Category: Extended Health

Communicating a Benefits Rate Increase to Employees

Many employer-paid employee benefit plans, where the employer pays 100% of employee benefit premiums, are transitioning to a cost-share arrangement with employees. Costs are increasing and it’s important that everyone is aware of what factors are driving costs to increase employee awareness and help change behavior. If your plan saw an increase at renewal, effectively […]

Alberta Introduction of New Pharmacare Plan

Alberta’s 2013 budget included a surprise announcement regarding a plan to introduce a new pharma-care model for the province by January 2014. New Alberta PharmaCare Model The new model will be based on the approach in B.C. and will likely include the following key design elements: income-based deductible and some form of co-pay; province is […]

Top 10 Employee Benefit Facts

The employee benefits industry is constantly changing and it’s important that Benefit Consultants and Brokers are kept current on what’s happening in the group insurance industry. Today,  the ENCOMPASS Team of Consultants attended an excellent education session hosted by Great-West Life – one of the many group insurance providers we work with. During this session, Great-West Life shared a […]

Biologic Drugs – The Changing Drug Landscape

Empire Life, one of the many Canadian Insurance Carriers ENCOMPASS works with, recently produced a well-researched and informative 8-minute video called The Changing Drug Landscape – Biologics: the high cost of breakthrough medicine. Did you know? Chronic Conditions Affect 2 of every 5 Canadians This number is growing as our population ages. With the growing use of […]

Save Money with Drug Cost Comparison Tool

As a independant employee benefits consulting and brokerage firm, ENCOMPASS works with all Canadian insurance carriers and are privy to seeing many FREE tools and resources available to the public. One worth mentioning is Pacific Blue Cross’ (PBC) drug cost comparison tool Pharmacy COMPASS. What does Pharmacy COMPASS do? Compare Prices – You can compare prices of brand […]

Lower Drug Prices in 2013

Currently, BC residents can purchase generic drugs for 35% of the cost for brand name drugs.  Effective April 1, 2013, that will become 25%, saving residents an additional 10%. The reduction in price is expected to provide savings to the Government that will help enhance patient care for seniors & families. Anticipated savings are $50 […]

What is Brand Drug Couponing?

Some brand drug manufacturers provide a discount allowing the pharmacist to dispense the brand drug but at generic pricing – resulting in (sometimes significant) cost saving. These Patient Assistance Drug Programs are becoming more common. As an example, SINGULAIR is a brand drug prescribed to prevent the symptoms of asthma and allergies and Lipitor treats Cholesterol […]

Commercial Insurance May Provide Employee Benefits Liability

If your business has a Commercial General Liability insurance (CGL) policy, you may have coverage and protection if you make an error or omission while administering your employee benefits plan. Being a Plan Administrator for your Employee Benefits Plan is a big responsibility – it’s more than just simple administration. If it’s not done correctly, […]

You and your Spouse Both Have Employee Benefits – How do we submit claims?

If you and your spouse both have group employee benefits through your employer(s), it is often confusing to decide how to handle this. Often times, one spouse waives health and dental coverage with their own employer’s plan knowing they have coverage with their spouses plan. However, many people don’t realize that you can ‘coordinate your benefits’ with […]

AD&D and Critical Illness Become Taxable Benefits Effective 2013

On March 29, 2012 the Federal Government announced that employer-paid premiums for Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D) and Critical Illness (CI) will become taxable benefits. Currently, the premiums paid by employers for AD&D and CI are non-taxable benefits to the employee. However, as of January 2013, premiums paid by the employer will be taxable to […]

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