Dundee Insurance Agency Ltd.
A Dundee Wealth Management Company

 

Group Benefits News

New Legislation & How It Affects You

Bill C-6: Protection of Personal Information

In April 2000, new Federal Legislation, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (Bill C-6), was passed into law. Bill C-6 applies to all private sector Organizations and is intended to protect individuals against misuse of their personal Information.

Federal legislation regarding government use of private information was enacted some time ago but Bill C-6 is the first national legislation to address privacy issues in the private sector.

Effective January 1, 2001, this new legislation will apply specifically to federally regulated organizations and will be phased in for all private sector organizations over the next three years. Bill C-6 highlights are summarized below:

  • Organizations must obtain an individual's consent when collecting, using or disclosing his or her personal information.
  • Anyone else is prohibited from making use of a person's personal information without that person's permission.
  • Personal information is allowed to be used only for the stated purpose for which it was collected. Consent must be obtained again for any other use.

EI Benefit and Premium Changes for 2001

The Federal government has announced changes to the Employment Insurance (EI) Program effective January 1, 2001.

Employment Insurance Rates
2000 2001
Maximum Insurable Earnings $39,000 $39,000
Maximum Weekly Insurable Earnings $750.00 $750.00
Employee Contribution / $100 Insurable Earnings $2.40 $2.25
Employer Contribution / $100 Insurable Earnings $3.36 $3.15
Maximum Weekly Benefit $413.00 $413.00
Employer Premium Reduction
- With Registered Wage Loss Replacement Plan
$1.275 x empl.
premium
$1.275 x empl.
premium

Executive Considerations

Executive Disability

Are you fully covered by your group disability plan? Many group insurance plans pay a certain percentage of your income when you are disabled. In many circumstances, group benefits will also have an overall maximum. This maximum may not be enough to adequately protect your income at claim time.

Upon request, we can arrange for a specialist from Dundee Group Benefits Division to consult with you to determine whether you are adequately protected.

Cost Plus

In addition to an Employee Benefit plan, the Cost Plus program provides an alternate form of executive compensation through your Employee Benefit package.

Noteworthy Industry Trends

Generic Drugs

Approximately 33% of the medications for which doctors write prescriptions have a chemically equivalent alternative, also called a generic drug, available at a lower cost. Chemically equivalent alternatives have the same high quality as brand-name drugs and contain the same active ingredients. They may look different -- a different color or shape, for example -- but they work the same as the brand-name drugs. Generic drugs are federally tested using the same strict criteria for safety and effectiveness and must meet the same scientific norms and standards. However, generic drugs are less expensive than brand-name drugs, and sometimes this cost difference is considerable.

Your plan may be modified to cover only generic or chemically equivalent drugs. However, even if you retain the brand-name drug coverage, requesting the lower cost generics when filling your prescription helps keep the cost of your benefit plan under control.

Pay-Direct Drug Card

Drugs typically account for 65% to 85% of all Health Care claims. Pay-direct drug plans are quickly becoming the preferred method of reimbursement for prescription drugs.

The technological advances that have been made by the pay-direct providers have resulted in better claims management and improved reporting capabilities. These controls have made it possible for many carriers to provide a drug card with minimal or no adjustment to the rates.

Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

Did you know...?

  • One in five Canadian workers are suffering each day from personal or emotional problems severe enough to cause injuries, absenteeism and reduced productivity?*
  • One in three working Canadians will suffer temporary emotional problems during their lives?*

* The Canadian Institute of Stress

An Employee Assistance Program offers confidential, short-term counseling and/or referral to external professional services to assist employees and their immediate families in finding solutions to their personal problems. Services offered are strictly confidential and the assistance of a Counselor can normally be obtained through a toll free number available 24 hours a day. No information is divulged to any person(s) without the employee's authorization.

Counseling services can be provided to employees and/or their families for problems related to:

  • Marital/Family
  • Employment
  • Alcohol/Substance Abuse
  • Personal (such as loss of interest, fatigue, communication problems, stress and insomnia)

In addition, financial and legal assistance is available if they are related to the above items and are recommended by the Counselor.









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