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Benefits Interface
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Disability benefits should continue the paycheque when an employee is not able to work. But what does “not able to work” mean?
 
Most Canadian contracts provide benefits once an employee has been “totally disabled” for four months and terminate benefits as soon as an employee is no longer “totally disabled”. While such a restrictive definition saves the insurer money, it doesn’t help the employee who experiences a progressive disability or gradual recovery.  Furthermore, it forces the employer to “accommodate” the partially disabled employee who is pressured into returning to work prematurely.
 
Good quality disability insurance includes a “partial disability” benefit that provides proportional benefits for employees who choose to return to work. This is not the same as a “rehabilitation benefit” that insurers use to force disabled employees back to work. Ideally, the partial disability benefit would provide coverage from the first day of disability through to the employee’s 65th birthday.

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The top three Canadian benefit insurers (Great-West, Manulife and Sun) have 65% market share, leaving 21% for three insurers based in Quebec and nine insurers fighting over the remaining 14% of the market.  With such consolidation, you need to carefully plan when you ask for quotes and when you switch suppliers. For details visit www.benefits.org/tips/144
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My new dentist wants me to come in for a cleaning every 3 months even though my insurance only covers one exam and cleaning every 9 months.  Apparently, you can get your teeth cleaned every 3 months even when your dental coverage limits recall dental visits to every 6, 9 or 12 months.  It’s been going on for years and insurance companies have not been able to stop it.  For details visit www.benefits.org/tips/143
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This is how my day started. I felt like the young raccoon that didn’t make it home on time and was up our tree not sure what to do next. My father-in-law had fallen for the second time in a week and had lost his mobility. One phone call to our local Community Care Access Centre (CCAC) changed my outlook. I arranged for an in-home geriatric assessment and got the scoop on in-home medical care, support services and wheelchair rentals. It’s hard for me to take time off work to research personal issues so I really appreciated the support of our healthcare system while caring for others.
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