CGIB November 2016 Newsletter



If you’re a Canadian snowbird. You are probably breaking U.S. law.
A follow up posting regarding the article above….

Subject: re: If you’re a Canadian snowbird., you are probably breaking U.S. law
Date: Wed, 19 Oct 2016

Here is a response to the article linked to in the original post from Milan Korcok of (TIF):

“The article referred to is wrong on several points.

The main one is that Canadians are allowed to enter the US for visiting or tourism purposes on a paperless B2 visa for a total of up to six months per any continuous 12-month period. They can do this according to a special allowance the US has for Canadians that doesn’t apply to other nationals, who are allowed no more than three months per year.

The B2 is the category under which they are allowed and though it is paperless it is usually is signified by a passport stamp.

The six-month allotment is on a rolling 12-month period which means that one simply looks back over the past 12 months from any given point and calculates how many days he or she has spent in the US. If it is over six months, the traveler is at risk for being banned from entering again for a period determined by the US border control agent.

The term six months can be interpreted differently by different border agents, and it’s their call as to how they do it. Some consider six months 180 days, some 182 days, some use a six-month paradigm such as April 15 to October 15 (which is actually 183 days). The best rule is to keep stays to 180 days and keep one or two days in reserve in case of emergencies.

Do not argue with the border control agent about having one or two days left in your quota. It is the agent’s call and he or she owes you no explanation.

The references to extending the three-month stay by filing Form 1-539 do not apply to Canadians simply visiting on their B2 six month allotment since they are allowed. It’s a needless complicating factor.

On the issue of tax liability to the US is not nearly as complicated as the writer in this article suggests.

The IRS has what it calls a Substantial Presence Test by which Canadian visitors can measure their liability. The formula is correctly described in this article and any Canadian visitor who has been present in the US for the prescribed time over the three years is considered an alien for tax purposes. But that is no big deal, as Canadians can avoid paying taxes to the IRS legally by completing a Closer Connection 8840 form by which they substantiate that their real home is Canada—that is where they have their business, social, banking and family connections, as well as where they pay their taxes.

The form is easily available from the IRS website,, as is the Substantial Presence Test formula.


Matt Davies
Ingle International
416-644-2082 ext. 324

Other articles of interest…

Articles and Interesting reading

Freedom of choice may be coming to an end in drug plans
10 serious networking myths and mistakes
9 ways to make better prospecting connections
When prospects go silent, here’s how to get a response
Ex-Nortel workers seeking regulatory change to boost priority of disability benefits

Health insurance implications for boom in self-employed Canadians
Goodbye, FSCO?

The final report of the Ontario expert panel reviewing insurance regulation calls for FSCO’s elimination
Employers need to remain vigilant on exorbitant drug costs: Empire Life VP
Employers grappling with poor optics of employee vision coverage
Federal government faces lawsuit from Canadian drug maker

Amendment Process The Problem
It is not that the changes are bad, says Dave Patriarche, of Mainstay Insurance Brokerage, it is the process he has problems with. Speaking at the Canadian Group Insurance Brokers’ ‘Amending Contracts: Why Can’t Insurers Wait For Renewal?’ session, he said its initiative introduced in August was in response to insurer forced mid-year amendments becoming common place. The purpose of the ‘Commitment to Contract Integrity for Group Benefits’ is to help restore faith in the contract between insurers, third-party administrators, and policy owners and to provide a basis for communication by allowing brokers the opportunity to discuss amendments with policy owners at renewal. It also aims to reduce cases of multiple amendments while insuring the amendments are legally enforceable without confusion or misunderstanding. In the past, amendments to group benefit contracts were made at renewal unless they were due to taxation or regulatory issues that required a response. He suspects the rash of amendments has been prompted by insurers becoming risk averse and wanting out of the group insurance business, especially smaller companies. Indications of this include increased stop-loss attachment points and insured plan credibility levels; few (almost no) pooled options; a refusal to add new higher cost drugs and formularies that are being closed as new drugs come out. The insurance companies claim they are not risk adverse, but these actions indicate otherwise, he said. At this rate, the future will see employers who experience high drug claims facing higher drug plan costs which could force plan changes; drug costs downloaded to employees who must then seek relief from spousal plans, provincial plans, or patient assistance programs if they are available; and insurers continuing to avoid the risk associated with high cost claims and becoming more transactionally focused at the expense of both employers and their employees. He said changes need to be communicated the right way and at the time of contract renewal. Instead, they are seeing changes with no advance notice that are effective immediately or retroactively with no updated policy or booklet provided and no formal signed amendment.

SMEs using healthcare spending accounts creatively
The pros and cons of including faith-based healing in benefits plans
League to provide insurance products with RBC Insurance

Freedom of choice may be coming to an end in drug plans
Drug Coupons: Helping a Few at the Expense of Everyone

Private health-care spending in Ontario grew 14.5% in last decade: study

Patent Protection Could Lower Costs
If patent protections for drugs and medical devices were strengthened around the world, it could ultimately lower costs in Canada and help save lives by spurring innovation, says a book authored by several leading authorities in the field and released by the Fraser Institute. “Stronger patent protections would encourage the development of new drugs and medical devices, which could improve and even save the lives of Canadians,” says Steven Globerman, Fraser Institute senior fellow, Kaiser Professor of International Business at Western Washington University, and editor of ‘Intellectual Property Rights and the Promotion of Biologics, Medical Devices, and Trade in Pharmaceuticals.’ Currently, small and developing countries exploit weak intellectual property rights (IPR) laws, which include patents, to acquire generic pharmaceutical drugs and medical devices more cheaply. Consequently, patients and healthcare systems in developed countries, such as the United States and Canada, pay higher prices as companies try to recoup substantial research and development costs. Proposed new trade agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership feature stronger patent protection of drugs and medical devices, but its future remains uncertain due to rising protectionism in the U.S. and other countries. Until stronger patent protections are established around the world, developed countries should streamline cross-border regulations for pharmaceuticals and medical devices which would help reduce prices for patients and healthcare systems, says the book.
Will employers include the abortion pill in drug plans?
Understanding specialty drugs
The specialty drugs phenomenon has introduced an entire new range of terminology into the drug plan conversation.
Canadian insurers expect 6% increase in medical spending this year: study

Millennials Offer Benefits
Nearly half (45 per cent) of the businesses run by millennials offer wellness programs as part of their group benefits offering, says the ‘2016 Manulife Small Business Research Report.’ It found just 22 per cent of small business companies run by baby boomers offer group wellness programs. The same phenomenon is observed with group pension plans ? 44 per cent of millennial business owners have set up a group pension plan for their employees compared to 20 per cent of baby boomer owners. “Our research shows a connection between the investment in the health and wealth of employees and their level of engagement and productivity,” says Donna Carbell, senior vice-president, group benefits, at Manulife. “Millennials understand what attracts and retains millennials and they are definitely going to scoop up the best talent by implementing benefits programs as soon as possible.”
Zenefits announces product launch: ‘Small business has been left behind’
If you’re a Canadian snowbird. You are probably breaking U.S. law.
Why advisors are still relevant in a digital world
Fighting obsolescence is one of this advisor’s goals

Drug price war on the horizon between global pharmaceutical giants
What are the basic rules to be more compliant in my business?
How can I be a better prospector?

Collage Offers Free Benefits Platform
Collage Technologies Inc. has launched an HR and benefits platform for Canadian businesses. The cloud-based software application helps businesses automate administration work involved with HR, group benefits, and payroll administration. Available at no cost to Canadian businesses, Collage will be paid by insurance companies when customers use the platform to manage their benefits plan. The platform allows businesses to onboard new employees, complete tax forms, sign and store employment documents electronically, set up and track time off policies, automatically enroll employees in benefits, and more.
Help small businesses prevent costly health insurance fraud

Seminars and Educational Events


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.

Rheum for Discussion

As patents for biologic products expire, biosimilars are available for the treatment of rheumatic diseases. Learn more about the totality of evidence for biosimilars. Quality control and manufacturing standards, extrapolation, immunogenicity, first line treatment selection and transitioning are important considerations in determining comparability to originator biologics.

Discover biosimilars impact in rheumatology
Hear two of the world’s leading experts address frequently asked questions around integrating biosimilars into practice.
Password: rheum
Empire Life Advisor Webinar

Data Privacy

Ensuring that employees’ personal data is handled in a manner consistent with Canada’s privacy laws can be a challenge for small business owners: benefit plan administrators change; legislation evolves; and law suits for breaches of privacy are on the rise.

This webinar will recap plan administrators’ responsibilities and introduce you to Privacy by Design, an approach developed here in Canada by Dr. Ann Cavoukian that’s been translated into 38 languages, recommended by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and, this year, incorporated into the E.U. General Data Protection Regulation.

Dr. Ann Cavoukian, Executive Director of the Privacy and Big Data Institute, Ryerson University

November 2, 2016
1:30-2:30 p.m. Eastern (10:30-11:30 a.m. Pacific; 11:30-12:30 p.m. Mountain; 12:30-1:30 p.m. Central; 2:30-3:30 p.m. Atlantic)

The Right Way to Manage Expats
Most companies get anemic returns on their expat investments. Many expats return early, perform below expectations, or leave their employer within a year of returning home. That’s according to leadership expert, professor Stewart Black of INSEAD (The Financial Times ranked the INSEAD MBA #1 in its 2016 ranking of MBA programs).

Stewart Black has been tracking how companies manage expats for the past 20 years. He argues that the companies that consistently experience success with expats follow three general practices.

In this webinar, we will report on recent research Empire Life has undertaken with professor Black, and help you understand what customers need to do to get the most from their investment in expat assignments.

Do you know someone on expat assignment? Please feel free to share this survey with them.

Stewart Black, Professor of Management Practice in Global Leadership and Strategy

November 8, 2016
1:30-2:30 p.m. Eastern (10:30-11:30 a.m. Pacific; 11:30-12:30 p.m. Mountain; 12:30-1:30 p.m. Central; 2:30-3:30 p.m. Atlantic)

Seats are limited, so register today to reserve yours. You will receive 1 CE credit for each webinar you attend.

Please contact your Empire Rep for registration info

It’s less than a month until AGIAC

Do you have your ticket yet?

If you haven’t reserved your spot yet for Mythbusters: Fresh Thinking for Benefit Advisors, why not do it today?

Tax is included in this year’s ticket price, so when we say it’s $150 to attend, we mean $150.

Take a minute and save your spot:

Calgary AB – November 1
Burnaby, BC – November 3
Vaughn, ON – November 8
Interested in booking a full table? Contact us at

AGIAC 2016: Mythbusters – Fresh Thinking for Benefit Advisors

Join your group insurance benefit advisor colleagues as experts blast away three common myths 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


The Face-to-Face Drug Plan Management Forum (Toronto) is a half-day event focusing on drug plan management issues.


Debunking Myths in Drug Plan Management
In order to better understand drug plan management, it’s important to highlight some of the myths and misconceptions that exist. This panel will use live polling technology to help drive discussion.

The Burden of Non-Adherence
Non-adherence to medication means a less healthy workforce and plan sponsor dollars wasted. This panel will discuss what impacts plan member adherence and what role the plan sponsor should play.

Employee benefit and drug plan sponsors, benefit consultants, group insurers and other healthcare stakeholders.

$129 + Tax (employers)
$249 + Tax (industry providers)
Innovative Medicines Canada | Médicaments novateurs Canada
Twitter logo
Making Canada Better 2016 | Pour un Canada meilleur 2016 logo


Registration is now open for Making Canada Better 2016 – Canada’s premier life sciences and health innovation conference on November 22.

Join Innovative Medicines Canada at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre for a day of learning, collaborating, networking and setting new directions with over 400 key partners from Canada’s health ecosystem.

Be part of the discussion to shape the future of Canada’s life sciences sector:

Join keynote speaker Dr. David B. Agus, world leading physician and cofounder of two pioneering personalized medicine companies, as he discusses the importance of innovation and new technologies.

Collaborate with attendees during our interactive workshops on:

Maintaining the value of Canada’s public health system in a changing environment
Private health insurance: a prescription for sustainability
Building trust and promoting transparency: using common ground towards the best possible health outcomes for patients
Celebrate Canadian life sciences research and innovation!

After a day of collaboration and discussion, we invite you to take part in a celebration of world-class contributions to Canadian life sciences research and innovation. The Health Research Foundation (HRF) of Innovative Medicines Canada Awards Gala, in partnership with Prix Galien Canada and Research Canada: An Alliance for Health Discovery, will recognize some of Canada’s best and brightest with the presentation of the HRF Medal of Honour, Prix Galien Canada’s Innovative Product and Research Awards, and the Research Canada Leadership Award for health research advocacy.

And much more…

Don’t miss the opportunity to be part of the discussion to set direction for future policies and programs that will make Canada’s life sciences sector a model for the world.


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

You can earn up to 12 hours of CE for your Life License, CE for professional designations, and 8 hours of CE for RIBO Licenses.

IFB’s Toronto 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
George Hartman, President & CEO of Market Logistics Inc.

Click HERE to take a look at the presentation outlines!

Take advantage of our SPECIAL Fall Pricing.

Dont miss out on this great opportunity and reserve your spot today!

$135 for IFB Members
$189 for Non Members

Prices do not include tax
Pharmacogenetics, trends in benefits fraud, biosimilars, drug plan management and sustainability, and the impact of new drugs on plan sustainability have been confirmed as topics for the Benefits and Pensions Monitor Meetings & Events’ first ‘Benefits Conference.’

With plan sponsors facing more challenges today than ever before, benefits are playing a more important role as a key attraction and retention tool in an increasingly competitive labour marketplace. Yet, they need to find ways to provide maximum benefits at the best possible cost.

Sessions will look at why now is the time for pharmacogenetics in employee benefits; the costs of benefits fraud and fraud prevention; how to optimize the biosimilar opportunity; and solutions for plan sponsors to maintain their benefit plans while delivering measurable results to their bottom line and their employees.
For detailed information on speakers and our agenda, please visit our website at If you have any questions, please contact Kristyn Dougall, Executive Meeting & Event Manager at

Register Now

Our in-house CE credit seminar, “Creative Employee Benefits Solutions” has been highly popular. Don’t miss your last chance to attend in 2016! November 23 is the final session this year and many of the spots are already full so register now to claim your seat.
You will walk away from this seminar with a better understanding of creative benefits plan design and a framework for better conversations with clients and prospects.


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