Webinar Repeat – Changes to Ontario Drug Benefit program coverage for children and youth aged 24 years and under

The Ontario Ministry of Heath and Long Term Care is putting on a number of webinars on the changes to OHIP+.  The webinars are WEEKLY on Wednesdays and the info is below.  If you or your staff have children under 25 that may be affected, please join them to find out more.


OHIP+   –   Please join us!

We will be hosting weekly webinars to provide an overview of the redesigned OHIP+ and to answer questions regarding changes to Ontario Drug Benefit program coverage for children and youth aged 24 years and under. Webinars will be held each week on Wednesdays from 12:15-1:00 pm.

Please join us for the webinar on Wednesday March 20, 2019 from 12:15-1:00 pm. Click on the link below to access the webinar:

https://ali.health.gov.on.ca/ohipplusmar20/

Teleconference information will be available at this link 10 minutes prior to the start of the webinar. Please mute your phone by pressing *6 once you have dialled in.

If you do not have the latest version of Adobe installed on your device, please click on the link a few minutes early in the event you are prompted to update your software.

Thank you!
OHIP+

Ontario Fee Guide Changes for January 1, 2019 – IMPORTANT

Provincial Dental Fee Guides are established by provincial dental associations and used by most dentists to set the rates they charge. Insurers use them as a guideline to avoid dentists overcharging above beyond this “Reasonable and Customary” limit..

Ontario is seeing the rate increase 4.19% this year. This means that the same service you had last year, performed by the same dentist will cost (on average) 4.19% more.  On top of this there is trend and utilization (these are the amounts that we go to the dentist more often and use more services.) that will further drive up the costs that employees are charged and that benefit plans will be paying.

This increase is double what we have seen in past 20 years.  I have spoken to the ODA and they are saying that a large part of this is due to the new “Infection Prevention and Control in the Dental Office” regulations that have been enacted, which has required dentists to invest in office equipment and process upgrades.

The ODA goes further to say that this is only the start and that 2020 may hold the same type of increase again.  This will be a huge driver of rising dental claim costs as we progress through the year.

The tables will be published by insurers in the coming weeks. If you want to see a quick copy.

SEE RATE INCREASES

When You Become Dependent On Independent Contractors: The Risk To Employers

I am big on keeping Independent Contractors off benefit plans to protect both parties, but it does not end there.  We are seeing more employment law cases around Independent and Dependant Contractors, so these relationships must be entered into with care and reviewed regularly to avoid risks.  The article below provides an example of the additional costs employers could face.


A recent decision of the Ontario Superior Court is a reminder to all employers of the liability associated with engaging individuals as contractors in circumstances where the practical, day-to-day nature of the economic relationship is that of an employee. This can become particularly tricky to manage when there are transitions in that relationship from contractor to employee or from employee to contractor.

READ MORE

Cannabis prescriptions are eligible medical expense, CRA confirms

We have NOT had much call from clients to add Medical marijuana to their benefit plans, due to the high cost ($1,000-$10,000/year)and possible increased frequency of claims.  Most insurance companies and TPA’s have allowed HSA’s to pay for the claims, and now this has been clarified by the CRA to be eligible and also as a Medical Expense Tax Credit on an employees personal taxes.


The Canada Revenue Agency has confirmed that medical cannabis purchased under prescription is an allowable medical expense at tax time.

The CRA sent a letter to the Canadian Medical Cannabis Industry Association last month confirming cannabis from a licensed producer qualified as a medical expense.

READ MORE

Webinar – Changes to Ontario Drug Benefit program coverage for children and youth aged 24 years and under

The Ontario Ministry of Heath and Long Term Care is putting on a number of webinars on the changes to OHIP+.  The webinars are WEEKLY on Wednesdays and the info is below.  If you or your staff have children under 25 that may be affected, please join them to find out more.


OHIP+   –   Please join us!

We will be hosting weekly webinars to provide an overview of the redesigned OHIP+ and to answer questions regarding changes to Ontario Drug Benefit program coverage for children and youth aged 24 years and under.  Webinars will be held each week on Wednesdays from 12:15-1:00 pm.

Please join us for the webinar on Wednesday February 27, 2019 from 12:15-1:00 pm. Click on the link below to access the webinar.

https://ali.health.gov.on.ca/ohipplusupdate/

Teleconference information will be available at this link 10 minutes prior to the start of the webinar. Please mute your phone by pressing *6once you have dialed in.

If you do not have the latest version of Adobe installed on your device, please click on the link a few minutes early in the event you are prompted to update your software.

Thank you!

OHIP+

Interested in increasing your benefit offering?

I am a big supporter of the idea that a good benefit plan generally does a good job of attracting and retaining employees.  A fantastic plan design (and the higher costs that go with it) often does no better a job of keeping employees happy.

That said, with Family Day behind us, and after having several recent conversations with clients and associates, I’m wondering if good enough is…well, good enough.  We are seeing a number of changes to health care in Ontario, that may result in less being covered by the province, with more downloading to the residents.  Maybe it’s time to take a second look at things if you are seeing this, or your staff are sharing their challenges.

For that reason, I am sending out this note to say; if you feel that your plan may need a re-look, that staff are asking for more, maybe you are a family business and finding that there are claims that you are incurring but the plan is not covering tax effectively, then it could be time to consider your benefit offering.

The answer may be adding a new benefit such as; disability coverage, or increasing vision or dental benefits to cover the rising costs, or maybe it’s adding a small Health Spending Account (HSA) that gives the flexibility to cover almost any health or dental related claims.

If you’re interested in doing so and would like us to price a change for you now, or at the next renewal, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Email us at;   dave@mainstayinsurance.ca      or call us at; 905-886-9203

ONTARIO EMPLOYERS: TIME TO UPDATE YOUR ESA POSTER

If you are an Ontario Employer, please ensure that you have the right ESA information posted to stay in compliance. An article and link are below.


The Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) requires that employers in Ontario display a poster published by the Ministry of Labour. The poster provides information about employee rights and obligations under the ESA and its regulations, and is periodically updated.

READ MORE

Proposed Amendments to OHIP+

In January 2018 the government brought in OHIP+ to provide drug coverage to children under age 25 in Ontario. The new government then reversed that but did not provide details on timing. They have proposed this change be made in March (details below). We’ll continue to watch as the change is made and communicate the effects on your plan.


As announced in ‘A Plan for the People – Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review’ and further to the announcement made by the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care on June 30th, 2018, the government is fixing OHIP+ by focusing benefits on those who need them the most….

READ MORE

2018 roundup of the top legal cases in the benefits industry

A very good article just came out in Benefits Canada magazine that highlights lawsuits around employee benefits that have hit in the past year or so. Some of these may have longer term repercussions, such as benefit termination ages and how employers handle disability.

As always, we will do our best to keep purselves apprised of cases like these, share the info with you when we see it, and try and steer you away from trouble where we can.

READ THE ARTICLE HERE