Bob Carter is regional vice-president, sales — specialty programs at Empire Life.
These are the views of the author and not necessarily those of Benefits Canada or the author’s employer.
On average, one in three Canadians will be disabled for 90 days or more at least once before they reach age 65, according to the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association. Therefore, income protection is important, but it’s not always fully understood and cost is sometimes perceived as too high. As a result, some groups […]
Plan sponsors are faced with competing offers by insurance carriers, group managing general agents and third-party administrators, as each group promotes their own unique, yet similar sounding, selling and value propositions. Group MGAs are firms that specialize in advising group benefits brokers and act as administrative back office, similar to life MGAs , which advise […]
While the move to more defined contribution-style health benefits plans provides greater clarity and flexibility to plan sponsors, it would be natural to wonder whether or not the available options are limited to the two extremes alone. The continuum of benefits plan design includes fully insured plans, fully self-insured (administration services-only or ASO) plans and hybrid […]
Health-care costs are projected to increase a whopping 130 per cent over the next eight years after a period of relatively flat growth, according to a study published by Mercer in 2017. One of the key drivers is rising drug costs, with expensive specialty medications and gene therapies making up the majority of new products in development. So […]
As the ways that Canadians use smartphones and apps continue to evolve, what are the implications for those technologies in health-care and wellness services? According to recent studies by digital marketing company Catalyst Canada, the number of apps per smartphone is declining, but the actual use of them is becoming more specialized. The studies note that, despite the […]
Today’s plan sponsors need to look at every cost and line item on their benefits billing statements in order to make every dollar stretch as far as possible. That means looking at seemingly minor elements of the plan design, such as out-of-country travel protection. Even though the costs associated with out-of-country benefits are relatively minor […]
Today, some 2.8 million Canadians live in countries around the world. This represents nearly eight per cent of our population waking up and heading to work in lands and time zones not their own. Many other nations bid temporary farewell to many of their own citizens to take positions in foreign countries, including Canada. It […]
Today’s health benefits plans are under pressure. Our labour force is changing. Based on data compiled in 2015 by Statistics Canada, 46 per cent of today’s active workforce are millennials, 30 per cent are Generation X and the baby boomers count for a shrinking 24 per cent of workers today. Plan sponsors are facing new […]
Stop-loss pools are under continued pressure to accommodate the ever-increasing number of claims for high-cost drugs. The explosion of claims for drugs to treat the Hepatitis C Virus (HCV), for instance, has hit all drug plans and carriers alike – and hard. While the debate rages on as to whether these drugs constitute recurring claims, […]
Communications must evolve to become more than a pretty poster in a lunch room or piece of ad mail to be sent to and largely ignored by plan members.