Montridge Financial Group Ltd.


Montridge Edge Update

Keeping You Informed
In This Issue
The Benefits of an EAP
Acupuncture Regulations Change in Ontario
Great-West Life Updates
Manulife Updates
Sun Life Updates
Montridge on Facebook


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Issue 19April 2013
Mental Health in the Workplace:
What an EAP Can Do For Your Company

This year, National Employee Group Benefits Day, celebrated on April 2, focused on mental health in the workplace.  Though many would agree it's an important issue, it also used to be an intangible one to measure. 

This is changing in the face of more and more studies bringing attention to the matter.  For example, it has been shown that unaddressed mental health issues in the workplace can have a substantial economic impact in Canada, ranging from $14 billion to $50 billion per year. 

The recently released National Standard of Canada on Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace, co-funded by Great-West Life, revealed that in 2012, mental health related claims were by far the number one cause of long-term disability claims for GWL plan sponsors.  Over a quarter of LTD claims were mental health related, and a further 13% of drug claims were related to mental illness.  Of course, this is not to mention expenses such as absenteeism and effect on productivity.

So what can you do as a plan sponsor?

An Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a great place to start. 

EAP's offer a range of services, from in-person counselling, telephone counselling, and countless online tutorials and testimonials. 

Many programs also include services like financial and legal counselling, smoking cessation programs, and diet and nutrition assistance.  Additionally, there are resources which help to address challenges of today's workforce: the sandwich generation caring for older parents and younger children, and generational differences in the workplace. 
At just dollars per employee per month, the benefits of an EAP are vast and long-lasting. 

We would love to talk to you about implementing an EAP for your employees.  Contact your Montridge advisor today!

Ontario Plan Members:
Changes to Acupuncture Regulations      
Effective April 1, 2013, employees making use of Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture services need to be aware of new regulations governing this process. 

Those receiving these treatments should check to ensure their practitioner is qualified and registered with the province through the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of Ontario.  Claims from unregistered practitioners will be declined.   


Benefits by Design - Quarterly Updates     
E-Invoices Implemented

Effective August 2013, BBD will no longer printing and mailing paper invoices.  Groups currently on a Pre-Authorized Debit (PAD) agreement will receive an email notification that their billing statement is available online.

Groups not on a PAD will continue to receive a paper invoice until August 2013, however, plan administrators will receive login information from BBD on how to access their billing statement after August 2013. 

If you have not received login information, or have questions on how this will affect your monthly billing statements, contact Natasha or Kathy in the Montridge office for more information.

Community Giving Program
Do you support or wish to start a program which furthers the objective of enabling access to health and social support services for the most vulnerable in your community? 

The Green Shield Canada Community Giving Program could be your answer.  Applications are welcomed and reviewed on an ongoing basis.  More information can be found on the Green Shield Canada website, under "Who We Are" / "Giving". 


Great-West Life - Quarterly Updates   

Changes Coming to Member eClaims

In an effort to prevent fraud and misuse of benefits, GWL is making changes to online monetary claim limits, as well as to the eligibility period to submit claims online.  These changes do not impact paper claim submission limits. 

Effective April 12, 2013, the online claims limits will be as follows:

Daily limit: $1,000
Weekly limit: $1,500
Monthly limit: $2,500

Additionally, plan members will only be allowed to submit a claim online up to 6 months past the service date (the previous limit was 24 months). 

If a plan member exceeds the monetary limit or is past the 6-month period, they will be asked to submit a paper claim.

Dental Pre-Determinations Update

To align with industry standards, effective March 1, 2013, dental pre-determinations will only be sent to the employee directly.  Previously, two copies were sent: one to the dental office and one to the employee.

Not only will this have an environmental impact, but it will also promote cost containment by engaging plan members in making decisions about how they use their dental coverage as well as determining the next steps for treatment.   

Manulife - Quarterly Updates   

Paper Wallet Cards Discontinued for Pay-Direct Drug Card Plan Members

New and existing small and mid-sized group plan members with a pay-direct drug card will no longer receive a paper wallet card.

Manulife has integrated all policy information, as well as travel assistance information, onto one plastic pay-direct drug card, making the old paper cards repetitive and obsolete.

Groups that do not have a pay-direct drug card will not be affected, and will continue to receive the paper wallet cards.

Coordination of Benefits Enrolment Changes 


Manulife is reminding plan administrators of the importance of entering and updating coordination of benefits (COB) information for their employees. 


For paper and online enrolments, if an employee indicates that they have a spouse and/or children on the plan with them, but the COB information is left completely blank, Manulife will automatically default dependent coverage as "secondary," which could have a significant impact on the claims process. 

Therefore, it is important to enter in all COB information, or simply check "no" to the question of whether other coverage exists. 


Sun Life - Quarterly Updates   

Short-Term Disability Claim Assessment Summary

In response to recent feedback from plan administrators, Sun Life is happy to announce the launch of Short-Term Disability (STD) Claim Assessment Summaries.  These will replace the copy of the plan member letters which plan sponsors usually receive. 

The summaries will include more targeted information for plan sponsors, clear information on next actions, and reassurance of privacy information. Summaries will also be emailed directly to plan sponsors to assist in timeliness of claim notifications.   
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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.