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YXE Benefits Shares 2019 Buck Survey Indicating That Drug Claims Are Expected to Rise

YXE Benefits offers the simple, stable, smart group benefits choice for Saskatoon businesses; combining accessibility, flexibility and the stability of pooled benefits. Saskatoon companies choose the Chambers group plan because it offers unsurpassed value & outstanding customer service. The Chambers plan group benefits are for Saskatoon Chamber members.  In our latest post, we share the information from the recent Drug Claims Expected to Rise in 2019 Survey.

Prescription Drug Costs represent the majority of private Health Spend

YXE benefits SaskatoonBenefit plan sponsors can expect to see a three to five per cent increase in prescription drug claims in 2019, according to Buck’s annual Canadian health-care trend survey.

However, the survey noted, since insurance providers also add a market inflation factor, the projected increase is actually 10.99 per cent, down from 12.45 per cent in 2018. Based on 2018 claims trends, the survey found prescription drug costs represent the majority of private payer health spend and have the greatest influence on employer benefits cost trends.

“Our survey shows that although actual drug claims remain relatively stable, insurers continue to project a faster rate of increase due to market inflation.” Buck Survey 2019

Dental Benefits usage also on the riseDrug Claims Expected to Rise in 2019 Survey

It also found the use of dental services is on the rise, increased slightly over the past two years to 5.86 per cent in 2019. And while hospital inflation factors consistently reduced between 2015 and 2018, this trend reversed in 2019 with the insurer trend increasing to 10.03 per cent from 2.6 per cent in 2018. However, this cost represents a relatively small portion of plan spend.

“Insurance providers factor projected market inflation into the rate-setting calculation, and this has the potential to drive plan costs both higher and faster than the actual trend in health-care spending.”

Drug Claims Expected to Rise in 2019 SurveyMedical advances and other factors to influence health care costs

The survey noted medical advances, demographic trends and regulatory oversight will influence health-care costs over the next few years, so employers should consider how their plans will evolve to ensure employees are healthy and productive while keeping costs under control.

 “Medical, prescription drug and dental care coverage make up an important component of employees’ total compensation. To help contain costs, companies need to think creatively about how they can encourage a healthy lifestyle for employees and embrace medical advances in testing and treatment to achieve better health outcomes.”

We encourage you to connect with us on our Saskatoon social media platforms on Facebook, Twitter & Linkedin. 

Contact us today for a quote…. find out if you can benefit!

‘Join the Group- It’s Time To Benefit’
www.yxebenefits.ca

Importance of Critical Illness Insurance Explained by YXE Benefits Saskatoon

YXE Benefits offers the simple, stable, smart group benefits choice for Saskatoon businesses; combining accessibility, flexibility and the stability of pooled benefits. Saskatoon companies choose the Chambers group plan because it offers unsurpassed value & outstanding customer service. The Chambers plan group benefits are for Saskatoon Chamber members.  In our latest post, we discuss the benefits of having Critical Illness Insurance.

Critical Illness Insurance Coverage Helps You Recover

A critical illness can strike at any time, and it can happen to anyone, regardless of their age or gender. Although the incidence of cancer, heart disease, and stroke are rising in Canada, the odds of surviving a critical illness are better than ever. Thanks to medical advances.

But surviving a health crisis can often involve a number of financial challenges for which you were unprepared. Long Term Disability payments can help replace lost wages, but not the additional costs associated with surviving a critical illness. Expenses like time off work, travel to and from treatments, home modifications or assistance at home are now added on top of your normal living expenses. That’s where Critical Illness Insurance comes in.

Critical Illness InsuranceEase the financial pressures associated with a life-threatening illness

Critical Illness insurance is designed to ease the financial pressures associated with a life-threatening illness by paying a tax-free lump sum if you become seriously ill. As a result, you can devote 100% of your energy to recovery, without worrying about how your illness has affected you financially.

The Chambers of Commerce Group Insurance Critical Illness benefit can pay a lump sum of up to $50,000 for employees or spouses facing an initial diagnosis of one of twenty-five serious conditions including cancer, heart attack, Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, major burns, coma, speech loss, coronary bypass, stroke, kidney failure, paralysis, blindness and deafness. There are no restrictions for the money – it can be used however the member wishes.

Living with a critical illness can be a physically, emotionally, and financially trying period. The Chambers Plan Critical Illness benefit offers you simple, affordable protection, allowing you to concentrate on healing without worrying about your finances. So take a few moments to review your benefits plan, and make sure it’s offering the protection you deserve.

Saskatoon critical illness insurance

We encourage you to connect with us on our Saskatoon social media platforms on Facebook, Twitter & Linkedin. 

Contact us today for a quote…. find out if you can benefit!

‘Join the Group- It’s Time To Benefit’
www.yxebenefits.ca

Heard of Employee Assistance Program from Chambers Plan

YXE Benefits offers the simple, stable, smart group benefits choice for Saskatoon businesses; combining accessibility, flexibility and the stability of pooled benefits. Saskatoon companies choose the Chambers group plan because it offers unsurpassed value & outstanding customer service. The Chambers plan group benefits are for Saskatoon Chamber members.  In our latest post, we share information on Employee Assistance Program from The Chambers Plan.

Employee Assistance Program to the rescue

Employee Assistance PlanWhen life’s challenges make it difficult to concentrate on work, support for you and your employees is available through the Chambers of Commerce Group Insurance Plan Employee Assistance Program (EAP) – Arive®.

This confidential service provides access to professional counselling and guidance from experts who understand how coping with personal issues affects absenteeism and productivity on the job.

A good solution for businesses without internal HR support

The Chambers Plan Arive® Employee Assistance Program can complement any human resource department. It is also a good solution for businesses without internal HR support to help individuals deal with complex issues best resolved with the assistance of accredited professionals.

External one-on-one consultation is often financially out of reach for many employees; through the Chambers Plan Arive® EAP, you and your staff now have access to expert advisors and clinical assistance.

Professional Support for Individuals

Employee Assistance Program offers confidential, face-to-face counselling with a designated counselling professional, for employees experiencing personal problems, including:

  • Family challenges/Personal problems
  • Work-related difficulties
  • Addiction/Dependency concerns
  • Eldercare issues

Telephone consultation for Nutrition counselling

Also includes private telephone consultation for:

  • Legal issues
  • Financial struggles
  • Childcare information

Additional Support for Management

Management Guides and Bulletins: Guides and bulletins written by experts who understand the stresses and complexities of employee management on such topics as handling mental health issues in the workplace, holding better meetings, attracting and retaining great employees, dealing with addiction issues, bridging the generation gap, managing absenteeism, and more.

Critical Incident Stress Debriefing (CISD):In the event of an armed robbery, unexpected death of a co-worker, major occupational injury or other critical incidents – immediate help is available.

A counsellor will help you design communications, a support plan, and employee information sessions to best suit the situation. Intervention may be in-person or by telephone, as determined in the initial contact.

We encourage you to connect with us on our Saskatoon social media platforms on Facebook, Twitter & Linkedin. 

Contact us today for a quote…. find out if you can benefit!

‘Join the Group- It’s Time To Benefit’
www.yxebenefits.ca

YXE Benefits Saskatoon

Employee Benefits Fraud Case in Toronto Results in 150 Employees Terminated

YXE Benefits offers the simple, stable, smart group benefits choice for Saskatoon businesses; combining accessibility, flexibility and the stability of pooled benefits. Saskatoon companies choose the Chambers group plan because it offers unsurpassed value & outstanding customer service. The Chambers plan group benefits are for Saskatoon Chamber members.  In our latest post, we share a recent article posted regarding employee benefits fraud by The National Post: Toronto’s Baycrest hospital fires around 150 employees after uncovering multi-million dollar fraud.

Baycrest Hospital Fires 150 in Employee Benefits Fraud Case

In what could be one of the largest and longest-lasting benefits fraud schemes ever discovered in Canada, a Toronto geriatric hospital has dismissed approximately 150 employees for falsely claiming as much as $5 million in benefits over an eight-year period.

“It appears to be organized, It had to be done in such a way that it would escape at least detection by the benefits administrator… It’s a betrayal of trust.” said William Reichman, president and CEO of Baycrest Health Sciences.

As in previous scams of comparable sizes, such as the one discovered last year at the Toronto Transit Commission, this one involved misuse of prescription coverage for orthotics, knee braces, and compression stockings, but also physiotherapy.

Employee Benefits Fraud – It’s a betrayal of trust

Employee Benefits FraudBaycrest fired those employees who did not resign after a third-party internal investigation by an auditor. The investigation found that one employee had taken more than $100,000 and that several others had pocketed amounts in the $25,000 range.

The majority of those staff found to be involved were unionized. They span many job categories and include registered nurses, whose profession is regulated and licensed, such that misconduct must be reported to their college. They include personal support workers, housekeeping and cleaning staff. There are no physicians involved.

“No one profession is implicated here,” Reichman said.

No criminal charges have been filed, and none of the allegations made by Baycrest and its investigators have been proven in court. Baycrest spoke with police twice: first several months ago, then again in the last two weeks to update them on the conclusions of their internal probe.

The hospital administration “undertook to investigate this on their own,” said Det. Sgt. John Whitworth. His meetings with hospital administration were advisory, he said, and Baycrest has not formally engaged the police to investigate.

“If it involved public safety, we would take that decision out of their hands,” Whitworth said. But as it stands, he has not seen anything that demands police intervention, so the “ball was left in their court.”

“I anticipate that they will be back in touch with myself, but if they never call me back, we will never do anything with it.” Whitworth said.

Baycrest’s investigation found two main types of employee benefits fraud

In one, an employee would submit invoices for services they never received, such as physiotherapy, and pay a kickback to the provider. In another, an employee would accept unrelated products — purses, YXE benefits Saskatoonfor example, or shoes for athletics or fashion — with the provider pocketing the difference in price between those items and the prescribed medical device.

The hospital operates its own employee benefit plan from a pool funded 75 percent by the government of Ontario and 25 percent from employee premiums, so fraud against this system disadvantages both the public and the employee’s own colleagues. The plan is administered by Coughlin & Associates, based in Ottawa and Winnipeg.

Baycrest said consultants discovered the fraud several months ago when the hospital hired them to investigate a possible partnership with other hospitals in a network of approved providers. By looking at Baycrest’s providers, the consultant recognized some from other cases of benefits misuse involving orthotics, orthopedic shoes, compression stockings, and braces.

“That’s where we see the most misuse,” said Gordon Burke, president of Orion Audit Ltd., the company that conducted the investigation. This area of medical supply is “highly unregulated.”

About 150 employees summoned to meetings at Baycrest

The roughly 150 employees had been summoned to meetings at Baycrest Wednesday where they were told of their fates. Private security patrolled the campus as fired employees were escorted into taxis or given a few minutes to get their car and return their parking pass. By the end of the day, all those who had not already proactively resigned were terminated for violating the hospital’s code of conduct and the trust of its administration.

Baycrest hospital fires around 150 employeesOne of the employees fired Wednesday, who was in the higher range of misused benefits and agreed to share the formal dismissal letter with the National Post on the condition they not be named, said the scam was promoted by “co-workers.”

The employee said they went to a chiropractor, received invoices to submit, then kicked back cash to various people at the chiropractor’s office. The kickback ratio was different for different employees. The employee did this for three years and had already stopped after discussion with their spouse by the time the chiropractor closed a couple of years ago.

The letter reports the hospital’s findings that “you, and/or members of your immediate family, have committed multiple acts constituting fraud and/or theft… You deliberately and intentionally engaged in dishonest and unethical behaviour. For this reason, you have irreparably damaged our trust in you.”

No one profession is implicated here

This “willful misconduct” is “grossly inappropriate in any work environment,” the letter reads.

“Not everybody is taking advantage,” said another of the fired employees, a woman who was dismissed after 15 years working in hospitality. She said Baycrest was treating her unfairly by not giving her a second chance and an opportunity to pay back the money in question. She said she learned of the scheme from a co-worker and began claiming for physiotherapy she did not receive in 2012 but stoppedBaycrest hospital fires around 150 employees two years later.

She said she knew it was against policy, but given that she was paying more each month into a health benefits plan than she was actually using, she felt she deserved it.

“That’s why people do things,” she said.

Some of the schemes could have involved the innocent participation of medical device retailers, Reichman said. Some schemes necessarily involved unscrupulous behaviour by retailers, such as taking kickbacks or offering non-medical consumer goods instead of prescribed devices. But Baycrest’s investigation encompassed only its own employees and made no conclusions about providers.

The date range of eight years reflects only available records, Reichman said, so in theory, the fraud could have been going on for longer.

It’s against our values

“It’s against our values,” said Reichman. “Honesty is an important character trait that you look for in people who are entrusted to take care of other people.”

“I’m very disappointed. I walk by those staff every day in the parking lot and the halls of this place,” he said.

health benefits for employees SaskatoonThis huge instantaneous reduction in staffing levels — some 150 of the hospital’s roughly 1800 employees — was a potential crisis for the hospital, which has been planning the mass dismissal for weeks.

Some new staff have been hired, part-timers have been urged to take on more hours, staffing agencies have been hired and other contingency plans put in place.

With a total loss between $4- and $5-million, according to Reichman, plus the costs of investigation, the Baycrest scheme might be even larger in financial terms than the massive Toronto Transit Commission fraud, in which more than 200 people were fired in 2018 in a scheme that bilked the transit service of as much as $5 million.

That case, in which employees took cash kickbacks from an orthotics provider after submitting fraudulent invoices, led to criminal charges against ten people, of which one was withdrawn and nine resolved with guilty pleas.

In 2017, Toronto’s St. Michael’s Hospital fired 31 people in a similar fraud that totalled about $200,000.

Those cases have driven a new interest among employers in the law around benefits fraud, said Ryan Conlin, an expert in employment law and a partner at Stringer LLP.

I walk by those staff every day in the parking lot and the halls of this place

“Any time you enter into a situation where you accuse an employee of fraud, you better be sure you can prove it,” he said. Even with documentary proof, an employer can be in for a fight, he said, as indicated by the TTC case where there have been arguments about the degree to which benefits misuse was officially tolerated.

“Usually there’s one person coordinating it. These schemes have a certain degree of sophistication to them.” Conlin said.

People in credentialed professions are willing to participate

Typically, a group of criminals know people in credentialed professions who are willing to participate in these schemes in exchange for cash, said Gary Askin, a former Waterloo Region police officer and Saskatoon employee benefitsnow assistant vice president, fraud risk management at Sun Life, a large insurance provider. They seek out generous benefit plans and often have a “predatory” recruiter among staff who can help employees rationalize the fraud. Basically, this is a con, he said, and when it goes bust, the providers are holding cash, and the paper trail points to the employee.

He said the industry has to look at more tools such as delisting unscrupulous providers, civil action and contacting Canada Revenue. He said there is also a push for new provincial offences to levy fines on providers, without burdening the police.

Michel Quenneville, president of Coughlin & Associates, Baycrest’s benefits administrator, said his company has “rigorous standards and protocols in place to defend against and detect such activities. This situation has only served to reinforce our commitment to vigilance and an ongoing process of continuous improvement. A number of measures have been implemented to further guard against similar misuse.”

Baycrest would not say the degree to which it discovered the scheme’s leadership, other than to say the whole thing was “organized.”

“It wasn’t known to us and it wasn’t known to our benefits administrator,” Reichman said.

We encourage you to connect with us on our Saskatoon social media platforms on Facebook, Twitter & Linkedin. 

Contact us today for a quote…. find out if you can benefit!

‘Join the Group- It’s Time To Benefit’
www.yxebenefits.ca

YXE Benefits Plan

2019 National Cannabis Survey Shared By YXE Benefits Team

YXE Benefits offers the simple, stable, smart group benefits choice for Saskatoon businesses; combining accessibility, flexibility and the stability of pooled benefits. Saskatoon companies choose the Chambers group plan because it offers unsurpassed value & outstanding customer service. The Chambers plan group benefits are for Saskatoon Chamber members.  In our latest post, we share the information from the recent Stat Can Government 2019 National Cannabis Survey.

2019 National Cannabis Survey

About 5.3 million or 18% of Canadians aged 15 years and older reported using cannabis in the last three months. This was higher than the 14% who reported using just one year earlier, before legalization.

The increase in cannabis use between the first quarters of 2018 and 2019 can be partly explained by greater use among males and people aged 45 to 64. For example, rates of cannabis consumption for males increased from 16% to 22% over this period, while rates rose from 9% to 14% for persons aged 45 to 64.

Levels of consumption remained stable for females, at 13%, and were unchanged for persons in the other age groups (such as young people under 25 and seniors).

At the provincial level, there was minimal change in rates of cannabis consumption between the first quarters of 2018 and 2019, with the exception of Ontario where prevalence increased from 14% to 20%.

The National Cannabis Survey (NCS), which was designed to monitor cannabis consumption and related behaviours before and after legalization, has collected data every three months since February 2018.

National Cannabis Survey 2019’s release features the first Canada-wide results entirely in the post-legalization period, including changes in consumption and sources of cannabis, as well as beliefs about when it is safe to drive after using.

Number of new Canadian cannabis users increasing

2019 National Cannabis Survey National Cannabis Survey 2019 posits more Canadians began to use cannabis in the first quarter of 2019. Some of these new cannabis consumers were first-time users, while others were former cannabis users who tried cannabis again post-legalization.

During the first quarter, 646,000 cannabis users reported trying cannabis for the very first time in the past three months. This number of first-time users was nearly double the corresponding estimate of 327,000 people one year earlier, when non-medical cannabis use was not yet legal.

Results suggest that first-time users in the post-legalization period are older. Half of new users were aged 45 or older, while in the same period in 2018, this age group represented about one-third of new users.

Males and young Canadians remain more likely to consume cannabis

While early indications suggest an increase in cannabis use in the period immediately following legalization, many other aspects of cannabis use appear to be unchanged. For example, cannabis use continued to be higher among males (22%) than females (13%). Use also remained more common among 15- to 24-year-olds (30%) than among people aged 25 and older (16%).

More cannabis users report obtaining cannabis from legal sources; fewer from illegal sources

According to the 2019 National Cannabis Survey, initial data indicate that Canadians are changing the source from which they obtain cannabis. In the first three months of 2019, a greater proportion of users reported obtaining cannabis from legal sources compared with the first quarter of 2018.

An estimated 47% of cannabis users or 2.5 million Canadians obtained cannabis from legal sources in the first three months of 2019, compared with 23% or 954,000 people over the same period in 2018, when non-medical cannabis use was not yet legal. Examples of legal sources of cannabis include authorized retailers and online licensed producers.

Fewer users obtained cannabis from illegal sources

Fewer users reported obtaining cannabis from illegal sources (such as a dealer) in the first three months of 2019 (38%) compared with the first quarter of 2018 (51%). A similar decrease was noted for the proportion of reporting friends or family as a source (47% to 37%).

Some users obtained cannabis from multiple sources, which could have included both legal and illegal sources. During the first quarter of 2019, obtaining cannabis from multiple types of sources was more common among daily or almost daily users (33%) than among those who used occasionally (once or twice) (14%).

Results also indicate that cannabis consumers who began using in the past three months were less likely to obtain cannabis from an illegal source (23%) compared with other users (40%).

Daily or almost daily cannabis use remains unchanged, while weekly and occasional use increases

Current cannabis consumption, regardless of frequency of use, is one of several indicators which can be used to monitor changes in cannabis use behaviours over time.

Higher frequency cannabis use, typically defined as daily or almost daily consumption, is often regarded as a more informative indicator of the impact of legalization, due to its association with the risk of addiction, poor mental health, and lower academic achievement.

After legalization, 6% of Canadians aged 15 and older or nearly 1.8 million people reported using cannabis on a daily or almost daily basis. Another 4% reported using weekly, 2% monthly and 6% just National Cannabis Survey 2019 once or twice in the last three months.

Comparisons with the first quarter of 2018 (pre-legalization) suggest daily and monthly use remained stable, whereas weekly use increased (from 2% to 4%), as did occasional use (from 4% to 6%).

Ongoing monitoring will be required to determine whether changes (or alternatively, stability) in user status observed in the period immediately following the implementation of the Cannabis Act are temporary (and related to a desire to try a previously illegal substance) or the beginning of longer-term trends.

National Cannabis Survey 2019 shows patterns of consumption varied by both age and gender

Daily or almost daily cannabis consumption was more common among 15-to-24-year-old Canadians (10%) than among those aged 25 and older (6%). Males were more likely than females to be daily or almost daily users (8% versus 5%). These estimates remained unchanged from the first quarter of 2018 for both gender and age groups.

While many of the harms associated with cannabis pertain to daily or almost daily consumption, less frequent users can still engage in risky behaviour such as consuming cannabis and getting behind the wheel of a motor vehicle.

Almost half of Canadians believe people should wait at least three hours to drive after using cannabis

Safety concerns remain about whether legalization of cannabis will increase incidents of cannabis-impaired driving. The main source of information on drug-impaired driving comes from official police-reported statistics.

While the NCS does not directly measure impaired driving, questions about perceptions and behaviours related to driving after cannabis use have been included in the survey to provide a fuller statistical picture of this phenomenon.

Nearly half (49%) of Canadians think that an individual should wait at least three hours before operating a motor vehicle after using cannabis. A relatively small share of the population (6%) believe that it is safe to do so within three hours. The remainder of Canadians (45%) think that other factors, such as a person’s weight or the method of consumption, determine when it is safe to drive after using.

Beliefs about when it is safe to drive after consuming differed by gender and the person’s cannabis use experience. By a slim margin, males (7%) were more likely than females (5%) to think that it was safe to drive within three hours of consuming cannabis.

In addition, daily and almost daily cannabis consumers were more than twice as likely as other Canadians to believe that it was safe to drive within three hours of consuming. About 18% of daily users reported this belief, while the same was true for 7% of other current users, 5% of former users, and 4% for those who have never consumed cannabis.

influence of cannabisBeliefs about when it is safe to drive after consuming cannabis are reflected in behaviour

Overall, 15% of cannabis users with a valid driver’s license reported driving within two hours of consuming cannabis. This is according to combined data from the fourth quarter of 2018 and the first quarter of 2019. This was unchanged from the first half of 2018.

Perceptions of when it is safe to drive were linked to the likelihood of driving within two hours of consuming cannabis. Among cannabis consumers who felt it was safe to drive soon after using, 36% drove within two hours. Driving soon after cannabis consumption was far less common among those who believed driving is only safe after three hours (2%).

Driving within two hours of cannabis use was also less prevalent among those who believed that other factors, such as weight and mode of consumption, should be considered in determining the capacity to drive (19%).

An estimated 4% of (or 1.1 million) Canadians aged 15 years and older reported being a passenger in a vehicle operated by a driver who had consumed cannabis within two hours.

Similar to operating a motor vehicle, getting into a vehicle with a driver who had consumed cannabis was more common among those who felt it was safe to drive within three hours of consuming cannabis (20%), compared with those who felt that at least three hours should pass (2%) or that other factors were relevant (7%).

Risk-taking behaviours are often related. Results show that 57% of people who had driven a vehicle within two hours of using cannabis also reported being passengers in vehicles operated by drivers who had consumed within two hours.

For the first time, it is possible to look at the co-use of alcohol with cannabis. Consuming both substances is considered to be a particularly risky combination while operating a motor vehicle. Close to 20% of those who reported driving after consuming cannabis indicated that they had also consumed alcohol. This represents about 123,000 people or 3% of cannabis users with a valid driver’s license.

More than half a million workers reported using cannabis before heading to work or while on the job

In addition to operating a motor vehicle soon after consuming cannabis, the risk of harms associated with use may be present in the workplace. An estimated 13% (about 514,000) of Canadian workers who are current cannabis users consumed cannabis before or during work. This is based on combined data from the fourth quarter of 2018 and the first quarter of 2019.

While the likelihood of engaging in this potentially dangerous behaviour did not differ by age or gender, it did vary by cannabis use frequency. Over one-quarter (27%) of daily or almost daily consumers reported using before or while at work, compared with 7% of other cannabis consumers.

We encourage you to connect with us on our Saskatoon social media platforms on Facebook, Twitter & Linkedin. 

Contact us today for a quote…. find out if you can benefit!

‘Join the Group- It’s Time To Benefit’
www.yxebenefits.ca

YXE Benefits Sheds Light On Saskatoon Critical Illness Insurance

YXE Benefits offers the simple, stable, smart group benefits choice for Saskatoon businesses; combining accessibility, flexibility and the stability of pooled benefits. Saskatoon companies choose the Chambers group plan because it offers unsurpassed value & outstanding customer service. The Chambers plan group benefits are for Saskatoon Chamber members.  In our latest post, we discuss the importance and benefits of having Saskatoon critical illness insurance.

Saskatoon Critical Illness Insurance.

If one of your employees became seriously ill and was unable to work, what would their family do?

These circumstances would be stressful for anyone; the last thing they would want is to be simultaneously burdened by financial strain. Critical Illness insurance can help meet the financial demands that often accompany a major illness or injury. Employees will have peace of mind knowing that in the event of a life-threatening health change, they will be able to afford medical costs, basic living expenses, or anything else for which they choose to use the funds.

 

Critical Illness insurance benefits are paid in addition to other benefit plan coverage and, unlike disability insurance, are paid regardless of income or ability to work

What if you had a serious illness?

When you recovered from the physical effects, could you recover from the financial impact?

Medical advances mean people routinely live through conditions we previously thought of as life-threatening. But that health crisis can involve on-going expenses not covered by disability or health benefits.

Critical Illness insurance helps you meet the financial demands that often accompany a significant health change, including:

  • medical costs not covered by your government or private health insurance,
  • transportation to treatment,
  • the cost of personal or dependent care,
  • convalescence, or any other debts or expenses you face.

Chambers Plan Critical Illness insurance requires no medical evidence, and pays a lump sum benefit of up to $50,000 following diagnosis and survival of any of the following illnesses/ conditions:

Alzheimer’s • Aortic Surgery • Aplastic Anemia • Bacterial Meningitis • Benign Brain Tumour • Blindness • Burns • Cancer • Coma • Coronary Bypass • Deafness • Heart Attack (Myocardial Infarction) • Heart Valve Replacement • Kidney (Renal) Failure • Loss of Independent Existence • Loss of Limbs • Loss of Speech • Major Organ Failure on Waiting List • Major Organ Transplant • Motor Neuron Disease • Multiple Sclerosis • Occupational HIV • Paralysis • Parkinson’s Disease • Stroke

You don’t need money worries when you’re sick!

Let our Critical Illness benefit provide financial assistance to help ease the burden a serious condition or illness can bring.Saskatoon critical illness insurance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We encourage you to connect with us on our Saskatoon social media platforms on Facebook, Twitter & Linkedin. 

Contact us today for a quote…. find out if you can benefit!

‘Join the Group- It’s Time To Benefit’
www.yxebenefits.ca

YXE Benefits Facts- Saskatoon Group Dental Benefits

YXE Benefits offers the simple, stable, smart choice for Saskatoon businesses; combining accessibility, flexibility and the stability of pooled benefits. Saskatoon companies choose the Chambers group plan because it offers unsurpassed value & outstanding customer service. The Chambers plan group benefits are for Saskatoon Chamber members.  In our latest post, we discuss Saskatoon Group Dental Benefits.

Saskatoon Group Dental Benefits -It’s A Mouthful

Saskatoon Group Dental Benefits Dentists are known for protecting our teeth and gums from dental disease, but did you know they can also save your life?

In addition to inspecting your mouth for cavities, dentists use checkups to screen for several different health issues by spotting symptoms that could indicate serious medical problems elsewhere in the body. It’s often during this routine check dentists discover signs of a problem in the form of colour variations, small sores, and changes in saliva. Just by looking in your mouth dentists can identify signs of cancer, leukemia, lymphoma, Crohn’s disease, diabetes, skin diseases, autoimmune diseases and more.

Your oral health can also have an effect on your overall health. Dentists identify, prevent, and treat gum disease, which can have a significant effect on the rest of your body. Studies have shown gum disease can heighten the risk of heart disease, strokes, and pneumonia. Visiting your dentist every six months is a key component of maintaining good oral and overall health, but it can be expensive if you don’t have the proper dental coverage.

The Chambers of Commerce Group Insurance Plan offers a wide range of dental options, designed to meet a variety of budgets and employee expectations. Basic coverage includes such things as check-ups, cleanings and x-rays; while more comprehensive coverage includes services like crowns, dentures and orthodontic services. So take a few moments and make sure your dental plan is up-to-date. A regular visit to the dentist will not only help you to maintain a healthy smile but a healthy body as well!

We encourage you to connect with us on our Saskatoon social media platforms on Facebook, Twitter & Linkedin. 

Contact us today for a quote…. find out if you can benefit!

‘Join the Group- It’s Time To Benefit’
www.yxebenefits.ca

Exploring the impact of cannabis on the workplace in 2019

YXE Benefits offers the simple, stable, smart choice for Saskatoon businesses; combining accessibility, flexibility and the stability of pooled benefits. Saskatoon companies choose the Chambers group plan because it offers unsurpassed value & outstanding customer service. The Chambers plan group benefits are for Chamber members.  In our latest post, we share a Globe & Mail Article that explored the impact of cannabis on the workplace in 2019.

Wondering about the impact of cannabis on the workplace in 2019?

The Conference Board of Canada and The Globe and Mail  partnered to explore the relationship between career success and cannabis use. Employers and employees (both recreational and medical cannabis users, as well as non-cannabis users) have been  invited to participate in this study. The data from these surveys will be aggregated and used to conduct analysis and create a report that will be presented Oct. 15, 2019 at a conference at The Globe and Mail Centre in Toronto.

What is the impact of cannabis on the workplace?

Canada’s legalization of recreational cannabis has created some unknowns for the country’s workplaces, such as whether more employees are at risk for coming to work impaired or becoming impaired while at work. Employers also don’t yet have enough data to suggest whether recreational cannabis will have any negative or positive impacts on employee health, engagement and productivity.

Assuming there will be no negative impact may be naïve. But assuming there will be a major negative impact – or no potential positive outcomes – would also not be accurate.

The supply of legal recreational cannabis is not keeping up with demand, and with edible cannabis products expected to be made available later this year, recreational cannabis could be in short supply until 2022. It appears Canadians are more interested in cannabis than originally expected.

 

In anticipation of the Cannabis Act coming into effect, each employer had to decide what they would do to prepare for the new era of legal recreational cannabis and the degree of risk it might create. Preparations included updating substance use and smoke-free policies; training managers on how to detect and deal with substance-induced impairment; and educating employees on what fit-for-duty means – which is ensuring you are never impaired during work hours.

Along with making the use of recreational cannabis legal, the Cannabis Act has drawn more attention, resources and investment to medical cannabis. An employee needs authorization from a medical doctor to be eligible for a workplace medical accommodation or to be covered under a benefits plan. Many employers, who have yet to cover medical cannabis under their benefits plans, are now considering the pros and cons of doing so. If medical cannabis helps more employees deal with a medical condition, reduce pain, come to work feeling better, thrive in their roles, and support their career confidence, more employers may look favourably to adding it to benefits plans.

It’s unclear what, if any, benefit medical cannabis is having on employees and whether it’s positively impacting their workplace experience. Also in question is whether these employees will be able to go to work each day and perform to a standard that meets their own and their employer’s needs.

The next few years will likely see more research and legal rulings that will define how employers and employees think about recreational and medical cannabis. Numerous legal challenges may be launched around when employers can test for cannabis, what employees can do on their time off work with respect to recreational cannabis, and what roles are allowed accommodation for medical cannabis.

Among the unknowns is whether recreational and medical cannabis use will positively or negatively impact work force productivity.

Career confidence and cannabis study

To answer these questions, The Conference Board of Canada and The Globe and Mail are partnering to explore the relationships between career confidence and cannabis use.

Career confidence refers to how employees believe their role is on track to meet their career expectations and goals. Employees’ career confidence is influenced by their own and their employers’ behaviours.

Most employers know that attracting and retaining top talent requires paying attention to employees’ experience with their career satisfaction. For employees to thrive in their roles, employers need to create a safe workplace.

Career success is dependent on employees coming to work healthy, being engaged and productive, and feeling safe.

This study will help us understand what role, if any, cannabis has on supporting or inhibiting career success (for example, an employee coming to work impaired due to cannabis would be a negative; an employee being able to come to work pain free thanks to cannabis would be a positive).

As part of the study, employees and employers are invited to participate in separate surveys over the next several months.

Survey of Employees – This survey is for all employees, whether they are recreational or medical cannabis users or non-users. This anonymous survey will explore career confidence and perceptions of how employers are managing cannabis in the workplace.

Employees interested in taking the survey can click on this link.

Survey of Employers – This survey will explore employers’ actions to support employees’ career confidence and to manage recreational and medical cannabis in the workplace. It is intended for human resources and occupational health and safety leaders, and senior managers and business owners whose roles influence programs and policies that impact employees’ workplace experience.

Employers interested in taking the survey can click on this link.

Upon completion of each survey, a report will provide insights based on the participant’s responses. In addition, employers will be provided access to the final research report’s findings; employees will be offered a free e-book that aims to help build their career confidence.

This research is aiming to uncover the kinds of relationships that can be found between employers’ and employees’ behaviours around career confidence, cannabis, health, safety and productivity.

Results of this study will be released Oct. 15 at The Globe and Mail Centre in Toronto at a conference that will highlight what’s been learned since recreational cannabis was legalized in October, 2018.

This is the first in a series of articles designed to provide employees and employers information on recreational and medical cannabis, and to increase the level of awareness and education on this topic.

Bill Howatt is the chief of research for work force productivity at the Conference Board of Canada.

We encourage you to connect with us on our Saskatoon social media platforms on Facebook, Twitter & Linkedin. 

Contact us today for a quote…. find out if you can benefit!

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www.yxebenefits.ca

Health Insurance Benefits and Taxation

YXE Benefits offers the simple, stable, smart choice for Saskatoon businesses; combining accessibility, flexibility and the stability of pooled benefits. Saskatoon companies choose the Chambers group plan because it offers unsurpassed value & outstanding customer service. The Chambers plan group benefits are for Chamber members.  In our latest post, we discuss health insurance benefits and taxation.

Health Insurance Benefits and Taxation

When you get your T4 slip in January or February, you may wonder why the employment income reported in Box 14 is higher than the salary or wages you earned for the year. That’s because your employer must report premiums it pays for certain group benefits and the value of some perks as a taxable benefit, and you must pay taxes on those amounts.

In addition, both you and your employer have to make Canada Pension Plan contributions on the value of all taxable benefits plus Employment Insurance contributions on taxable benefits you receive in cash.

Here is how the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) treats employee benefits for tax purposes:

1. Group life/health premiums

Employer-paid premiums for group life insurance, dependent life insurance, accident insurance and critical illness insurance are taxable benefits and the amounts paid on your behalf will be added to your taxable income. You may also be able to claim health insurance premiums you paid as a tax credit.

2. Group short- or long-term disability

Employer-paid short-term disability (STD) or long-term disability (LTD) premiums are not taxable benefits. However, when your employer pays any amount towards your STD or LTD coverage, any benefits you may collect in future will be taxable.

3. Pension plan/Group Registered Retirement Savings Plan

Your employer’s contributions to a registered pension plan on your behalf are not taxable. However, when your employer contributes to or matches your group RRSP contributions, this amount is viewed as taxable earnings that increase your income. If you notify your employer that you have sufficient RRSP contribution room, your employer may deposit the full amount into your RRSP account without any withholding tax being deducted. And as long as you have RRSP contribution room, you can deduct the total amount contributed to your RRSP in the year of contribution or a future year. Be aware, however, that your employer’s contribution to your pension reduces your RRSP contribution room the following year, via the “pension adjustment” that is reported on your T4 and that the CRA notifies you about every year.

 

We encourage you to connect with us on our Saskatoon social media platforms on Facebook, Twitter & Linkedin. 

Contact us today for a quote…. find out if you can benefit!

‘Join the Group- It’s Time To Benefit’
www.yxebenefits.ca

 

 

 

Extended Health Benefits Of The Chambers Plan

YXE Benefits offers the simple, stable, smart choice for Saskatoon businesses; combining accessibility, flexibility and the stability of pooled benefits. Saskatoon companies choose the Chambers group plan because it offers unsurpassed value & outstanding customer service. The Chambers plan group benefits are for Chamber members.  In our latest post, we discuss Extended Health Benefits.

With quick claim payments, rate stability, and guaranteed renewable coverage, the Chambers Plan makes it easy for you to invest in the health and well-being of your employees. 3,000 small businesses just like yours join the Plan every year across Canada. Our local YXE Benefits advisors will design a plan to fit your needs and your budget from an array of benefits and options, including extended health benefits!

Extended Health Benefits.

Health insurance helps employees and their dependents pay for necessary medical expenses that aren’t covered by their provincial plan. The Chambers Plan Health options cover up to 100% of eligible costs and provide affordable health insurance for what Canadian employees need most: prescription drugs, paramedical services, vision care, emergency travel insurance and medical equipment and supplies.

Extended Health Benefits Prescription drugs Saskatoon

Prescription Drug Coverage

You want a prescription drug plan that is affordable, easy to use, provides comprehensive coverage and can save time and money. The Chambers Plan uses TELUS Assure pay direct cards for easy, convenient, real-time adjudication of drug claims right at the point of purchase.

The Chambers Plan also uses the TELUS Health National Formulary – an evolving list of prescription drugs that ensures coverage and accessibility to safe, cost-effective, quality drug therapies. The Plan pairs the formulary with a second, higher co-pay tier to encourage patients to make smart choices while providing coverage for the most frequently dispensed medications. Read more about the National Formulary

Paramedical Practitioner Services

Chambers Plan Health options cover many paramedical practitioner services at the usual and customary rates, with maximums ranging up to $600 per person per type of service in a calendar year.

Audiologists / Chiropractors / Podiatrists and Chiropodists / Massage Therapists / Acupuncturists / Physiotherapists / Licensed Speech Therapists / Licensed Clinical Psychologists / Naturopaths / Osteopaths / Clinical Dieticians

Medical Equipment and Supplies

  • Up to $25,000 per person toward home nursing care
  • Emergency ground or air ambulance to the nearest hospital
  • Up to $700 per person toward the purchase and installation of a hearing aid

Emergency Travel Insurance

Emergency travel insurance for employees and their dependents is included in every Chambers Plan Health option. Travel insurance includes coverage for eligible expenses resulting from a medical emergency outside an employee’s province of residence and includes services such as:

Telephone translation services / Emergency medical funding and evacuation / After-hospital care and nursing / Returning dependent children to their home / Trip interruption / Return of vehicle

Extended Health Benefits

Vision Care (Glasses, Contacts, Eye Surgery)

The Chambers Plan offers up to $200 of Vision Care benefits per individual.

Your YXE Benefits Chambers Plan advisor in Saskatoon can provide a complete list of Extended Health Care benefits based on the option you choose.

We encourage you to connect with us on our Saskatoon social media platforms on Facebook, Twitter & Linkedin. 

Contact us today for a quote…. find out if you can benefit!

‘Join the Group- It’s Time To Benefit’
www.yxebenefits.ca

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