Taking A Staycation In Canada? Go Protected

Taking A Staycation In Canada? Go Protected

12 August 2020

Many Canadians will be taking their next vacation right here at home. If you plan to travel outside of your province or territory, there are three things you need to know about your provincial or territorial health-care coverage.

1. Don’t worry – you will be treated in any province or territory

As a Canadian citizen, you won’t be denied access to medically necessary health care. Although provinces and territories manage their own medical insurance plans, there are reciprocal agreements in place to ensure everyone receives the care they need.

2. Not everything is covered

Although care is provided wherever you go, government-sponsored insurance plans and what they cover are not identical. So, what gets covered in one place may not be covered in another. Here are a few of the things that may not be covered by your government health plan when you travel outside your province or territory.

Treatment costs

These are just a few examples of costs that may not be covered, or may need to reimbursed, if incurred away from home.

  • Nursing services outside of a hospital
  • Laboratory, radiology or other diagnostic services at a specialized clinic
  • Medical and surgical supplies
  • Physiotherapy
  • Ground or air ambulance
  • Some medications given in the hospital

Incremental costs

You could be responsible for the additional cost if a medical procedure is more expensive in another province or territory. For example, if you are a resident of New Brunswick and receive a medical procedure in Manitoba that costs $5,000 and the same procedure only costs $3,000 at home, you might have to pay the difference ($2,000).

Without travel insurance, these expenses can quickly add up at a time when your heart was set on simply having a great vacation and getting to know more of Canada.

3. Without coverage, you could be asked to pay for some services

Where there are gaps in coverage, you could be asked to pay for medical treatment up front and then have to recoup the money when you return to your home province or territory. This can create a cash flow challenge at a time when you may have shelled a lot of money for a holiday.

Not covered?

If business routinely takes you outside your province or territory, or you plan to explore more of Canada soon, talk to us about Travel Insurance, an affordable way to cover you and your family against unnecessary out-of-pocket expenses.

Choose the coverage that’s right for you

Based on your travel plans, we can quickly help you determine the most affordable plan for you and your family.

Single-Trip

Single-Trip insurance plans provide coverage for one trip for the number of days you have purchased.

Multi-Trip

Multi-Trip insurance plans provide the same coverage as a single-trip plan, but help protect you for all of your trips within a 12-month period. This can sometimes be more economical than buying two single-trip plans.

Plus, save 50% when you purchase the Travel Canada Emergency Medical plan and all travel is within Canada.*

Originally published by Lawyers Financial, August 2020

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

Staying in Canada but travelling to a different province this summer? Then, yes, you need travel insurance

Staying in Canada but travelling to a different province this summer? Then, yes, you need travel insurance

Once COVID-19 hit full force this spring, Toronto residents Michael Schneider and his wife, Debra, cancelled their plans to see their grandchildren in Calgary and Atlanta, Ga.

While the Canada-U.S. border is still closed to non-essential travel, the Schneiders were able to reschedule their Calgary visit for late July. Along with their airline tickets, they made sure to purchase interprovincial travel insurance.

“We were concerned because of COVID, since we’re retired and no longer have insurance through work,” said Schneider.

They had purchased their tickets with a credit card, so Schneider first checked to see if the medical insurance the card provided included coverage for COVID-19. The bank that issued the card indicated it would, but Schneider wanted to be sure so he contacted the insurer directly and discovered that the bank was incorrect; COVID-19 wasn’t covered.

Interestingly, even prior to the pandemic, the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) did not cover all out-of-province medical expenses, but it wasn’t something most travellers considered. According to the Ontario government’s website:

“When you show your valid Ontario health card in another Canadian province or territory, you will be covered for some of the same services you’re covered for in Ontario including:

  • physician services (e.g. visit to a walk-in clinic)
  • services provided in a public hospital (e.g. emergency, diagnostic, laboratory). Any service or treatment you receive in another Canadian province or territory must be medically necessary for it to be covered by OHIP.”

In response to the Star’s query about COVID-19 coverage, the Ministry of Health responded:

“In keeping with the requirements of the Canada Health Act, the Ontario Health Insurance Plan provides coverage for insured physician and insured hospital services when Ontario residents are temporarily in another province or territory or moving to another province or territory and serving an interprovincial waiting period before coverage takes effect. This coverage does not extend to other services such as ambulance transport, home care, prescription drugs, or additional services that may be funded when the patient is in Ontario.

“Reciprocal hospital billing arrangements exist between all provinces and territories to facilitate payment of these services. For insured physician services, all provinces and territories, except Quebec, participate in a reciprocal medical billing arrangement. If an insured Ontario resident is billed directly for an out-of-province hospital or physician service, they may submit the receipts to the ministry for consideration of reimbursement.”

Schneider and his wife decided to take no chances, especially in these uncertain times. They are members of the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA), so they looked into CAA’s travel medical insurance and discovered that CAA offers a yearly plan for travel within Canada that includes COVID-19 coverage.

Elliott Silverstein, the director of government relations for CAA South Central Ontario, confirmed that their emergency medical coverage plan includes coverage for COVID-19. Orion Travel Insurance underwrites CAA policies nationwide, so wherever in Canada you purchase one, you obtain the same coverage.

READ MORE HERE: 

RWAM Insurance Administrators partners with EQ Care

Canadian pioneers in employee benefits plans and telemedicine join forces to support workforces

WATERLOO, ONAug. 10, 2020 /CNW Telbec/ – A new partnership combining the resources of Telemedicine and Third Party Administration sector giants in CanadaElmira-based RWAM Insurance Administrators Inc. (RWAM) and Montreal-based EQ Care, will facilitate accessibility of virtual healthcare services to thousands of Canadian families.

As Canadian workforces adapt to new challenges amid the COVID-19 pandemic, RWAM’s members can have peace of mind knowing that access to EQ Care’s secure, made-in-Canada online platform is available at their fingertips, 24/7, in both official languages.

A Healthy Partnership

The collaboration between the two organizations is a natural fit, with both leadership teams having over three decades of experience managing employee benefits plans.

RWAM is one of Canada’s most prominent Third Party Administrators of group insurance benefits, offering creative solutions and design built on flexibility and comprehensiveness. The TPA pioneer prides itself on helping member businesses create workplace cultures that foster support and protection. Like EQ Care’s Human Touch mission to ensure human empathy and guidance in the delivery of virtual healthcare services, RWAM delivers an extensive range of products with a focus on people.

“Gaining the confidence of Canadian ground-breakers in the Third Party Administration space is incredibly validating for our team as we work tirelessly to exceed expectations in the Benefits industry,” said Daniel Martz, CEO, EQ Care. “RWAM Insurance’s history of innovation and commitment to personalized, superior service makes this partnership a logical fit, and one that will further help to relieve pressure on the public healthcare system at a critical time.”

“There is no doubt that virtual healthcare services are gaining significant attention at a time like this and could become a staple of any complete benefits suite. The focus on employee wellness and access to care continues to be at the forefront of benefit discussions, and may root as part of the new normal,” said Carole YariCEO, RWAM Insurance Administrators Inc. “This makes an experienced telemedicine partner all the more crucial, and we are delighted to be collaborating with EQ Care.”

Medical consult sessions, triage, medication prescribing, are among the virtual healthcare services that RWAM clients can access.

Additionally, EQ Care’s comprehensive online virtual healthcare service includes access to mental health specialists. Clinically-tested innovations like Virtual Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (vCBT) allow clinicians to form a therapeutic bond through face-to-face video conferencing sessions from the comfort of the patient’s home or other personal space. Paired with Digital Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (dCBT), patients will also advance treatment by completing interactive exercises between counselling sessions.

About EQ Care

EQ Care offers patients 24/7 national and bilingual online access to a specialized medical and mental health team providing personalized, comprehensive treatment options from any mobile or internet connected device. On the cutting edge of patient care, our mission is to ensure that our patients receive the highest quality service through our leading proprietary virtual health technology platform. As the market leader in Canadian virtual care with over 30 years of health care experience, an ISO 9001:2015 certification, we are continually innovating to bring cutting edge mobile tools and approaches to our Plan Sponsors and Members.

About RWAM Insurance Administrators

Incorporated in 1988, RWAM Insurance Administrators is one of Canada’s largest Third Party Administrators of Group Insurance Benefits and has grown to service and provide protection to over 250,000 Canadians from coast to coast. As a founding member of TPAAC (Third Party Administrators Association of Canada), RWAM promotes best practices and professional conduct for the TPA industry to protect the trust that Plan Sponsors and Advisors place in us. With a focus on striving for excellence, RWAM prides itself on flexibility and responsiveness amid shifting market conditions.

SOURCE EQ Care

 

Canada: Life Insurance: Expense Or Investment?

Life insurance is often thought of as something you buy to protect loved ones in the event of your death. Viewed through this lens, the premiums you pay seem more like an expense than an investment. On the other hand, an insurance policy that will take care of your family members and your business partners could let you spend more of your money guilt-free as you age and ease into retirement. From this perspective, life insurance is a great investment and well worth the cost. Here’s why.

“The goal of leaving a big inheritance to your children, a faith group, or a favourite charity can discourage a lot of people from tapping into their wealth and enjoying the rewards of their hard work,” says David Camps, Vice-President of Marketing and Client Experience at Lawyers Financial. “That’s unfortunate because the strategic use of insurance can let you access your net worth while you’re alive, knowing the policy will take care of your beneficiaries.”

As your Lawyers Financial Advisor can explain, there are many ways to protect your family and your business interests. The key is assembling the right combination of policies. That’s what our advisors do best.

PROTECTING YOUR FAMILY

The younger you are, the less likely you are to have substantial assets that can be handed down to your children or used to pay off debt. As for the assets you do have, the cost of passing them on may erode their value (probate fees and estate taxes could kick in).

That’s why you should consider an insurance policy such as Lawyers Financial Term 80 Life insurance. It provides a cost-effective and tax-efficient way to protect your family and ensure their financial well-being. A guaranteed payout could be used to:

  • Pay off your mortgage.
  • Pay off other outstanding debts.
  • Replace your income.
  • Pay for your children’s education.
  • Provide cash to pay probate fees and taxes without needing to liquidate assets.

PROTECTING YOUR BUSINESS

If you are a sole practitioner or member of a small firm, an investment in life insurance has two immediate benefits:

1. It can be used as collateral

A term life insurance policy can be assigned to a lender as collateral for a loan or line of credit. Upon your death, the insurance company would pay the loan balance and anything left over from the insurance benefit would be paid to your beneficiaries.

Consult with your Lawyers Financial Advisor if you anticipate the need for business financing. They can help you put the right, and most affordable, coverage in place.

2. It can help in business succession

If you are a partner in a law firm, you likely have a buy-sell agreement that addresses the death of a partner. Life insurance can help all of you fulfill the terms of your agreement in a simple, cost-effective manner, allowing you and your remaining partners to focus on your business.

Whatever your situation, life insurance is an investment and an important part of a financial plan that allows for more financial options while you are alive and still provides a guaranteed payout to your beneficiaries down the road.

Originally published 08 August, 2020

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

 

Source: Mondaq

“Concerning” Affidavit Makes ICBC Benefits Deduction Application Come Up Short

Today’s guest post comes from B.C. injury claims lawyer Erik Magraken

Reasons for judgement were published this week by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, largely rejecting an ICBC application to have future care benefits from a tort judgment significantly reduced.

In today’s case (Luck v. Shack) the Plaintiff was in a collision and was awarded damages for prolonged injuries including $85,000 for future care costs.  The Defendant argued that much of the services covered by this award can be accessed through ICBC no-fault benefits and asked that the award be reduced by $65,000.  The Court noted ‘concern‘ about ICBC’s affidavit evidence leaving some uncertainty as to whether discretionary no fault benefits would be paid or denied in the future.  In only allowing $3,540 in deductions Madam Justice MacDonald provided the following reasons:

[50]         To answer whether I should deduct the amounts, I must turn to the sworn evidence of the ICBC claims specialist. As stated in Norris at para. 35: “The Court will not presume that the future conduct of ICBC will be other than honourable.” However, Riley J. in Sangha stated that this Court must independently assess the affidavit evidence from the ICBC specialist. Even where an affidavit “irrevocably, unequivocally, and unconditionally” agrees to reimburse the plaintiff for the future benefits, I must analyze this commitment to ensure it is in compliance with the Act and Regulation: Schmitt; Sangha. In Sangha, this Court did not accept the ICBC specialist’s evidence that ICBC would “irrevocably, unequivocally, and unconditionally” pay for certain benefits in the future.

[51]         Ms. Uppal deposed that ICBC accepts this Court’s Judgment regarding Ms. Luck’s treatment needs following the motor vehicle accident. Ms. Uppal deposed that ICBC will “irrevocably, unequivocally, and unconditionally agree to pay, under Part 7” the cost of the future care amounts specified in the Judgment,[2] “up to the amounts allowed pursuant to section 88(1.2) and schedule 3.1 of the Regulation”.

[52]         Despite the above statement, I have concerns with the affidavit evidence because Ms. Uppal does not waive the need for continued medical certification in the Regulation. For example, mandatory and discretionary benefits are limited to the amounts set out in Schedule 3.1 of the Regulation. Ms. Uppal refers to this limitation in paragraph 15 of her affidavit:

  1. I am authorized on behalf of ICBC to advise that ICBC will irrevocably, unequivocally, and unconditionally agree to pay, under Part 7, for the following itemsup to the amounts allowed pursuant to section 88(1.2) and schedule 3.1 of theRegulation, as incurred and submitted to ICBC by the Plaintiff for reimbursement, up to the amounts indicated in the table below… [Emphasis added.]

[53]         Further, Ms. Uppal did not address the s. 88(1.01) treatments, over and above the number of mandatory pre-authorized treatments, that are provided more than 12 weeks after the date of the accident. Ms. Uppal did not refer to waiving the need for continued medical certification.  The affidavits relied upon in Sangha and Wark both waived the need for future medical certification and referred to s. 88(1.01).

[54]         Importantly, Ms. Uppal testified that if there is any uncertainty as to what, if any, Part 7 benefits may be payable to the plaintiff she would look to the Act and Regulation. This statement was not qualified by any reference to her affidavit. 

[55]         The plaintiff points out that funding for a pain management clinic is not provided for as a treatment modality under Part 7 and is not provided for in Schedule 3.1. The defendants argue ICBC will fund the clinical counselling aspect of the pain management treatment. Even accepting this argument, the counselling would take place more than 12 weeks after the accident. It is therefore a discretionary benefit and suffers from the same problem articulated above.

[56]         The defendants bear the onus to prove entitlement to ongoing benefits. Any uncertainty must be resolved in favour of the plaintiff. To prove ongoing reimbursement for benefits, the defendants’ evidence must use precise language. Ms. Uppal’s evidence was not sufficiently precise, especially when combined with her testimony. I adopt Riley J.’s comments in Sangha:

[20(a)] …Thus, while Ms. Sit says ICBC will “irrevocably, unequivocally, and unconditionally” agree to pay all of Ms. Sangha’s previously incurred expenses under as Part 7 benefits, I foresee some difficulty in Ms. Sangha obtaining reimbursement. This is not a criticism of Ms. Sit’s integrity as a duly authorized ICBC representative, but rather a recognition that an insured person may encounter resistance in obtaining benefits where there is apparent inconsistency between ICBC’s presently-stated position and the requirements set out in the Regulations. The ambiguity on this particular point must be resolved in Ms. Sangha’s favour. I would not deduct this amount.

[57]         Based on the above reasoning, Ms. Uppal’s affidavit and testimony do not satisfy me that ICBC has waived the requirements in s. 88(1.01) of the Regulation and the need for ongoing medical certification. Uncertainty persists with respect to these discretionary benefits. I am not satisfied Ms. Uppal’s commitment, especially when viewed in light of her qualifications in oral testimony, overcomes the ongoing conditions in the Regulation.

[58]         The deficiencies in the evidence create uncertainties regarding the future payment of benefits. Any uncertainties must be resolved in favour of Ms. Luck. I am therefore unable to deduct the full $65,000 from the Judgment to avoid double recovery.

[59]         I will deduct an amount from the Judgment based on the benefits for which Ms. Luck can, with certainty, be reimbursed.

bc injury law, Luck v. Shack, Madam Justice MacDonald, Section 83 Insurance (Vehicle) Act

Great West Lifeco net earnings rise to $863 million amid sale of subsidiary

By Tara Deschamps

THE CANADIAN PRESS

Great-West Lifeco Inc. nearly doubled its second-quarter earnings from last year as it benefited from investments in digital technology and a market rebound from COVID-19.

The insurance and wealth management company reported its net earnings attributable to common shareholders reached $863 million or 93 cents per share in the three months ended June 30.

That compared with $459 million or 49 cents per share for the same quarter last year.

Its base earnings, which exclude certain items, amounted to $706 million or 76 cents per share, up from $627 million or 67 cents per share a year ago.

Great-West beat analyst estimates of 72 cents per share of net earnings and 60 cents per share of base earnings.

Chief executive and president Paul Mahon said the Winnipeg-based company was quite fortunate in the quarter, despite grappling with COVID-19 like every other business.

“To a large extent, we saw a good recovery in equity markets,” he said.

“What we found is that our business model is very resilient…There is obviously going to be downsides related to economic impacts but we always believe they will be moderated because of our risk sense.”

Great-West which operates the Canada Life brand, among other things saw lower health and dental claims and reductions to premiums while medical offices were closed during the early stages of the pandemic in Canada.

The closures were coupled with an increase in disability claims, lower levels of disability claim terminations and strong sales of life insurance sales.

The public’s gravitation towards virtual offerings, which insurance companies have been ramping up in recent years, also helped, Mahon said.

His remarks came a day after Great-West announced it is selling its Canadian subsidiary GLC Asset Management Group Ltd. for $175 million in cash to Mackenzie Financial Corp., an affiliated company.

Mackenzie parent IGM Financial Inc. and Great-West are both majority-owned by Montreal-based Power Corp. of Canada.

As part of the deal with Mackenzie, The Canada Life Assurance Company will acquire fund management contracts relating to the private label Quadrus Group of Funds and other Canada Life branded investment funds from Mackenzie for $30 million in cash.

That will result in Lifeco receiving net cash of $145 million if the deal receives regulatory approval and closes as expected in the fourth quarter.

“We believe successful wealth managers need to control their product shelf and customer solutions, but they also need access to asset managers with consistent, high-performance skill mandates and product innovation and breadth,” said Mahon.

“By combining GLC with Mackenzie, Canada Life will have access to a product manager with these strengths.”

News of the deal and Great-West’s earnings pushed the company’s stock to close at $24.96, up $1.06 or 4.4 per cent. Earlier, Lifeco shares hit an intraday high of $25.44

Looking ahead, Great-West is seeing encouraging signs.

Claims levels in Canada were already approaching pre-COVID levels in June.

“We are starting to see reasonable recoveries in sales activities in markets where some of the limitations of physical distancing have been lifted…but we can’t really estimate what will happen in the external market,” Mahon said.

“You don’t know what will happen to the economy going forward.”

 

 

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