Group Benefits - Premium relief for Dental and Extended Health Care benefits
We know this is a difficult time for Canadian employers and that many of your clients are facing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. We continue to look for ways to help employers manage while still supporting their employees.
With many health practitioners closing their offices due to the pandemic restrictions, plan member use of dental benefits and some health benefits has declined.
So, we are pleased to announce that we are offering premium relief for all Traditional and myFlex insured non-refund customers for Health and Dental benefits, as follows:
- A 50% reduction on Dental premiums; and
- A 20% reduction on vision and extended healthcare rates (excluding prescription drugs), which equates to an 8% reduction on Health premiums.
These reductions are retroactive to April 1, 2020 and will appear as a credit against the next available billing. We will assess the situation monthly and expect to continue with monthly refunds for as long as the current crisis period continues.
We expect that claims experience and premiums will return to normal once the current pandemic restrictions are lifted.
In the meantime, plan members will continue to have full access to their benefits coverage throughout the pandemic. In many cases, dental offices remain open for emergency services, and a variety of healthcare providers are available virtually.
We know the pandemic has put financial strain on your business as well, so we will continue to pay full compensation. Although your overall commission will be unaffected by these premium reduction adjustments, you may see a temporary reduction in your commission payments if you are on a pay-as-earned basis while we put through mass changes. If so, we will then make an additional top-up payment to cover that shortfall as soon as we are able.
We will be communicating this premium relief program to your clients April 21st at 8:00am EST.
A PDF of the communication is also available here.
If you have any questions, please contact your Group Account Executive or myFlex Sales Manager. In the meantime, we have provided some Questions and Answers below.
Will the premium reduction on Health and Dental benefits have an impact on the renewals that were deferred?
No. Renewals will proceed as normal, with rate adjustments based only on months where full premium was paid. For most clients, we anticipate “normal” rate adjustments at renewal compared to rates paid prior to refunds taking effect.
Does this adjustment apply equally to clients who have had their renewal deferred?
Yes, these adjustments apply to all Traditional and myFlex insured, non-refund customers for Health and Dental benefits.
How does this affect clients who have terminated or amended a plan?
If a benefit is in-force during the month of April, the adjustment will be credited to the next available billing. For clients who have temporarily terminated all benefits, this will be applied against the first bill once benefits have been reinstated. No cash refunds will be paid.
Will you recover any of the adjustment at a future point in time?
No, we will not recover this adjustment.
Instead of this premium reduction adjustment, can a client cancel or adjust some of the benefits on their plan?
Yes, you and your clients always have the option of changing the coverage on a plan, such as reducing or removing a benefit to help control costs. Please speak to your Group Account Executive or myFlex Sales Manager about the options available.
Are TPAs and self-administered groups eligible for the premium reduction?
Yes. TPAs and self-administered groups are eligible for the premium reduction. However, timing for the credit will be dependent on the billing practices of the TPA or self-administered group. We will apply these credits as soon as we are able.