Doesn’t it seem like a million years ago since we would sit across the table from each other without concern? How about blowing the candles out on a cake, hugging, shaking hands??? Will we ever do that again without a moment of concern???
Even though our world is opening up, Insurance Companies are continuing to offer reduced rates for Extended Health and Dental premiums. The following is a list of companies that have contacted us to let us know what the reduction will be for the month of June, 2020.
Updated premium reduction for dental and extended health benefits: June 18, 2020
These continue to be extremely challenging times for Canadians. This is particularly true for small and medium-sized businesses who are facing immense pressures.
Please be advised that we are modifying the dental benefit premium reduction for the month of June as dental offices begin to resume operations across the country.
While many extended health care providers continue to be closed, some virtual services are available and the reduction in extended health benefit claims continues to be less significant. As a result, we will not apply any premium reduction to extended health benefits for the month of June.
Premium reduction details for June
● 25% reduction on June’s dental benefit premium
● No reduction for extended health benefit premium
● The June premium reduction for dental benefits will be automatically applied as a credit on the August premium billing statement. The group policy needs to be in-force on August 1st for the premium credit to be applied. For greater clarity, the premium reduction can only be refunded via a credit applied on premiums owed under a group policy. The premium reduction will be administered in accordance with Empire Life’s rules.
● Plan members remain fully covered for their dental benefit in accordance with the terms of their plan.
● We will continue to review claims activity in July, as well as by region, and make a determination on premium reductions for future months.
● Premium credit is not reflected in “Billed Premium” reports available on our Group Plan Advisor site
● The premium credit does not apply to any benefits on an Administrative Services Only basis.
With the ongoing global impact of COVID-19, we want to assure you that Benefits by Design (BBD) Inc. is doing our part to help working Canadians through this challenging time.
Throughout June, we expect to see a below normal volume on dental claims. Therefore, we’re extending the premium credits for one more month.
Non-refund (in other words, insured) Benepac® clients will receive a 50% dental premium credit for June. The credits for June will appear on July invoices.
COVID-19 Update: Extension of premium credits for Health & Dental
With the impacts of COVID-19 continuing to evolve, we are closely monitoring the provincial re-opening strategies as dentists and paramedical practitioners resume providing regularly scheduled care. As provinces and territories have begun lifting restrictions, we are seeing health and dental claims remaining below normal levels across Canada due to the physical distancing and sanitation measures required to ensure patient and practitioner safety. With this in mind, we have extended premium credits for plan members’ dental and extended health care benefits to include the month of June.
In addition to the April and May premium credits we announced on April 20, based on emerging claims experience, we will apply a premium credit for June as follows:
- 25% of clients’ dental premium for June will be automatically credited to their July bill
- 5% of clients’ overall health premium for June will be automatically credited to their July bill.
There is no action you or your clients need to take. We will continue to re-assess this approach monthly.
What you need to know
- Premium credits apply to fully insured non-refund accounted plans
- This is a premium credit adjustment, not a premium rate change under the group policy. As such, future premiums and claims reports will continue to show dental and extended health care premiums on an unadjusted basis, making loss ratios for these benefits appear more favorable than the actual experience.
June premium reductions
Note: This GroupLine has new information concerning the handling of coverage during the COVID-19 pandemic under standard Canada Life contracts. The pandemic situation is changing rapidly, and so is the information, but past GroupLines can still be referenced. Coverages vary, so check your contract for coverages applicable under your plan.
Health and dental premium reduction updates
In April and May we announced some premium reductions to help with current challenges. We’re announcing some additional adjustments for June, which will appear on your July bill. These apply to non-refund dental, vision, and health care benefits.
- The dental premium adjustment for June will be 25% of premium.
- The health care and vision premium adjustment will be 5% of total health care premium (including drugs). Total health care premium includes: non-pooled health care, pooled health care, drugs, vision, and travel assistance (GMA).
For non-refund self-accounting cases including third-party payer (TPP) and third-party admin (TPA) you can use the above to calculate the reduction and indicate clearly on your next premium remittance.
Provinces are opening up or have opened their economies in phases. This means some providers have or will resume their services, perhaps in a limited fashion, depending on the type of service and provincial guidelines. We’ll monitor the situation to see how premium adjustments may apply in the future.
PlanDirect premium reductions
Individual health insurance plans like PlanDirect can help employees who’ve been laid off or in cases where the employee group benefits plan has discontinued. You can help those employees by directing them to your advisor or myinsuranceplan.ca to consider the option of individual health insurance.
We’re offering financial support to PlanDirect individual health customers in the form of premium reduction adjustments. Last month, an adjustment for April appeared on the May 15 premium withdrawal. This month, an adjustment for May will appear on the June 15 premium withdrawal. The specific reduction for May is based on the specific plan design chosen by each customer and will range from 8% to 36%. The reductions will be applied automatically.
Premium credits: update for June
On May 14, we let you know that we were extending the premium credit for your nonrefund Clients for the month of May. We’re happy to confirm that we will be applying another credit for the month of June.
As provinces have begun the re-opening process, we’re seeing a claims increase week-over-week for all practitioners. For this reason, the June premium credit will be lower than May’s to reflect this higher claims volume. The credit you will see for the month of June will be 25% of the Dental premium and 5% of the Extended Health Care premium.
The credit for the month of June will be applied on the August invoice. Our FAQ has more details on how they’re calculated and applied.
As always, we hope these premium credits provide your non-refund Clients with some relief during this time.
With the COVID-19 crisis continuing to bring difficult financial decisions for many Canadians, including small and medium-size businesses coast to coast, Green Shield Canada (GSC) remains committed to finding ways to reduce that burden while providing thoughtful insights on the evolving health care landscape.
Premium reductions still in place for June
For all standard GSC head office billed non-refund clients, we made a three-month commitment back in April to reduce premiums in light of the drop in claims volume. As a reminder, these GSC premium reductions – 75% on dental rates, and 20% on health rates, including vision but excluding drug – are still in effect for June bills, providing peace of mind amid so many unknowns.
From the start of this pandemic, a primary goal for GSC has been to remove the month-to-month uncertainty for our clients, and we hope that this cost relief has made a meaningful difference.
The drop in claims volume has also lowered costs for our clients with ASO funding arrangements.
Looking further ahead
The GSC team continues to actively monitor the latest COVID-19 updates to determine the organization’s position for July and beyond. Without doubt, the health and dental world is already shifting as a result of COVID-19. Our recent plan member survey revealed some of the priorities for post-pandemic life – among the takeaways, we saw increased confidence in virtual health offerings and a desire to have these offerings included in benefit plans moving forward.
GSC has been at the forefront of the digital health space for some time – and the timely options available to our plan members today enable them to consult a physician (via Maple), mental health professional (through BEACON), pharmacist (via PocketPills), or health coach virtually. Click here for a recap of the digital health services that GSC has promoted to plan members, as well as the evolving list of claim types we will accept when delivered remotely.
We are also watching closely to assess the impact on claims as some provinces re-open their economies, and are tracking several other emerging trends. Among those trends is the increased cost being considered by many provider types – including dentists and dental offices – to support personal protective equipment (PPE) and social distancing. Stay tuned for more updates as events unfold. Rest assured that we will bring forward a recommended approach that meets plan members’ needs while ensuring the affordability of our clients’ benefit plans.
Giving back to our communities
As a social enterprise, giving back is in GSC’s DNA, especially in challenging times like these. We continue to explore opportunities to help wherever we can, and we have already committed $500,000 to support communities across Canada impacted by the pandemic, including:
- Financial contributions to emergency relief funds launched by Community Foundations and other partners in Windsor, Toronto, Vancouver, Victoria, Calgary, Halifax, Moncton, London, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City, Kitchener-Waterloo, and Algoma
- In-kind support for innovative community efforts like the COVID-19 Community Response Coalition in Windsor-Essex, where GSC contact centre agents are helping to run an emergency food hotline
- Sponsorship for BEACON’s Stronger Minds, a no-cost digital program – launched on April 6 – which provides crucial mental health support for all Canadians
A one-stop shop for GSC’s COVID-19 updates
For ease of reference, you can find all GSC’s responses to frequently asked COVID-19 questions in our Support Centre – just click here and select the “Coronavirus (COVID-19)” tab.
Stay safe and healthy – and please don’t hesitate to contact your GSC account team if you have any questions.
If you would like to work with a broker who is informed, contact Glendinning Insurance Services at 250-764-0142.
we are your Trusted Advocates