Resources for Businesses

Retirement Information

1Canada Life

As we all navigate through these turbulent times in our personal, work and financial lives, we want to provide you with relevant information and perspective.

Your Retirement savings program through Canada Life is designed to build funds for use in retirement. For most people, their retirement date is still years in the future, and as such, we encourage you to view your investment performance from that perspective.

Your retirement program and investments are actively monitored and managed. Our investment team at OMG regularly monitors funds to ensure the best possible investment managers are available to you. We believe the Target Risk and Target Date mandates provide the best fit for most people, to ensure a balanced investment portfolio appropriate for each stage in your life, according to your risk tolerance.

We understand during periods of large market fluctuations you may be concerned about the changing balance in your account and want to act. We would encourage those of you with more than 5-years to retirement to stay the course and not make any sudden changes. For those getting closer to retirement (less than 5 years), it is prudent to contact a personal financial advisor.

You can log on to your Canada Life account (here) to check on your investment approach. If you have not registered online, please refer to this PDF in order to do so. (How to Register for GRSaccess).

Canada Life’s website has many resources including webinars and podcasts:

Canada Life Retirement Site

The short article below also discusses the importance of staying invested in these volatile times:

It pays to stay invested

We continue to monitor developments in the financial markets as well as with our selected fund managers and will advise on any changes or recommendations.

2Manulife

As we all navigate through these turbulent times in our personal, work and financial lives, we want to provide you with relevant information and perspective.

Your Retirement savings program through Manulife is designed to build funds for use in retirement. For most people, their retirement date is still years in the future, and as such, we encourage you to view your investment performance from that perspective.

Your retirement program and investments are actively monitored and managed. Our investment team at OMG regularly monitors funds to ensure the best possible investment managers are available to you. We believe the Target Risk and Target Date mandates provide the best fit for most people, to ensure a balanced investment portfolio appropriate for each stage in your life, according to your risk tolerance.

We understand during periods of large market fluctuations you may be concerned about the changing balance in your account and want to act. We would encourage those of you with more than 5-years to retirement to stay the course and not make any sudden changes. For those getting closer to retirement (less than 5 years), it is prudent to contact a personal financial advisor.

You can log on to your Manulife account (here) to check on your investment approach. If you have not registered online, please refer to this PDF in order to do so. (GRS Website Registration Instructions).

Manulife’s website has many resources including webinars and podcasts. Please refer to the links below for information on market fluctuations:

Market Fluctuations Video

We continue to monitor developments in the financial markets as well as with our selected fund managers and will advise on any changes or recommendations.

3Sun Life

As we all navigate through these turbulent times in our personal, work and financial lives, we want to provide you with relevant information and perspective.

Your Retirement savings program through Sun Life is designed to build funds for use in retirement. For most people, their retirement date is still years in the future, and as such, we encourage you to view your investment performance from that perspective.

Your retirement program and investments are actively monitored and managed. Our investment team at OMG regularly monitors funds to ensure the best possible investment managers are available to you. We believe the Target Risk and Target Date mandates provide the best fit for most people, to ensure a balanced investment portfolio appropriate for each stage in your life, according to your risk tolerance.

We understand during periods of large market fluctuations you may be concerned about the changing balance in your account and want to act. We would encourage those of you with more than 5-years to retirement to stay the course and not make any sudden changes. For those getting closer to retirement (less than 5 years), it is prudent to contact a personal financial advisor.

You can log on to your Sun Life account (here) to check on your investment approach. If you have not registered online, click “Register Now” and follow the steps.

There are many resources available to you through the Sun Life website. The article below discusses the importance of staying invested in these volatile times:

COVID 19 and Your Savings Plan

We continue to monitor developments in the financial markets as well as with our selected fund managers and will advise on any changes or recommendations.

Summary of Carrier Responses

1CADA

At OMG, our priority is ensuring our clients have all the necessary information they need to make informed decisions about their benefit plans.

The table below shows how CADA is handling some key areas of your plan during this unprecedented time:

Category Current Response
Renewal Deferral/Rate Increases Currently, there will be not renewal rate changes until the 2021-2022 policy year. Rates will be frozen until July 1, 2021.
Travel Insurance COVID-19 care is eligible for employees who travelled prior to the global pandemic. Costs associated with additional living expenses if quarantined outside your province of residence are not eligible. Evacuation costs are the responsibility of the member.
Coverage Extension (Temporary Layoffs) Benefit extensions June 1, 2020 and beyond:
  • Disability can be extended for up to 60 days.
  • All other benefits coverage including optional benefits can be extended for up to 6 months.
  • Full premium payment is required as per normal layoff handling.
Minimum hours of work The minimum hours worked requirements for plan member eligibility under the contract will not be applied up to and including December 2020.
Premium Relief Period Two-month premium relief period (April and May).
Employee Assistance Available to all CADA groups – Call: 1-800-387-4765 Website: workhealthlife.com
Prescription Drugs In many provinces, pharmacy regulators have issued temporary drug dispensing directives and are only allowing one month’s supply at a time; except under exceptional circumstances. This helps control the supply of prescription drugs. Members should keep up to date with their prescriptions but not try and get more because of the outbreak.

Disclaimer: The information above is subject to change at any time (current as of May 26th, 2020).

CADA is continuously reviewing their response to COVID-19 and dealers can review this information on the website:

CADA COVID-19 page

2Canada Life

At OMG, we have been in consistent contact with carriers regarding this ever-evolving situation. Insurance carriers understand that there will be business disruptions and want to help support their clients in the months ahead. The below describes some common questions/scenarios that companies are dealing with at present time and the response from Canada Life:

Category Current Response
Renewal Deferral/Rate Increases Canada Life will work with clients to find a solution based on their unique situation. They understand the difficulty of this landscape and understand that business disruptions are common.
Travel Insurance All efforts should be made for Canadians to return home from abroad at this current time. Canada Life will look at each individual case in terms of extending trip limitations based on an individual’s circumstances. This could include flight restrictions, quarantines, or travel restrictions in the current country they are in.
Coverage Extension (Temporary Layoffs) Plans can extend Short Term and Long Term disability benefits for up to 60 days (usual standard is 30 days). All other benefits can be extended for up to 6 months.
Employees working less than the minimum hours required Even if employees work less than the required minimum number of hours, benefits can still be continued (Until May 31, 2020)
Unpaid Premiums The typical grace period of 30 days has now been extended to 60 days.
Virtual Care Dialogue is available to plan sponsors and can be added at a monthly cost to members. Canada Life is making these amendments a priority and can be added in as little as 2 business days.
Prescription Drugs In many provinces, pharmacy regulators have issued temporary drug dispensing directives and are only allowing one month’s supply at a time; except under exceptional circumstances. This helps control the supply of prescription drugs. Members should keep up to date with their prescriptions but not try and get more because of the outbreak.
Salary Based Benefit Amounts If your employees are working reduced hours, or if their hourly wage is reduced, the current volumes can remain in place as long as premiums are being paid – If employers wish to reduce these volumes it must be requested.
Premium Reductions Effective April 1, 2020 and May 1, 2020 (Reduction below updated May 11 ,2020):
  • Dental: 50% premium reduction
  • Health Care and Vision Reduction: 10% of total health care premium

Disclaimer: The information above is subject to change at any time (up to date as of May 11th, 2020).

Canada Life is continuously reviewing their response to COVID-19 and have a webpage dedicated to providing up-to-date information. Please see below:

Canada Life COVID-19 page

Dialogue also has a free tool for all Canadians called Chloe. Chloe can answer questions about COVID-19 and help alleviate stress by providing helpful guidance.

Free Dialogue Service

As always, OMG Benefits Consulting Inc. is here to support you through these difficult and uncertain times. If you have any specific questions or concerns you would like to discuss please do not hesitate to connect with us.

3Empire Life

At OMG, our priority is ensuring our clients have all the necessary information they need to make informed decisions about their benefit plans.

The table below shows how Empire Life is handling some key areas of your plan during this unprecedented time:

Category Current Response
Renewal Deferral/Rate Increases May and June renewals are deferred for 2 months (no rate increases applied).
Travel Insurance Members are not covered for COVID-19 related treatment if travelling outside the country to a location with a travel advisory. If people are quarantined outside of the country travel coverage will be extended.
Coverage Extension (Temporary Layoffs) Option 1: Employers can extend benefits (except STD and LTD) for the time period indicated in their contracts.
Option 2: Customers with no lay-off provisions in their contract can request to add the standard (6 months extension). Empire Life will also allow current groups to extend the lay-off provision for up to 6 months.
Employees working less than the minimum hours required Will not apply the minimum hours requirement to be eligible for benefits. Also allowing a suspension period of 90 days with no penalty to re-instate (revert back to all prior coverage).
Unpaid Premiums Empire Life will be extending the grace period to 60 days for April premium payments.
Prescription Drugs In many provinces, pharmacy regulators have issued temporary drug dispensing directives and are only allowing one month’s supply at a time; except under exceptional circumstances. This helps control the supply of prescription drugs.
Premium Reductions Premium reductions (assessed on a monthly basis):
  • Dental: 50% reduction in premium (Effective for April and May) – 25% reduction applicable for June for Dental ONLY
  • Extended health benefit: 10% reduction in premium (Only effective for April)

Disclaimer: The information above is subject to change at any time (up to date as of June 19th, 2020).

Empire Life is continuously reviewing their response to COVID-19 and have a webpage dedicated to providing up-to-date information:

Empire Life COVID-19 page

4Equitable Life

At OMG, our priority is ensuring our clients have all the necessary information they need to make informed decisions about their benefit plans.

The table below shows how Equitable Life is handling some key areas of your plan during this unprecedented time:

Category Current Response
Renewal Deferral/Rate Increases No action at this time.
Travel Insurance No action at this time.
Coverage Extension (Temporary Layoffs) No action at this time.
Employees working less than the minimum hours required No action at this time.
Unpaid Premiums No action at this time.
Prescription Drugs No action at this time.
Premium Reductions Effective April 1, 2020 (Assessed on a monthly basis):
  • Dental: 50% premium reduction
  • Vision and Extended Health Care: 20% premium reduction (8% reduction in health premiums)

Disclaimer: The information above is subject to change at any time (up to date as of April 20th, 2020)

Equitable Life is continuously reviewing their response to COVID-19 and have a webpage dedicated to providing up-to-date information:

https://www.equitable.ca/en/who-we-are/news/covid-19-update/

5Green Shield

At OMG, our priority is ensuring our clients have all the necessary information they need to make informed decisions about their benefit plans.

The table below shows how Green Shield is handling some key areas of your plan during this unprecedented time:

Category Current Response
Renewal Deferral/Rate Increases All renewals for standard non-refund plans for May 1 and June 1, 2020 will be postponed for two months.
Travel Insurance Travel limit extended indefinitely if members travelled prior to Mar 13th, 2020. No coverage for travelers after March 13th, 2020.
Coverage Extension (Temporary Layoffs) GSC will allow coverage to be continued for a temporary layoff for up to 35 weeks in any 52 consecutive week period.
Employees working less than the minimum hours required GSC will lower the minimum number of hours requirement from 20 hours per week to 10 hours per week.
Unpaid Premiums Extending existing grace period by 30 days for April and May.
Virtual Care Green Shield provides a variety of online tools to help members through these difficult times. See a summary below of what GSC has to offer:
Green Shield Digital Health Services
Prescription Drugs In many provinces, pharmacy regulators have issued temporary drug dispensing directives and are only allowing one month’s supply at a time; except under exceptional circumstances. This helps control the supply of prescription drugs.
Premium Reductions Effective April 1, 2020 (applied to April, May and June bills)(Standard non-refund head office billed clients):
  • Dental: 75% premium reduction
  • Health Rates: 20% premium reduction, including Vision but excluding Drugs.

Disclaimer: The information above is subject to change at any time (up to date as of April 17th, 2020).

Green Shield is continuously reviewing their response to COVID-19 and have a webpage dedicated to providing up-to-date information:

Green Shield Support Centre

6Industrial Alliance

At OMG, we have been in consistent contact with carriers regarding this ever-evolving situation. Insurance carriers understand that there will be business disruptions and want to help support their clients in the months ahead.

The below describes some common questions/scenarios that companies are dealing with at present time and the response from Industrial Alliance:

Category Current Response
Travel Insurance All efforts should be made for Canadians to return home from abroad at this current time. Whether or not there is a recommendation from the Government of Canada urging its citizens not to travel to the destination, emergency expenses of a medical nature are eligible and may be reimbursed, within the terms of the contract. A recommendation by the Government of Canada not to travel to a region or country is not among the exclusions in our contract.
Coverage Extension (Temporary Layoffs) Plans can extend coverage to employees to a maximum of 6 months (with or without the extension of disability benefits) (upon request).
Employees working less than the minimum hours required More flexible when addressing the minimum hours and will allow coverage extension even if employees don’t meet this requirement.
Prescription Drugs In many provinces, pharmacy regulators have issued temporary drug dispensing directives and are only allowing one month’s supply at a time; except under exceptional circumstances. This helps control the supply of prescription drugs. Members should keep up to date with their prescriptions but not try and get more because of the outbreak.
Salary Based Benefit Amounts If your employees are working reduced hours, or if their hourly wage is reduced, the current volumes can remain in place if premiums are being paid – If employers wish to reduce these volumes it must be requested.
Premium Reductions Effective April 1, 2020 (assessed on a monthly basis):
  • Dental: 60% premium reduction

Industrial Alliance is continuously reviewing their response to COVID-19 and have a webpage dedicated to providing up-to-date information. Please see below:

https://ia.ca/covid-19-updates

As always, OMG Benefits Consulting Inc. is here to support you through these difficult and uncertain times. If you have any specific questions or concerns you would like to discuss please do not hesitate to connect with us.

Disclaimer: The information above is subject to change at any time (up to date as of April 22nd, 2020).

7Manulife

At OMG, our priority is ensuring our clients have all the necessary information they need to make informed decisions about their benefit plans.

The table below shows how Manulife is handling some key areas of your plan during this unprecedented time:

Category Current Response
Renewal Deferral/Rate Increases All premium increases are delayed for 60 days (rate decreases will be applied).
Travel Insurance Coverage (trip limitation) extended until April 30, 2020 for individuals already out of country and unable to return to Canada at present time.
Coverage Extension (Temporary Layoffs) Employers should read their current contract to understand how benefits are impacted for temporary layoffs. (Manulife’s standard provisions allows coverage extension for up to 120 days including disability benefits.
Unpaid Premiums Manulife is currently allowing a 60-day grace period for unpaid premiums (if it goes beyond this point, Manulife will be in contact to discuss options).
Virtual Care MindBeacon offers virtual therapy to support business owners and their employees maintain their mental wellbeing. MindBeacon digital therapy sessions qualify for plans that cover Social Worker. To learn more, click below:
MindBeacon
Prescription Drugs In many provinces, pharmacy regulators have issued temporary drug dispensing directives and are only allowing one month’s supply at a time; except under exceptional circumstances. This helps control the supply of prescription drugs.
Premium Reductions Effective for premiums in the month of May (reviewed on monthly basis):
  • Dental: 50% premium reduction
  • Extended health care: 10% premium reduction

Disclaimer: The information above is subject to change at any time (up to date as of April 17th, 2020).

Manulife is continuously reviewing their response to COVID-19 and have a webpage dedicated to providing up-to-date information:

Manulife COVID-19 webpage

8Medavie

At OMG, our priority is ensuring our clients have all the necessary information they need to make informed decisions about their benefit plans.

The table below shows how Medavie is handling some key areas of your plan during this unprecedented time:

Category Current Response
Renewal Deferral/Rate Increases For groups with less than 50 members, Medavie is currently deferring any rate increases for May and June to July 1st. July 1st renewal deferrals (to August 1st) will be looked at on a case by case basis.
Travel Insurance Medical expenses related to COVID-19 ARE NOT covered through Medavie’s travel insurance if departure was on or after March 14th, 2020. Members who travelled prior to March 14th are covered for all insured risks. Trip limitations can be extended for 14 days if members are having difficulty travelling home. (Medavie does not cover ANY emergency medical expenses if members travel to countries where the Government of Canada has issued a Level 3 or 4 travel warning).
Coverage Extension (Temporary Layoffs) Medavie is willing to extend Long Term and Short Term Disability for up to 90 days (must be requested). Health and Dental benefits can be extended for up to 6 months as long as premiums are paid (check your group contract for exact extension periods).
Employees working less than the minimum hours required Medavie will continue to extend coverage even if members work less than the required number of hours (for example: many employers require a minimum of 24 hours a week to be eligible for coverage) – this requirement is now waived until May 31st, 2020.
Unpaid Premiums Over the next 60 days, Medavie will discuss available options for companies that have difficulty paying premiums.
Virtual Care Medavie has launched Connected Care, which also includes access to physicians at home through a platform called Maple*. To learn more about this service click the link below:
Medavie Connected Care
*This service can be purchased by the employee on a per use basis. Medavie has also given groups the opportunity to add this to their overall group benefits plan at a cost per member per month.
Prescription Drugs In many provinces, pharmacy regulators have issued temporary drug dispensing directives and are only allowing one month’s supply at a time; except under exceptional circumstances. This helps control the supply of prescription drugs.
Salary Based Benefit Amounts If your employees are working reduced hours, or if their hourly wage is reduced, the current volumes can remain in place as long as premiums are being paid (until May 31st, 2020) – If employers wish to reduce these volumes it must be requested.
Premium Reductions Effective April 1 and May 1, 2020 (continue to be re-assessed) (updated May 20th):
  • Dental: 50% crediting of premiums
  • Extended Health Care and Drugs: 10% crediting of premiums

Disclaimer: The information above is subject to change at any time (up to date as of May 20th, 2020).

Medavie is continuously reviewing their response to COVID-19 and have a webpage dedicated to providing up-to-date information. There is an area for your employees to access an automated, pop up COVID-19 screening tool (see bottom right-hand side of the screen when opening the webpage below). This tool allows members to ask questions and provides them direction on how to best treat their symptoms:

Medavie COVID-19 Webpage

9RWAM

At OMG, our priority is ensuring our clients have all the necessary information they need to make informed decisions about their benefit plans.

The table below shows how RWAM is handling some key areas of your plan during this unprecedented time:

Category Current Response
Renewal Deferral/Rate Increases Renewals for May and June can be deferred for 60 days.
Coverage Extension (Temporary Layoffs) All benefits, except for disability, can be extended for up to 6 months.
Employees working less than the minimum hours required Members do not have to meet the weekly hours minimum in order to be eligible for coverage. RWAM is also allowing termination of coverage without giving the standard 31-day advanced notice – Plan sponsors can then reinstate all coverage within 60 days without any penalty.
Unpaid Premiums RWAM is currently allowing a 60-day grace period for unpaid premiums (if it goes beyond this point, a member of the billing team will contact you).
Prescription Drugs In many provinces, pharmacy regulators have issued temporary drug dispensing directives and are only allowing one month’s supply at a time; except under exceptional circumstances. This helps control the supply of prescription drugs.
Salary Based Benefit Amounts If your employees are working reduced hours, or if their hourly wage is reduced, the current volumes can remain in place as long as premiums are being paid – If employers wish to reduce these volumes it must be requested.
Suspending Dental Coverage For RWAM’s 1to3 product – Plan sponsors currently insured who choose to suspend/terminate the Dental Coverage will be required to wait until January 1, 2021 before they can reinstate this benefit.
Premium Reduction Effective May 1st, 2020 (for May and June premiums):
  • Dental: 50% premium reduction

Disclaimer: The information above is subject to change at any time (up to date as of April 22nd, 2020).

RWAM is continuously reviewing their response to COVID-19 and have a webpage dedicated to providing up-to-date information:

RWAM COVID-19 page

10Sun Life

At OMG, our priority is ensuring our clients have all the necessary information they need to make informed decisions about their benefit plans.

The table below shows how Sun Life is handling some key areas of your plan during this unprecedented time:

Category Current Response
Renewal Deferral/Rate Increases May 1st renewals deferred until July 1, 2020
June 1st renewals deferred until August 1, 2020
Travel Insurance No coverage if the member left on or after March 19th, 2020. Members who travelled prior to that date are covered as per their contract.
Coverage Extension (Temporary Layoffs) Current process allows members to maintain coverage for up to 3 months (except for disability benefits) for temporary layoffs.
Employees working less than the minimum hours required Sun Life will allow coverage to be maintained even if the minimum hours per week is not satisfied. This process is currently in place for 3 months.
Unpaid Premiums Sun Life is currently allowing a 60-day grace period for unpaid premiums (if it goes beyond this point, a member of the billing team will contact you).
Virtual Care Sun Life provides members access to online doctors through Lumino Health Virtual Care. Considering the current situation, for Sun Advantage (49 lives or less) they are providing this service free of charge up to a group’s next renewal (Starting in August 2020). For groups with 50 lives or more, this is free until June 1, 2020. Groups with 49 employees or less will have this cost incorporated into their next renewal and it will now be part of Sun Life’s core offering ($3.49/month/employee) – Groups with 50 or more employees will have the option to continue this service past June 1, 2020 for $3.49/month/employee.
Prescription Drugs In many provinces, pharmacy regulators have issued temporary drug dispensing directives and are only allowing one month’s supply at a time; except under exceptional circumstances. This helps control the supply of prescription drugs. Sun Life is also providing free pharmacy home delivery to their plan members through McKesson Canada.
Salary Based Benefit Amounts If your employees are working reduced hours, or if their hourly wage is reduced, the current volumes can remain in place as long as premiums are being paid – If employers wish to reduce these volumes it must be requested.
Premium Credits Applied for April and May 2020 bills: (assessed on monthly basis):
  • Dental – 50% premium credit per month
  • Extended Health Care – 8.5% premium credit
June credit:
  • Dental – 25% premium credit
  • Extended Health Care – 5% premium credit

Disclaimer: The information above is subject to change at any time (up to date as of June 11th, 2020).

Sun Life is continuously reviewing their response to COVID-19 and has a webpage dedicated to providing up-to-date information. Please see below for additional information:

Sun Life COVID-19 Site

Contact an OMG Benefits Advisor

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COVID-19 Response