During its 2016 budget announcement on Feb. 25, the Ontario government also clarified its plans for reducing future WSIB premiums, continuing its review of benefits programs through income testing, and streamlining health, life and dental plans for the education sector.

Future WSIB premium reductions

When the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board is fully funded — which is expected by 2022, based on data from its third quarter of 2015 — the unfunded liability component will be removed from the WSIB premium rate.

The government said this will result in an estimated premium reduction of $2.4 billion, representing an average premium rate reduction of about 40%.

“The impact of these reductions on affected employers may be at least partially offset by the cost of those employers’ ORPP contributions, if there is no comparable workplace pension plan,” said Eckler in a statement.

Read: The ORPP pushes ahead, more details to come in spring

Income testing for benefits

The government also said that over the next year it will continue its review of benefit programs to see where benefits can be better targeted to those most in need through the use of income testing.

It will target benefits for its Assisted Devices and Supplies Program (ADSP), starting with funding for continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) devices, to ensure benefits are targeted to individuals who need it most.

“Any change in government financial assistance due to income testing will result in higher costs for those private plans that allow CPAP machines as eligible expenses,” said Eckler in a statement. “No details on the exact nature of the income testing review are known at this time.”

Streamlining education sector health, life and dental plans

As part of its plan to manage public sector compensation costs, the government also said it intends to consolidate more than 1,000 benefits plans that currently exist for teachers and education workers across the province.

It said the plans will be consolidated into a small number of provincial trusts, which will harmonize benefits, reduce management and delivery costs, and improve purchasing power and cost management.

Read: Understanding the costs of dental benefits

Copyright © 2018 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on benefitscanada.com