Gary Gardner joins Sedgwick as SVP of national sales in Canada

Sedgwick, a leading global provider of technology-enabled risk, benefits and integrated business solutions, announced the appointment of Gary Gardner as senior vice president of national sales in Canada.

Gardner brings to Sedgwick 35 years of experience in global sales and marketing, with specialties in disability, data management, business process outsourcing, property and casualty, third-party claims administration and workers’ compensation consulting. In his new role, he will be responsible for overseeing sales of Sedgwick’s products and services in Canada, as well as developing business development strategies, identifying new market opportunities, and supporting the continued coast-to-coast growth of Sedgwick’s business across Canada.

Gary Gardner senior vice president of national sales

“Gary joins us at a pivotal stage in Sedgwick’s business development in Canada, and I am confident he will excel in his new role and boost our sales operations, so we can better serve our customers and meet our market goals,” said Michael C. Holden, president of Sedgwick in Canada.

Gardner holds the designation as a Chartered Insurance Professional (CIP) from the Insurance Institute of Canada (IIC). He has been recognized for his charitable efforts on behalf of the Ontario Risk and Insurance Management Society (ORIMS) and the Women in Insurance Cancer Crusade (WICC). He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Toronto.

“Gary’s knowledge of our claim services and business process outsourcing and consulting solutions will be a great addition to Sedgwick and our clients,” said Sedgwick group president Bob Peterson. “With his extensive experience in the industry, Gary’s appointment nicely complements our business strategy and supports our plans for continued expansion in this market.”

To learn more about Sedgwick in Canada, visit sedgwick.com/ca or call 888-601-6228.

About Sedgwick 
Sedgwick is a leading global provider of technology-enabled risk, benefits and integrated business solutions. We provide a broad range of resources tailored to our clients’ specific needs in casualty, property, marine, benefits and other lines. At Sedgwick, caring counts®; through the dedication and exper­tise of more than 21,000 colleagues across 65 countries, the company takes care of people and organizations by mitigating and reducing risks and losses, promoting health and productivity, protecting brand reputations, and containing costs that can impact the bottom line. Sedgwick’s majority shareholder is The Carlyle Group; Stone Point Capital LLC, La Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) and other management investors are minority shareholders. For more, see sedgwick.com.

SOURCE Sedgwick

Canada budget to include limited coverage for prescription drugs – sources

OTTAWA/TORONTO (Reuters) – Canada’s Liberal government will propose a limited expansion to the country’s universal healthcare system in the spring budget to cover part of the cost of prescription drugs, two sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

The modest broadening of the healthcare program is set to become one of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s key campaign promises ahead of the October election, which is shaping up to be a close fight.

The government would not commit to meeting 100 percent of the cost of prescription drugs for those who have no insurance through their workplace, the sources said. That suggests the government is leaning toward a narrower, more insurance industry-friendly model of pharmacare, as it is called, than that recommended by a government health committee last year.

A spokesman for Finance Minister Bill Morneau declined to comment.

Officials have yet to decide how much detail to provide about the pharmacare system in the budget, which is expected in the week of March 18, the sources said. They may release a general commitment to boost coverage and leave the specifics for the campaign, they added.

But new information on pharmacare’s inclusion in the spring budget and its limited scope gives a first glimpse of the government’s blueprint for what has been called the “unfinished business” of Canada’s publicly funded healthcare system, called medicare.

The sources, who spoke in recent days, requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

Canada’s health system covers care provided in hospitals and doctors’ offices, but prescription medication remains largely the purview of private insurance, often offered through employers, and a patchwork of public plans geared primarily toward the old and the very poor.

Opinion polls consistently show strong popularity for Canada’s public healthcare system.

There have been calls for Canada to extend medicare to include prescription drugs since medicare came into existence in the late 1960s, and multiple studies have recommended its inclusion.

Surveys have found 20 percent of Canadians are either uninsured for prescription drugs or under-insured, and one in 10 Canadians goes without prescription medications because of an inability to afford them, according to the standing committee on health’s pharmacare report released in April 2018.

Manulife Financial Corp, Sun Life Financial Inc and Great West LifeCo are among the major insurers in Canada.

FILLING IN GAPS

The Liberal-dominated government health committee strongly recommended Canada adopt a universal, national pharmacare program that covers drug expenditures for all Canadians for a wide range of drugs.

That would not only improve equity and access, advocates said, but lower drug costs because there would only be one buyer negotiating with pharmaceutical companies.

The government’s budget watchdog estimated that would cost about C$20.4 billion ($15.5 billion) a year – a hefty price tag for the government, but offering an overall saving of C$4.2 billion compared with the total now spent on prescription drugs.

What the government is likely to include in its budget is a much more targeted plan aimed at filling the gaps in coverage not already filled by private insurance or existing public plans, the sources said.

That matches with the government’s finance committee recommendation late last year, which Morneau, himself a former benefits industry executive, has said he would prefer.

It is also in line with what the insurance industry has been asking for. Standing to lose business to a universal government plan, the insurers have argued that most Canadians have good private coverage and that pharmacare changes need only affect a small uninsured minority.

But the Liberals will likely face criticism from policy advocates and left-leaning political opponents for not pursuing a more comprehensive plan. Without a universal system overhaul, advocates argue, people will continue to slip through costly cracks in the coverage system.

An advisory council appointed to study the implementation of pharmacare is expected to come out with recommendations this spring.

New Canadian Drone Regulations

Field Law

On January 9, 2019, Transport Canada published new rules for flying drones in Canada to enhance predictability for businesses, improve the security of aviation and ensure our airspace is safe for everyone.

The new regulations distinguish between basic and advanced operations and require drones of a certain size to be registered with Transport Canada and drone pilots to get a drone pilot certificate. The regulations also prohibit reckless or negligent operation of a drone and those who break the rules can face fines up to $25,000 or jail time.  The rules apply to Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS)/drones that weigh between 250 grams and 25 kilograms.

A summary of the new rules that come into effect on June 1, 2019, can found on the Transport Canada website. Until June 1, drone pilots should continue to follow the existing rules.

How will the changes to RPAS/drone regulations affect your business?

The Emerging Technology team at Field Law will be presenting a workshop in March 2019 to help business owners and other users of RPAS understand the new regulations and navigate the legal landscape for drone use including contractual, insurance, privacy, and intellectual property issues.

To receive more information about this event, or other updates relating to drone law, please subscribe here.

McNamara wants fairer system to protect municipalities against insurance hikes

‘We can’t be held entirely responsible for somebody else’s negligence,’ said Gary McNamara

The excerpted article was written by Dale Molnar · CBC News

Tecumseh mayor and Essex County warden Gary McNamara says the government needs to come up with a system that makes it fairer for municipalities when it comes to liability claims.

Premier Doug Ford has told members of rural municipalities in Ontario that his government will look at ways to reduce the costs they have to pay when they are sued.

Some municipalities are facing high insurance rate hikes because even though they are found only one per cent liable for accidents on municipal property, they often have to pay 100 per cent of judgments.

This has forced smaller municipalities to close toboggan hills and snowmobile trails.

“Municipalities should be in a comfort zone where they don’t ban tobogganing or not allow kids to play street hockey. We can’t be held entirely responsible for somebody else’s negligence,” said McNamara, who is one of 1,100 municipal officials attending the Rural Ontario Municipalities Association conference in Toronto.

Rural municipalities have long been calling for reforms, saying they fear the legal convention could mean they face steep lawsuits for even minor injuries on public property.

Gary McNamara says Ontario municipalities are spending $300 million collectively each year on insurance premiums. (Meg Roberts/CBC)

McNamara understands injured people need to be compensated somehow, but he said municipalities can’t afford the high insurance rates that have resulted, because courts consistently award complainants large amounts of money to be paid by the municipalities.

“All we’re saying is it should be fair, equitable, balanced so that municipalities can have a more sustainable program insuring their communities,” said McNamara.

McNamara said municipalities across Ontario are collectively spending $300 million in insurance premiums annually — money that could be going into infrastructure programs.

He said trial lawyers and judges should not be making policy, instead, it should be the job of the government.

Minister of municipal affairs Steve Clark and Attorney General Caroline Mulroney will be looking at the issue to come up with a solution.

Rates reach new peaks in Alberta and Atlantic Canada, increasing 10.05% and 3.75% in Q4

Read more

CSU, GSA to propose insurance plan

The excerpreted article was written By Mina Mazumder

The university’s plan for international students expires in the spring

The Dean of Students Office is renegotiating the university’s health insurance plan for international students, according to John Hutton, finance coordinator for the Concordia Student Union (CSU). The students’ existing health coverage plan expires this spring, according to Fiona Downey, Concordia’s interim spokesperson.

Currently, Concordia has a separate health plan for international students. This contract is managed by Andrew Woodall, the Dean of Students, and Blue Cross, the private health insurance company that covers all international students.

The health insurance plan for undergraduate Canadian students is managed by the CSU and Studentcare/Alliance pour la Santé étudiante au québec (ASEQ), the largest collective insurance plan administrator for student health and dental care in Canada.

For graduate Canadian students, it is managed by the Graduate Student Association (GSA) and Studentcare/ASEQ, according to Hutton.

“Concordia international students currently pay for the single most expensive international student health plan in the country,”said Hutton. He speculated that the high expenses are due to the fact that there isn’t much competition between different health premiums in Quebec. Hutton added the university was more focused on simply providing a healthcare insurance plan for international students, than it was on making it affordable.

According to Hutton, the contract is run on a multi-year basis, usually three years but sometimes it can be extended for an additional year. The tabled three-year contract’s rate is being renegotiated between the Dean of Students and Blue Cross, according to Hutton.

“They are not getting the best health insurance plan in Canada at Concordia,” Hutton said, adding that the CSU received complaints from international students related to the co-payment for medications, lack of access to certain services like hormone therapy, and lack of dental coverage.

Tallie Segel, a second-year PhD student in social and cultural analysis at Concordia, is an international student from the United States. “I would love to have dental insurance and vision coverage,” said Segel. “I have a really strong prescription that changes often. Especially with student life, the type of work that I do, it causes a lot of eye strain and I am worried about my eyes all the time.”
Segel said the administration never told her how her insurance worked in terms of what is covered and what is not. “I don’t have a clear understanding here how the plan works and what is covered,” she said.

Segel added that the process for prescription reimbursement with Blue Cross is a bit of a hassle, and therefore, she does not make the effort to have it refunded, especially since her monthly prescription is inexpensive. Last fall, Segel paid almost $1,200 for her health insurance plan as part of her tuition fees.

According to Amir Molaei, the president of the GSA, the cost of the insurance for international students varies based on their status whether they are single, married or have a family. Molaei said that from 2015 to 2018, there was a 17 per cent increase for the single student plan and a 32 per cent increase for the couples and families plans. He added that this had affected a large number of graduate students.

Molaei explained that since some fees are not covered, such as dental insurance, many international students prefer to go back to their home country for the treatment they are unable to receive in Canada.

Molaei said he had some issues accessing Concordia’s Health Services. “I asked the receptionist that I want to have a [general] check-up,” he said. “They told me that if there is no problem with you, we wouldn’t refer you for the check up.” When Molaei went back home for the holidays, he visited his doctor and found that he had a deficiency in certain vitamins.

Hutton said the CSU and the GSA are presently preparing a pitch for the administration asking to put student associations in charge of the insurance plan for international students. “We would have a more transparent plan that would have more information easily available to students,” Hutton said. “We would be both able to negotiate a better deal in terms of lower premiums, more coverage, and have more incentive to do so.”

Molaei and Hutton said the GSA and the CSU will be meeting Woodall on Feb. 1 to discuss their proposal to manage the international students’ health plan. Although Downey did not confirm who was meeting with Woodall and Kelly Collins, the manager of the International Students Office, she did confirm they were meeting with student groups this week to start a consultation process.  The aim will be “to gather information about what’s needed in a new health plan and what options exist going forward,” said Downey.

Both the union and the association have already reached out to many insurance plan providers to seek additional advice concerning this proposal. “As the current international student insurance plan is with the administration of the university, student organizations don’t have control over it and we hope to be able to take the control over the international students insurance in the near future,” Molaei said.

Source: theconcordian

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