CGIB October 2016 Newsletter



Looking for two Group Benefit Analysts. The candidate is someone who can take apart/analyze group plans and support the producers with the renewals, plan amendments and new business documentation. Capable of working in a CRM environment with spreadsheets, etc.

Mary McDonald
Office: 416 362-2630


Success with CEBS
A key to professional success is being educated to lead your business through today’s challenges. With the Certified Employee Benefit Specialist® program (CEBS®) and its academic partner, Dalhousie University, you’ve found the educational program that will enable you to gain critical knowledge, earn respect from your peers as a leader and rise to the top.

We know you are busy so you’ll be glad to know that optional online classes and computer-based testing give you the flexibility to choose when and where you study. Plus, your CEBS courses can be used for continuing education credit for licensing requirements.

Give us a call at (844) 809-2698, send us an e-mail, or check us out on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. We are here to answer your questions, provide direction on getting started and support you along the way.

Make your mark on the benefit industry and enroll today.

Articles and Interesting reading

An Update on the Changing Workplaces Review

We are now one step closer to the conclusion of the Ontario Ministry of Labour’s (“MOL”) Changing Workplaces Review, which will potentially result in significant changes to the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (the “ESA”) and the Labour Relations Act, 1995 (the “LRA”).

The review process, which has been ongoing since June 2015, is aimed at updating and modernizing Ontario’s employment and labour legislation. This will be the first major overhaul of these laws in well over a decade. By considering both the ESA and the LRA together, the MOL is attempting to take an integrated approach to changes that affect both unionized and non-unionized workplaces.

Click here to view full article.
Should benefit plans cover HIV prophylactic?

Flex accounts, health trusts need special tax attention
6 things sales professionals should never do
Group Benefits – Expansion of Employee Benefits Should Be Based on Strategic Decisions
SMEs using healthcare spending accounts creatively
2016 Advisors on Carriers survey

Plan sustainability the focus of The 2016 Value of Generics Symposium

All employers want a healthy and productive workforce, but resources are limited. How can employers ensure their drug plans are sustainable and able to support their employees’ health, well-being and productivity into the future? At The 2016 Value of Generics Symposium, experts shared their insights on challenges and opportunities facing plan sponsors in the current drug plan landscape in Canada.
Read about it here

Revised Estimates Put Healthcare Spending Higher
Revised estimates for 2014 healthcare spending growth show increases larger than initially reported which continues a worrisome trend, says a C.D. Howe Institute report. ‘Healthcare Spending Decelerating? Not so Fast!’ warns that initial estimates based on provincial budgets have typically misled Canadians into thinking healthcare spending is under better control than it actually is. The Canadian Institute for Health Information’s ‘2015 National Health Expenditures NHEX)’ report shows a deceleration in provincial health budgets in recent years. The report says, however, that each NHEX report’s figures for its two most recent years rest mainly on budget estimates. Later revisions based on actual spending numbers typically have shown materially larger increases. One explanation for health spending overshoots seems to be positive revenue ‘surprises’ that undermine fiscal discipline: when governments reap more revenue than they budgeted for, they spend more than they budgeted for. More realistic revenue projections and better scrutiny of in-year spending decisions could help hold healthcare spending increases in line with Canadians’ willingness to pay, it says.

Hybrid public-private healthcare: a solution that requires regulation
Health Canada opens doors to prescription heroin
SMEs using healthcare spending accounts creatively

Specialty Medication Benefits Real
The increased use of specialty medications to treat a widening array of chronic conditions has raised concerns for Canadian employers about how to manage the rising costs of employer-sponsored benefits. A Conference Board of Canada report, ‘The Value of Specialty Medications: An Employer Perspective,’ finds that the benefits of specialty medications provided by organizations are real and extend well beyond the workplace of the employee to include benefits to other companies, the economy, and the healthcare system. Societal benefits of specialty medications include a decrease in caregiving needs of working relatives and reduced use of healthcare resources, which total an estimated $6,600 to $17,000 per employee in benefits depending on the disease. Specialty medications are defined as any medication with a cost of at least $10,000 per person per year during maintenance therapy in the context of treating chronic diseases for employees and their dependents. Often times, these medications can delay the progression of conditions, alleviate symptoms, prevent, or delay relapses. They can also allow employees to return to, or become more productive, at work.

Encourage clients to take advantage of HSAs
Tackling the challenges of benefits provision for employees over age 65
When is an employee benefit taxable?
The debate over corporate health screenings: Do they lead to over-diagnosis?
How To Avoid Common Mistakes When Selling A Practice
Just 30% of employers have a formal health benefits policy for older workers

The Insurance and Investment Journal, in association with Solareh, is pleased to offer you this special report on group insurance. Several issues related to the group benefits sector have been addressed in this document, which has been sent to our web bulletin subscribers. We invite you to share this content in your network.
Employers Are Unaware of How to Cut Health Benefits Costs
What can I do to give myself a kick-start at the start of the year?
Beyond sales: The power of why
Shortfall in Canadian private health insurance
Disability products most frequent source of complaints
Crisis looms as Australians look to ditch private health insurance
Why it matters that insurers are paying more claims than ever

Seminars and Educational Events

October 04, 2016?International Centre, 6900 Airport Rd, Mississauga, ON

The 16th annual Pharmacy Solutions in Drug Plan Management Forum is a half-day conference designed to explore ways that current innovations in pharmacy can positively impact plan sponsors and their plan members.
This year’s theme, Better Health, Better Value, speaks to pharmacists’ virtually untapped role to support plan members taking medications to treat chronic diseases. Thanks to sweeping changes in healthcare legislation and examples set by publicly funded programs, pharmacists are equipped like never before to help ensure that plan members get the best possible health outcomes from their medicines, which means that plan sponsors get full value for their drug plan spend. As eligible medical practitioners, pharmacists are also growing their presence in the areas of point-of-care testing and healthcare coaching, to help prevent the incidence and impact of chronic disease.
New to the 2016 conference, this year’s event will feature exclusive Benefits Canada research that captures plan sponsor views about emerging pharmacy services. This will explore which services plan sponsors most want to see become part of health benefits plans. It will also capture current levels of understanding about key issues related to chronic disease management, such as adherence levels to medications.
To learn more about the role pharmacy services play in plans and their potential going forward, don’t miss the 2016 Pharmacy Solutions Forum.???PRICING
$129 + HST
Plan sponsors, benefit consultants, advisors, brokers, group insurance, PBM’s, TPA’s, pharmacies, pharmacists and other healthcare stakeholders.


Registration is now open for this year’s Arete Group Insurance Advisor Conference (AGIAC)

Join your fellow advisors at AGIAC 2016: Mythbusters – Fresh Thinking for Benefit Advisors.

Experts will blast away three common misconceptions affecting you and your clients:
• Myth #1: Employee mental health is not my clients’ business
• Myth #2: We’ve done all we can to manage drug plans
• Myth #3: Benefit reporting – it’s just a numbers game

This year’s event is a shorter day – from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., which leaves you time to take care of business before and after.

Ticket prices have dropped, CE credits apply, venues are all easily accessible and have ample free parking.

Click here to visit the AGIAC page and register to attend in:
• Calgary, AB – November 1
• Burnaby, BC – November 3
• Vaughan, ON – November 8

Interested in booking a full table? Contact us at

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook to get up to the minute AGIAC updates.

Don’t miss this opportunity to get new insights into tough issues in a non-promotional, education-based environment. You’ll be glad you registered.

See you at the conference!


Biologics and biosimilars; Baby Boomers, Millennials and Gen-X all in the workplace at the same time; keeping older workers on the job longer; medical marijuana; and the list goes on and on.
Plan sponsors face more challenges today than ever before. Benefits are a key attraction and retention tool in an increasingly competitive labour marketplace. They need to find ways to provide maximum benefits at the best possible cost.

Whether it is assessing which paramedical services provide value, is there a role for pharmacogenetics testing in benefits plans, helping employees cope with cancer, or designing wellness programs to prevent and reduce the impact of the epidemic of chronic disease now in the workplace, this November the Benefits and Pensions Monitor Meetings & Events team’s first benefits conference will explore today’s benefits world.

Join us on November 10, 2016 at the Sheraton Toronto Centre Hotel.

Register Now



Our Advisory Panel has been hard at work over the spring and summer to build an interesting and dynamic list of topics and presenters for our 2016-17 season that will address many of the current issues faced by those working in the private health care and benefits sector.

Our theme this season is Making the Link: Financial Sustainability and Measuring Outcomes. There has been a great deal of discussion in recent years about the long term financial sustainability of plans, and many plan design features, programs and services have been implemented in an effort to manage demand and plan costs. There has been less discussion about outcomes and how these can be measured in the short and long term. The focus of this season will be on measuring the impact of newer plan design features, adjudication techniques, and plan member support programs, and the extent to which these changes are resulting in enhanced health outcomes and improved financial sustainability.
Purchase a Season Pass and save $91.00 or 20% over our Early Bird rates. The Season Pass is only available until September 22, 2016, our first meeting date of the new Season.
CE Credits: Unless otherwise noted each session is eligible for 2 continuing education credits for those who are life licensed. Mark your calendars now!


Questions or comments?
Contact Denise Balch (; 905.220.4260)
or Allan Smofsky (; 416.347.6968)


Earn CE Credits this Fall with The Benefits Trust

Our CE Credit webinars and seminars are back in full swing this fall! Register today.

IN-HOUSE SEMINARS: Creative Employee Benefit Solutions (2 CE Credits)
Register for Seminar
Date and Time: Oct 25 and Nov 23 – 10am to Noon
Location: The Benefits Trust Offices Google Maps
Here are just a few of the useful strategies you’ll learn in our new in-house sessions:
A better understanding of creative employee benefits plan design.
A framework for better conversations with clients and prospects.
A clean canvas to paint a better benefits plan design picture.
Attend, learn, ask questions, and share with other participants.
Register now to avoid missing out – limited seating!

WEBINARS (1 CE Credit)
Register for Webinars
Simplifying Group Benefits with Budgeted ASO – Sept 20th: 10-11am
The Numbers Behind ASO – Sept 28th: 10-11am
Delivering the One Life Case Profitably – Oct. 6th: 10-11am
Group Benefits Sales Ideas for Entrepreneurial Clients – Oct. 18th: 10-11am
Understanding Health Care Spending Accounts – Oct. 26th: 10-11am
Introducing SelectFlex – Nov. 1st: 10-11am
Register for a Webinar Today!


Join us on Tuesday, November 1 and Wednesday, November 2 at The International Centre.

IFB’s Toronto Fall Summit is offering you more chances to hear from legal experts and renowned advisors, and more knowledge so that you can run the best practice possible.

The 2016 Toronto Fall Keynote speakers will include:

Darrell Keezer, Founder of Candybox Marketing
Rick Forchuk, Industry Icon & Special Advisor at Empire Life

Earn up to 12 hours of CE for your Life License, plus CE for professional designations and RIBO licenses.

$124 for IFB Members
($149 after October 1)

$224 for Non-Members
($249 after October 1)

Prices do not include tax.

Click HERE to check out the presentation outlines!



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