Due to the impacts of COVID-19 in 2020, many insurers provided benefits premium subsidies, or even deferred the program renewal date. In 2021, at least in insured benefit programs, renewals could look slightly different given the unique claims patterns we had in 2020. This is due to the temporary closure of health providers, the subsequent surge in services due to pent-up demand, derived extra cost due to PPE and business logistics, as well as increasing...
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Fraud hits every industry, and those out to defraud people go to great lengths to concoct sophisticated and effective ploys. While employee benefits program fraud doesn’t make the news as often as the distressing stories of seniors urgently buying gift cards, it’s also rampant and just as criminal an act.
In fact, CLHIA (Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association) states fraud to cost hundreds of millions of dollars per year in losses. Other organizations estimate the number to be in the billions of dollars. Sun Life Financial
2020 proved to be an unexpectedly tumultuous year for most people, and if you’re involved in running or making decisions for a business, you were probably taking a hard look at every aspect of your business. If reviewing your benefits program did not make the list, January is the perfect time to review your plan.
One of things that make Immix Group stand out ...
It’s true. Your business can indeed get discounted group health insurance rates. If you’ve ever marketed your plan with alternative carriers, it’s more than likely you were surprised to see pricing of ten, twenty or even thirty percent below your existing rates! But is a discount a good thing, or too good to be true? In this article, I’d like to discuss the inner workings of group health insurance quotes that are often overlooked –
You’ve made the decision to implement a group savings plan for your team. You’ve worked it into the budget, and you know this is something you want to roll out sooner rather than later. Fantastic!
But what’s next?
What should you be considering to ensure the right plan for your group?
The year 2020 has certainly been a year of change. All aspects of life have adapted to a new normal, and this includes businesses and what it means to provide valuable benefits to employees. As business owners and managers of employee benefits, what can you do to continue providing high-value benefits to your employees, while ...
At Immix, we have paid special attention to the especially precarious financial situation facing small businesses over the past 3 months. As employee benefits brokers, we have been helping our clients navigate their benefits and HR policies, with so many layoffs and work stoppages occurring. We have helped our clients to promote mental health and employee assistance programs, and of course, we have ensured all cost containment measures are taken.
The COVID pandemic has altered the claiming patterns we are seeing. This is the case right now and is what we anticipate continuing in the months to come. The impact on long term disability claims is a huge unknown, but the feeling is that there will be an increase in claims related to mental health. For reimbursement benefits such as dental and paramedical practitioners, it is difficult to predict if ...
As society navigates COVID19 and embraces the new norms of social distancing and virtual meetings, the way we access healthcare has possibly changed forever.
While many virtual options have long been available, people are adopting these at an increased rate out of necessity, and providers are responding to the demand with upgrades and new systems. Healthcare providers have rapidly adapted to providing services to patients, from inside the safety of ...
We hope you’re staying home if possible, but that doesn’t mean you can’t stay active! As benefits consultants, it’s one of our goals to assist our clients in promoting physical and mental well-being; staying active is a key component of this.
As you are aware, with the COIVD-19 situation, gyms and fitness studios have closed for in-person visits. However, there are a wealth of resources online offering both paid and free workouts, some from your favourite local spots. Many offer a community environment, so you can not only break a sweat, you can feel connected!
Making the decision to lay off employees is not an easy thing to do. More than anything, many employers just want employees to be safe and healthy, and to return to work when operations are back to normal. Unfortunately because of cash flow pressures, many employers have been forced to lay off their staff, or are considering this move. While we are hopeful that the government support programs* detailed over the past days help employers to avoid layoffs, it is inevitable many will still need to take this step.
A message from Anthony Ciccone, President
Many of you are feeling concerned about the unprecedented events we are experiencing, and specifically, the severe impact on the financial markets. Three months ago, no one knew what COVID-19 was; now it is impacting everyone. This is uncomfortable; we are all feeling the angst. The ups and downs of the stock market over the last few months are a great reminder as to why being well-prepared is essential.
Perspective is vital in times like this. Throughout history...
You may be familiar with the acronyms “EAP” or even “EFAP.” Perhaps you have a general or at least vague idea about these plans. But, like many people, you’re not exactly sure what they mean or how they work. Lacking a solid understanding, you aren’t sure if providing an EAP or EFAP would hold true value for your team.
Whether you’re an HR professional, a program’s plan administrator or an employee who is a member of a benefits program, it’s to your advantage to know about EAPs.
With RRSP season winding up – the deadline for 2019 RRSP contributions is March 2 – you may be debating if now is the time to implement a group savings plan for your team.
In working with our clients to implement and manage group savings plans, we come across a number of questions and misconceptions. For example, a common incorrect assumption is that implementing a plan will be costly or difficult.
In this article, we’ll try to give you clarification ...
At the start of a new year, we all make resolutions. With 2020 also being the start of a new decade, perhaps we’re even more motivated to make improvements!
When it comes to benefits, consider: Is this the year for minor benefits housekeeping or is your company due for a benefits overhaul?
Granted, every year should be the year for benefits housekeeping! That said, here is an outline of a few areas to review on an annual basis, and how to determine ...
Growing businesses face a conundrum. Is it better value to offer employees a traditional, dollar-amount salary raise – or, for the same cost, to sponsor an employee benefits program?
The old-school view would tilt toward getting a raise, on the theory that a bird – well, okay, a bunch of dollars – in the hand seems the more tangible value. But when you do the deep-dive financial analysis, offering benefits worth the same amount comes out on top.
Let’s take a closer look. A good benefits package for an employee with full family coverage is around ...
Once they grow above three employees, many small businesses start thinking about getting a benefits program. After all, benefits are a key attraction in hiring the best talent.
From a human resources perspective, small businesses scaling up should make sure the benefits package they settle on is competitive. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not enough to shop around for providers that offer the best rates. Let’s look at the factors to be aware of — and if they align with your business philosophy.
A lot depends on whether you’re in it for the long or short term.
Many British Columbians welcome the abolishing of public healthcare premiums. They see the move as a huge step towards a truly free healthcare system.
But what are the potential cost impacts? Here are 3 things employers should note and prepare for.
1. Companies with payrolls over $500K may have to pay both EHT and MSP premiums
The NDP government announced that the Employer Health Tax (EHT) will come into effect January 1, 2019. The Medical Services Plan...
In Canada this year, we’ve seen much progress and many changes with regard to cannabis legislation.
At Immix Group, we are committed to providing active updates to you on the legalization of cannabis – and how this may change the healthcare landscape.
As part of keeping you up to date on where the industry is heading, we attended the recent Vancouver Cannabis Trade Show.
Here’s our report to you:
At the show, we observed very professional-looking vendors and
Employee benefits are an integral part of both the employee-value proposition and the overall working experience. As an HR manager, you might well ask, “Just how deeply should I be involved in employee benefits?”
Let’s be frank. The discipline of employee benefits can be overwhelmingly complex. It takes in administrative processing, financial analysis, reconciliation and compliance. And, given that the cost of benefits is huge, you may even be responsible for negotiation and auditing.
To help you efficiently manage employee benefits, here are ...
It is vital that you run a sustainable, healthy employee benefits program tailored to your organization’s needs. As your company changes and grows, be aware that one size does not fit all. Update your program to ensure you continue getting the maximum value in providing benefits.
Whether you’re the business owner, human resources manager, chief financial officer or cost controller, you want to keep your employee benefits program effective. Here’s how to do that. Every year, ask your broker the following five questions:
Benefits fraud is a topic that just keeps trending. There’s good reason for that. Fraud is a huge problem within the world of benefits. It impacts everyone – and it hurts everyone.
Benefits fraud is insidious. It takes all forms. Plan members, plan sponsors and service providers: All have been complicit in acts of fraud.
The financial impact is significant. While estimates range, industry experts’ best guess is that two to 10% of healthcare dollars – that’s up to $12 billion per year – are lost to fraud. This is money that could pay for a lot of legitimate, much-needed expenses!
You may be an accountant, or work in human resources. Or perhaps you are a cost controller, chief financial officer or small-business owner. In any of these roles, you face the same daunting challenge every year: At employee-benefits-renewal time, how best to deal with rate adjustments while keeping costs under control?
Renewal reports can be mind-bogglingly complicated. They don’t have to be. Yes, you have a great deal of data to consider in understanding your group’s claim usage. But there’s a key factor that defines your renewal adjustment.
99% of the time the answer is YES, you are covered for travel MEDICAL insurance.
Most, if not all, group employee benefit plans have some kind of out of country coverage for unexpected medical emergencies. For example, if you slip and break your leg in Mexico, get food poisoning in Asia, or simply visit a local clinic for a fever, all such instances would be covered.
An efficient, innovative employee digital, cloud-based benefits platform may be just what you’re looking for. This new benefits platform solves the top three common complaints:
- - plan administrator’s management burden
- - annual cost increases
- - declined claims, non-coverage and tedious process.
The platform eliminates all of the above — and is designed for you, the tech-savvy millennial workforce.
The three certainties that come along with living in British Columbia: death, taxes – and Medical Services Plan (MSP) premium increases.
Prior to joining Immix and entering the world of employee benefits, I shared the common misconception that the employer always pays MSP. I had worked for large companies and with the BC government in a union environment; in both job settings, my employer paid my MSP premiums as a part of the benefits package.
From time to time, we are approached by businesses that do not have an employee benefits program in place. Or, they have a plan, but they do not have an active relationship with their benefits broker. Surprisingly to us, they sometimes don’t know their broker at all!
At Immix, our relationship with our clients is very different. Unlike many brokers, our role as your benefits broker goes far beyond pricing. We like to say that we consider ourselves an extension of your HR Department- and your partner...
You provide health benefits to attract, reward and retain good employees. And it works. The majority of your employees recognize and appreciate the health, dental and other benefits they enjoy at your company. They live up to your expectations. They work hard.
But even at the best companies, health benefits are fertile grounds for fraudsters. Yes, you have wonderful employees overall. However, health benefits fraud could be happening at your business. According to the Canadian Health Care ...
When changing employers, leaving a company, or retiring from the workforce, considering healthcare and dental costs and options can be stressful for many people.
A gap in health and dental coverage can mean significant out-of-pocket expenses for some families. Unfortunately, many individuals do not qualify for coverage due to health issues. The solution to this concern is a ‘conversion plan,’ which offers uninterrupted coverage without medical approval.
Discussions surrounding prescription drugs tend to take up a large part of any employee benefits renewal meeting. On average, for a typical Canadian small business, prescription drug claims make up 50-70% of the extended health care claims in any given renewal year.
Over the past few years, we have been especially focused on discussing the changing role of generic drugs and building greater awareness. Effective April 1, 2014, the price of generic drugs in BC was reduced to 20% of the brand name price for the equivalent drug. The reduction in the price of generic drugs ...
Did you know that most benefits plans include emergency travel insurance?
Most clients and their employees either don’t know of this hidden benefit, or they’ve forgotten it. And, if they do happen to remember it, they probably don’t realize just how extensive their emergency coverage is for travel outside the province or country.
In fact, this extended health care benefit usually provides 100-percent coverage for all emergency expenses incurred while travelling. These expenses aren’t just direct medical treatment and hospital expenses.
Imagine for a moment that one of your employees got into a serious crash while commuting home. The employee is going to recover – but it will take months of intense therapy before he can return to work. By that time his Employment Insurance will have run out. So will his savings. He and his young family will face a tough time making ends meet. The accident was not work-related, so WorkSafe BC won’t pay anything.
You’d like to help. But, frankly, your company just can’t afford to pay someone who isn’t working.
Fortunately, your company has a benefits program ...