COVID-19

A Summary of Relief Measures From Canadian Employee Benefits Carriers

Apr 21, 2020
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2
min read

After much urging from clients and benefits advisors alike, many Canadian benefits carriers recently announced relief measures for businesses.

As with most of the COVID-19 circumstances, these measures continue to vary from carrier to carrier, so we urge our clients to pay close attention to the communications that you’re receiving (or already received) from your benefits carrier.

We expect to see many others follow suit this week, but so far, the following carriers have communicated their premium credit approaches to further support businesses during these challenging times. For all fully insured, non-refund plans, you can expect to see the following:


Sun Life

A 50% credit against dental premiums paid

  • They will apply the April credit to the client’s June 1st invoice
  • They will review their relief program on a monthly basis

A 20% credit against non-drug-related extended health care premiums paid, which equates to between 8% and 9% of overall health premiums

  • Prescription drug usage has not declined during the pandemic. However, while plan members are increasingly making use of virtual care across their paramedical providers, Sun Life is still seeing a reduction in claims activity
  • As with the dental premium credit, Sun Life will apply the April credit to their June 1st invoice
  • They will review their relief program on a monthly basis

Manulife

A 50% credit against dental premiums for the month of May

  • They will automatically make the 50% credit adjustment when conducting their PAD withdrawal for May premiums
  • Nothing is required by you and your plan member’s coverage remains the same
  • They will review their relief program on a monthly basis

A 10% credit against your extended health care premiums paid (including prescription drug coverage) for the month of May

  • They will automatically make the 10% credit adjustment when conducting their PAD withdrawal for May premiums
  • Nothing is required by you and your plan member’s coverage remains the same
  • They will review their relief program on a monthly basis

Canada Life

A 50% premium reduction adjustment will be applied to the dental benefit

  • Retroactive to April 1st, 2020
  • Will appear on May’s invoice as a COVID-19 premium adjustment

A 20% premium reduction adjustment will be applied to the vision benefit

  • Retroactive to April 1st, 2020
  • Will appear on May’s invoice as a COVID-19 premium adjustment

A 20% premium reduction adjustment will be applied to the healthcare benefit

  • Excludes prescription drugs
  • Retroactive to April 1st, 2020
  • Will appear on May’s invoice as a COVID-19 premium adjustment

Equitable Life

A 50% reduction on dental premiums

  • This reduction is retroactive to April 1st, 2020
  • Will appear as a credit against the next invoice

A 20% reduction on vision and extended healthcare rates which equates to an 8% reduction on Health premiums

  • Excludes prescription drugs
  • This reduction is retroactive to April 1st, 2020
  • Will appear as a credit against the next invoice

Victor

A 62% reduction on Dental premiums

  • Valid for three months of April to June inclusive
  • Will appear on June invoices

A 7% reduction in Health Care rates 

  • Excludes the costs for Maple, EAP, Lifespeak and World Care Benefits
  • Valid for three months of April to June inclusive
  • Will appear on June invoices

Empire Life 

A 50% premium reduction will be applied to dental premiums

  • Applied for the month of April
  • Will appear on June invoices
  • They will review their relief program on a monthly basis

A 10% premium reduction will be applied to extended health care premiums

  • Applied for the month of April
  • Will appear on June invoices
  • They will review their relief program on a monthly basis

Medavie Blue Cross 

A 50% premium reduction will be applied to dental premiums

  • This reduction is retroactive to April 1st, 2020
  • Will appear on June invoices
  • They will review their relief program on a monthly basis

A 10% premium reduction will be applied to extended health care premium

  • Includes prescription drugs
  • This reduction is retroactive to April 1st, 2020
  • Will appear on June invoices
  • They will review their relief program on a monthly basis

As an alternative solution, upon request, group clients can opt to receive the savings with the next renewal, as a credit or applied toward the plan’s rates.  This approach could help avoid potential administration issues for plan sponsors, advisors and third-party administrators.  If this is something you’d like to do, please confirm with your Medavie Blue Cross representative by May 8th, 2020.

Desjardins Insurance

A 70% premium reduction will be applied to dental premiums

  • Applicable for the month of April and May
  • Will appear on May and June invoices
  • They will review their relief program on a monthly basis

Green Shield Canada

Green Shield Canada will be providing all head office billed clients (excluding GSC TPA clients) with premium reliefs.

A 75% reduction will be applied to dental premiums 

  • Applicable for April, May, and June, retroactive to April 1st
  • Will appear on May and June invoices

A 20% reduction will be applied to vision and extended health care premiums (excluding drugs)

  • Applicable for April, May, and June, retroactive to April 1st
  • Will appear on May and June invoices

BBD

A 50% credit will be applied to dental premiums

  • The credits for April and May will appear on June invoices
  • They will review their relief program on a monthly basis

A 10% credit will be applied to extended health care premiums

  • The credits for April and May will appear on June invoices
  • They will review their relief program on a monthly basis

GroupSource

A 55% credit will be applied to dental premiums

  • This does not apply to cases that have suspended benefits or removed their paramedical coverage from the health benefit
  • The credits for April and May will appear on June invoices
  • May and June billed premiums will not be changed on the invoice, but the PAD withdrawals will be reduced by the credit amounts indicated above (the statement reconciliation on page 1 of the June invoice will show the May premium, the amount paid by May PAD as well as the May credits) 
  • They will review their relief program on a monthly basis

A 10% credit (excluding pooling charges) will be applied to Health premiums, which equates a 9% overall rebate for health

  • This does not apply to cases that have suspended benefits or removed their paramedical coverage from the health benefit
  • The credits for April and May will appear on June invoices
  • May and June billed premiums will not be changed on the invoice, but the PAD withdrawals will be reduced by the credit amounts indicated above (the statement reconciliation on page 1 of the June invoice will show the May premium, the amount paid by May PAD as well as the May credits) 
  • They will review their relief program on a monthly basis
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Bryan is the Director of Benefits at Humi. Before joining Humi, while leading the business development arm of a national Third Party Administrator, he spent years assisting benefits advisors in bringing comprehensive benefits programs to their clients at an affordable price. Since joining Humi in 2017, Bryan focuses on bringing an innovative and educational approach to Humi's benefits clients, as well coaching his team to prioritize client happiness and the obtainment of a benefits programs that meets their organizational needs.

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