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Age discrimination in benefits plans unconstitutional, tribunal finds

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Rene:

I think it’s important to make the distinction here that we’re talking about health & dental benefits only, not life insurance and disability, which are in most cases cut off by insurers at age 65 and the employer doesn’t have much of a say in that.

Friday, June 01 at 11:20 am | Reply

Dave Patriarche:

Though the challenge was inevitable, there is a part of this that no one has considered (at least publicly). Termination of life, health and dental benefits for those over age 65 may vary only slightly in cost, from those under, but Long Term Disability (LTD) coverage has far greater repercussions.

If a plan cannot end LTD benefits at age 65, many employees would work until disability, creating a benefit that was unaffordable. Insurers faced with complying with the law would likely have to find a lower risk, affordable option to offer employers.

I would guess that what we might see, would be an LTD benefit with something like a flat 5 year benefit (rather than coverage to age 65). Affordable for sure, and it could handle the working 70 year old being disabled as the benefit of 5 years would provide a maximum risk, but at what cost?

The downside? A 30 year old permanently disabled employee would have coverage end at age 35 with nothing but CPP disability benefits for the remainder of their life. Far from ideal.

Although there is discrimination in employee benefits (termination age is just one area), I think that maintaining the current limitation (at least on LTD) needs to be maintained in order to provider a greater good not just to employees but society at large.

Friday, June 01 at 11:24 am | Reply

Cathleen Wright:

What is the CLHIA doing about the insurance industry who are still following the gov’t lead particularly surrounding disability coverage, but on some small business packaged products as well. The industry needs to grapple with the fact that folks don’t leave work at 65 or even 70, but work as long as they want to, are able to, or in some cases, must.

Friday, June 01 at 12:23 pm | Reply

Chas:

Now here’s a sleeper issue for us to consider.

Let’s see if someone has the stamina now to challenge OTIP’s recent cut to teachers’ actual in-force LTD schedules based on credited service for pension accruals. In other words, the % income replacement rate now decreases with years of service–which of course is a proxy for age. The older you are, the less you get.

Quite the admission of OTIP’s failure to manage adverse LTD incidence and duration (i.e. beyond the actuarial assumptions) for older teachers. The unions appear to have just rolled over on this one. Quite astounding.

Monday, June 04 at 10:11 am | Reply

Greg:

Has the Supreme Court of Canada commented on this issue?

Thursday, September 20 at 9:14 pm | Reply

Deb:

I’m wondering about the employee who was on the employers LTD, turned 65 and automatically has their life and AD&D benefits cancelled by the benefit provider who manages the LTD on behalf of the employer. Health and dental can be transitioned to private coverage if desired, but the combination of pre-existing health condition and age is likely to make any premium unaffordable.
Advise anyone?

Tuesday, February 19 at 12:37 pm | Reply

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