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CLHIA’s CEO lays out some of the big industry topics for 2019

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Dave Patriarche:

I agree 100% with Stephen when he says “It’s an effort to incent greater transparency in the market and it’s something the industry is really committed to…It’s a good example of the kind of change that you’ll start to see.””. I am really looking forward to more changes around transparency from the insurers (through the CLHIA) in areas such as pooling costs and claims, as well as LTD payment statistics that brokers, consultants and employers have asked for for years.

I also agree whole heartedly with disclosure and personally meet or exceed every standard that our regulators require. That said, I am at a loss as to why the CLHIA (NOT a regulator) doesn’t think the regulators (such as FSCO in Ontario) are doing well enough with consumer protection that they need to be involved. Where is FSCO failing?

Lastly, if CLHIA were really interested in moving ahead, they should start by ensuring that the G19 info is distributed to every advisor that is contracted to sell group retirement and benefit products. To date, CLHIA have refused to have their member share this info with advisors which makes one wonder why the lack of transparency?

We are watching how the insurers (our partners/suppliers?) proceed with this initiative and hope they are really dedicated to improving the industry, and not just putting our clients employers) at risk by driving advisors and the advice they give out of the marketplace.

Friday, December 28 at 10:25 am | Reply

Chas:

The CLHIA, in the spirit of prudent risk management, should ensure that the after tax value of employer/sponsor benefits costs remains at a high level.

The insurance value of health and dental benefits has, arguably, decreased over the years, in that plan members are shouldering a higher proportion of the costs incurred from low frequency/extreme cost illness and injury incidents that are not otherwise covered by other insurance regimes such as workers compensation. LTD, which is as conventional an insurance product as there is, is already paid for with after tax employee dollars in most cases, need we be reminded.

Yet, even LTD is being de-risked by insurers; witness the questionable legality of OTIP’s reduction last year of LTD benefits for current older plan members because it has conceded that it is incapable of managing the claims durations. This on top of its bungling of the ELHT conversion when teachers’ new collective agreement came into force a couple of years ago .

All it would take in this environment, where insurance seems to have lost its meaning, is for a keen federal or provincial finance policy analyst to conclude that the huge government tax assistance being rendered to employers for benefits plans just isn’t worth it anymore, and that the political risks of “taking security away” that no longer exists, are negligible.

So “stick to the knitting” might be the CLHIA’s best rallying cry these days, since it is now an existential industry challenge.

Friday, December 28 at 12:15 pm | Reply