CGIB January 2016 Newsletter

Articles and Interesting reading

PLEASE DO THIS!!! and you’ll get a New Years present (the answers)

We’re creating a list of 101 great sales questions to engage prospects and we need your help!

 We’ve recently received feedback from advisors based on our first sales ideas webinar and Rob’s keynote at Canadian Sales Congress 2015 about how to achieve extraordinary sales success. Advisors are always looking to learn from each other and discover new sales questions to engage prospects.

 We’ve put some thought into this, and decided the best way to help our advisors would be to create a comprehensive list of best questions. But we can’t do it alone! This extensive resource will be compiled from our own experience – and the experiences of other advisors – you!
That’s why we need your help! All you need to do is share 3 sales questions you ask prospects to engage them in meaningful conversation, and you’ll get 101 back.

Click here to share 3 engaging sales questions with us.

*The collection of information is completely anonymous.

We’re grateful for your participation! Once we’ve collected all the advisor submissions, we’ll compile and share the results with you in early 2016.
We look forward to seeing all of the great questions our advisors are using!


Drug Trends Examined

‘Why Employers Should Care About Their Employees Health’ is the focus of a CPBI Northern Alberta Region session. Topics examined include ‘Drug Trends, Employer Issues & Drug Strategies’ and ‘What Does Your Drug Data Tell You.’ Speakers are Barb Martinez, of Great-West Life; Mike Sullivan, of Cubic Health; Mark Razzolini and Claire Leger, of Alberta Blue Cross; and Wendy Poirier, of Towers Watson. Those interested can register for either the morning or afternoon session or the full day. It takes place January 20 in Edmonton, AB. For information,


Manulife Offers HR To Clients

Manulife will be providing HR Support Services to Manulife group benefits clients with two to 399 employees – at no additional cost. Eligible employers will have access to the information and advice they need to manage the talent in their organizations, develop employees, and help remain compliant with industry and government regulations. Currently available to its clients in British Columbia and Alberta, the HR Support Services will be made available across Canada in the second quarter of 2016. “Small business owners told us that they need help dealing with human resources-related issues. In many cases, the owner is busy running the company and simply doesn’t have time to develop the HR expertise that is so important today,” says Philippe Toupin, vice-president, small business solutions. “We understand the need to focus their energy on building their businesses and we want to support them.”

(Please note that this firm is affiliated with Benefits Direct, a “no commission” benefits brokerage and FIRM consulting. )


Generic Savings Identified

Canadian private drug plans would have seen important prescription cost savings in 2013 had brand-name drugs been reimbursed at generic price levels, with Quebec private drug plans having the greatest potential to realize savings, says the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board (PMPRB). Through the National Prescription Drug Utilization Information System (NPDUIS) research initiative, ‘Private Drug Plans in Canada, Part 1: Generic Market 2005-2013,’ the first in a series of three NPDUIS reports that explore issues in private drug plans in Canada, it identifies cost savings resulting from generic pricing policies implemented by most provincial governments in recent years. Most notably, it found that dispensing frequency was identified as a key factor driving prescription costs for generic drugs in Quebec private plans to levels markedly higher than those in other plans. It also found that the use and cost of generic drugs in most private plans was similar to that in public plans in 2013, despite significant differences in plan design and beneficiary populations. Generic drugs accounted for 70 per cent of all prescribed drugs in Canada in 2013 and Canada had the third-highest proportion of annual prescription generic drug use relative to the seven industrialized countries the PMPRB considers in reviewing the prices of patented drug products (France, United States, Sweden, Switzerland, Germany, United Kingdom and Italy).


Surgery Wait Time Stagnant

The median wait time for Canadians seeking medically necessary surgery or other therapeutic treatment remained stagnant for the third consecutive year, says a study by the Fraser Institute. The ‘Waiting Your Turn: Wait Times for Health Care in Canada, 2015 Report’ reports a median wait time of 18.3 weeks, up slightly from 18.2 weeks in 2014. In 1993, the wait time was just 9.3 weeks. “These protracted wait times are not the result of insufficient spending, but because of poor policy. In fact, it’s possible to reduce wait times without higher spending or abandoning universality. The key is to better understand the health policy experiences of other more successful universal healthcare systems around the developed world,” says Bacchus Barua, senior economist at the Fraser Institute’s Centre for Health Policy Studies and author of the study. On a provincial basis, Saskatchewan now has the shortest waits in the country at 13.6 weeks, a dramatic turnaround from 2011 when it was among the country’s longest wait times (29 weeks). For the third consecutive year, British Columbia recorded an increase in wait times with its median wait now sitting at 22.4 weeks. Among the various specialities, the longest referral-to-treatment wait times exist for patients requiring orthopaedic surgery ? the treatment of ailments related to bones, joints, and muscles ? at 35.7 weeks and neurosurgery (27.6 weeks), surgery performed on the nervous system.


Manulife backpedals on agent of record transfer program

Manulife Financial has had to postpone plans to modify the way it handles transferring commissions to the agent of record because of feedback from advisors.

On Oct. 19, Manulife announced a new transfer policy that would have allowed insurance contracts to be transferred from one advisor to another at the client’s request. The transfer involved both servicing and commission rights. The life renewal override commissions would also be transferred to the new advisor’s MGA. The new rule was intended to encourage continuity of service to clients and was originally scheduled to come into force on January 1, 2016.

The new effective date has not been announced, and the rule is being revised in the meantime. “Since October, we have received valuable input from our partners into this process. Based on that input we decided not to proceed at this time. We will be reviewing the input and will be incorporating that feedback into any future direction we take with this initiative,” commented Manulife spokesperson Beverley MacLean when contacted by, a sister publication of The Insurance and Investment Journal.


Seminars and Educational Events


Check out this webinar:

The Benefits Benchmarking Webinar: Containing Costs, Maintaining Coverage
Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Price: $399

PS: Visit our webinar calendar to view every session we have coming up in 2016!


Announcing the 2015-16 BBC Season!

Season Schedule – Save the Dates!

February 4, 2016: Implications on benefits plans of Cancer as a Chronic Disease – Burlington

March 24, 2016: The Changing Benefits Landscape:  TPAs, PBMs, ASO, Stop Loss & – Cambridge

April 28, 2016: Health Benefits 2.1: The Changing Health Care Plan – Burlington

June 9, 2016: New Drug Developments, Trends and Forecasting of Drug Plan Budgets – Burlington


Register Now

Medical Marijuana – What do Payers Need to Know?
Mapol Inc. invites you to attend a complimentary webinar sponsored by Tilray.

The Webinar will be held on Wednesday, January 13, 2016 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time.

You will hear a presentation from:
– Dr. Danial Schecter, Executive Director, Cannabinoid Medical Clinic (CMClinic)

The Learning Objectives for the session include:
• Learn about the availability of medical marijuana cannabis in Canada (prescription cannabinoids and herbal cannabis) including indications, side effects, dosages, modes of administration, regulatory control and distribution
• Review some of the literature that supports the use of cannabinoids
• Describe how patients can access medical cannabis in Canada
To register:
1. Click the registration link.
2. Click “Register”.
3. On the registration form, enter your information and then click “Submit”.

An application for CE credits has been submitted to the Institute for Advanced Financial Education.

Please note, this complimentary webinar is limited to invited guests including insurers, PBMs, TPAs, benefits consultants, and employers.
Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2016
1:00 to 2:00 p.m. EST

Register Now

Dr. Danial Schecter, Executive Director, Cannabinoid Medical Clinic (CMClinic)
Register Now

Complimentary Webinar

Register Now





Tuesday February 9th, 2016
InterContinental Toronto Centre Hotel, 225 Front St. West, Toronto, ON M5V 2X3

Breakfast & Registration: 7:30 AM
Speaker Sessions: 8:30 AM – 11:30 AM

Single Registration Fee: $159.00 + HST
Discounted Registration fee for a Table of Six: $774.00 ($129.00 x 6ppl) + HST

Click here to register online:

Please contact Kristyn Dougall, our Executive Meeting & Event Manager, for any questions at 705-252-5074 or


Clearly, Canadian employers see the benefits of having an employee benefit program. However, increasing drug costs, the demands of keeping an aging workforce on the job, and having the ability to recruit the best new employees and retain valued employees is creating a new challenge….Maximizing Benefits Without Increasing Costs.

On February 9th, join Benefits and Pensions Monitor’s thought leadership expert panel for ways to meet this challenge. We’re seeing new approaches in the marketplace ranging from chronic disease management programs to preferred provider networks and new developments in managing formularies and adding drugs to those formularies.


Sarah Beech, President – Accompass

Sarah is the sort of person who knows your kids’ favourite sports and your flex plan equally well. She is responsible for the overall management and operation of Accompass, and has close to 30 years’ experience in the benefits industry. In her current role, Sarah creates and implements the firm’s business and marketing strategies, and builds, develops and manages new and existing client and third-party relationships.

She began her career as an underwriter with a major Canadian insurance company, becoming the department supervisor within two years. She joined a global human resources and outsourcing firm in 1990, where she eventually led the benefits consulting practice and, later, the entire Canadian consulting operation. She joined Accompass in 2012.

Sarah has a reputation as an outspoken thought leader in the benefits industry. She is a member of several advisory boards and is frequent spokesperson and author on the topic of employee benefits. Sarah is a member of the Corporate Industry Council for Homeward Bound.

She has a Bachelor of Arts degree from McGill University.

Yafa Sakkejha, General Manager – Beneplan Co-Operative

Yafa Sakkejha is the General Manager at Beneplan. She has been involved in the benefits industry since 1995 and has implemented hundreds of employee benefit plans. She works with advisors and employers to structure efficient plans which minimize waste, eliminate fraud, synchronize with government programs, and drug patient assistance programs. She currently looks for new ways to leverage group buying power, such as implementing the Reformulary, creating a patient drug advocacy program, and a face-to-face national wellness program. Yafa has most recently been called on to consult for the policy and strategy of the role of personalized medicine (genetics) in employee benefit plans. Prior to joining Beneplan, Yafa worked in business consulting and owned a business in the wellness industry. She holds a B.Comm (Hons) from Queen’s University and a GBA from Dalhousie University.

Atul Goela, Product Director, Pharmaceutical Benefits – Sun Life Financial

Atul Goela joined Sun Life Financial Canada in October 2014 as a product director, Pharmaceutical Benefits. He is a key contributor to the pharmaceutical strategy and demonstrates Sun Life’s overall thought leadership in this field. As part of his duties, he participates in client meetings, presents at conferences and strengthens Sun Life’s industry relations. Based out of the Toronto Metro office, he primarily supports Ontario and the Western Canadian provinces.

Prior to joining Sun Life Financial, Atul worked at Greenshield Canada as senior pharmacy services consultant. In addition to being a practicing pharmacist, Atul also spent time at Shoppers Drug Mart’s head office. The combination of Atul’s extensive experience in the pharmacy and pharmacy benefits management arena, contributes to Sun Life’s continued leadership in the pharmaceutical benefits space.

Atul holds a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy from the University of Toronto.


Eye on the Horizon: What You Need to Know Now About Building a Sustainable Health Benefits Plan

GIPC’s Next Annual Event:
Monday, April 11th, 2016 from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

What does the future of drug therapy look like? What steps should you be taking now to ensure drug/health benefits plans remain sustainable?

Join us on a journey from the past, to the present, and into the future of the health benefit landscape. Hear perspectives from leaders in a cross-section of industries. Gain insights on the evolution of drug therapy and advances in health outcomes. Get advice from a key thought leader on the guiding principles and practical considerations needed for sustainable plan designs. Be one of the first to hear the results of two multi-partner case studies demonstrating real world examples of integrated care. Finally, have the opportunity to engage all presenters in a lively Q&A panel.

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