.


The changes to group AD&D and CI will apply to contributions made by employers starting January 1, 2013.  However, if contributions made by an employer after March 28, 2012, and before 2013, relate to coverage provided after December 31, 2012, the contributions will be a taxable benefit and included in the employee's 2013 income. 


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.   

EI Maximum Increased Effective January 1, 2013    
The Employment Insurance maximum insurable earnings and weekly maximum benefit have been increased as of January 1, 2013.

Maximum insurable earnings will increase to $47,400 per year.  Accordingly, the new maximum EI benefit amount will be $501 per week.

Short Term Disability plans that have a maximum set at the EI maximum will automatically increase effective January 1, 2013.

If your STD maximum is less than $501/week, this must be increased to maintain eligibility with the EI Reduction Program.  Montridge will contact you ASAP should your plan need to be amended.


Great-West Life - Quarterly Updates   

Welcome Plan Rates Decrease for 2013

Individuals who have recently moved or returned to Canada, and are in the waiting period for their MSP coverage, can apply for GWL's Welcome Plan, which provides temporary MSP replacement coverage.

They are happy to announce that rates for the program will be decreasing effective January 1, 2013 by 10 per cent.  The new rates will automatically be applied to existing program members. 

New Claim Submission Requirements for Orthopedic Shoes & Custom-Made Orthotics

Effective February 1, 2013, GWL plan members will have new claim submission requirements for orthopedic shoes and custom-made foot orthotics.

There is no change in coverage, however, stricter rules will be imposed as to what documentation must accompany these types of claims. For the most part, it will affect the provider more than the employee. 

GWL has prepared a memo to plan members concerning these new guidelines.  If you have not received a copy, please contact our office to obtain one.

Manulife - Quarterly Updates   

Stability Clause Introduced for Out of Country & Emergency Travel Assistance Plans

Effective December 1, Manulife members will have a 90-day stability clause for pre-existing conditions included as part of their policy.  This means that coverage will be provided for pre-existing conditions while travelling, so long as the member has not been under treatment/examination for new symptoms, experienced a worsening of the condition, or been prescribed treatment changes within 90 days before the start of his/her trip.  Specific contract and booklet wording can (and should) be accessed online via the Manulife plan member website.

Coordination of Benefits Reminder  


Manulife is reminding plan administrators of the importance of updating coordination of benefits (COB) information for their employees.  Ensuring that this information is correct on system can be a cost-saving measure, in addition to ensuring that claims are paid correctly under the appropriate plan.  If you have questions on COB, don't hesitate to contact us.



Introduction of New Paramedical Practitioners 


In addition to existing paramedical practitioners (massage therapists, acupuncturists, chiropractors, etc.), plan sponsors now have the option of adding an extra paramedical bundle to their current group benefits plan.  These new practitioners include: athletic therapists, social workers, chiropodists, dieticians and audiologists. 

Should you wish to obtain a quote for adding these services to your benefit plan, contact your Montridge advisor.  
Sun Life - Quarterly Updates   

Claim Notification Process to Improve

In response to recent feedback from plan members, Sun Life is striving to improve their claim notification process.  New notification emails will be sent out to inform plan members of the status of claims as they are being handled (ie claim received, claim processed, web audit, etc.).

In 2013, these emails will be enhanced further by providing plan members with tools and resources to help educate them on the benefits of using and claiming online. 
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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.