His coverage officially lapsed on April 1. He was diagnosed with cancer on May 23.

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Digital tools in insurance benefits can help employers improve employee morale & health

Digital tools in insurance benefits can help employers improve employee morale & health

NEWS PROVIDED BY

RBC Insurance

Highlights:

  • 72 per cent of working Canadians would perceive their employer more positively if their employer offered a virtual care or telemedicine solution through its group benefits, a more common belief held among millennials (78 per cent).
  • Interest in virtual care for mental health services is highest among younger Canadians (18-34), more than half of whom are likely to use it to consult mental health practitioners (53%) and for video/telephone mental health counselling (51%).
  • It’s important for employers to recognize this preference among younger working Canadians as these workers tend to rate their employer, job satisfaction and mental health significantly lower than older generations.

TORONTO, Jan. 21, 2020 /CNW/ – Three-quarters (72%) of working Canadians indicate that they would perceive their employer in a more positive light if their employer offered virtual care/telemedicine, a service which would eliminate the need to leave work or home, according to a recent RBC Insurance survey. This perception is driven mostly by younger working Canadians (18-34) who are the most likely to indicate that a virtual care offering would improve opinions of their employer (78 per cent compared to 60 per cent of those 55+). This is significant as younger working Canadians tend to rank job satisfaction, employers and mental health the lowest among all working Canadians.

“Many working Canadians face time constraints when visiting health practitioners, constraints that include wait times to see specialists like psychologists and psychiatrists, the availability of a healthcare practitioner and the ability to get time off work,” says Julie Gaudry, Senior Director of Group Insurance, RBC Insurance. “Younger Canadians are even more likely to face these types of obstacles, so by implementing innovative programs such as virtual care or telemedicine, employers can alleviate some of the challenges, which in turn can help increase employee health and morale.”

The survey also found younger Canadians are more likely to value virtual care for mental health services including consulting mental health practitioners and/or video/telephone counselling than their older counterparts. This is important since younger Canadians are also more likely to report lower levels of wellbeing and mental health than older Canadians. Among 18-34 year-olds, 57 per cent say their mental health is good or excellent, compared to 79 per cent of those older than 55.

Table – Use of virtual care for mental health services among working Canadians

Age

18-34

35-54

55+

Would use virtual care to consult mental health practitioners

53%

52%

39%

Would perceive their employer more positively if offered virtual care or telemedicine

78%

74%

60%

“With our Onward by Best Doctors program we’ve already seen the power of virtual care. It has improved access to mental health experts and shortened recovery times for plan members with mental health related disability claims,” said Gaudry. “And by using virtual mental health care to help plan members and their families address their mental health concerns earlier and faster, we can potentially prevent someone from becoming so unwell that they are no longer able to work.”

The value of digital tools extends beyond health care delivery to managing insurance benefits. Two-thirds (66%) of working Canadians indicate that they prefer a mobile app to manage and access their insurance benefits as opposed to using paper mail, telephone, or even online services. Once again, this preference is highest among younger Canadians, particularly Millennials, while less than half of Baby Boomers echo this sentiment (18-34 77%, 35-54 66% vs. 55+ 48%).

Given that nine in ten working Canadians (94 per cent) are more likely to work for an employer that cares about their overall health and wellbeing, HR leaders should look for value-add digital services when it comes to group benefits that can help promote employee morale and health, such as:

  • Making Employee Assistance Programs more accessible – Look to employee assistance programs that make support available digitally to address their most common work/life challenges (caregiving, divorce, grief, etc.) that may affect work performance.
  • Offering virtual healthcare options – Support an employee’s mental and physical health by providing access to experts and resources through virtual care such as a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy program that uses digital education, videos and assignments with support from a therapist to help users meet their goals.
  • Providing digital tools to make it easier to understand/use benefits Consider a mobile app that employees can use to manage insurance benefits and learn more about the services and programs available to them.
  • Personalizing wellness programs: The survey also found that the majority of working Canadians (80 per cent) report that their overall wellbeing would improve if their employer were to offer a personalized wellness programthat is customized to an individual’s specific wellness and health related interests and goals.

About the RBC Insurance Survey
These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between May 7 and May 10, 2019, on behalf of RBC Insurance. For this survey, a sample of 1501 employed Canadians aged 18+ was interviewed. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample’s composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ± 2.9 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all employed Canadians aged 18+ been polled. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

About RBC Insurance
RBC Insurance® offers a wide range of life, health, home, auto, travel, wealth, annuities and reinsurance advice and solutions, as well as creditor and business insurance services to individual, business and group clients. RBC Insurance is the brand name for the insurance operating entities of Royal Bank of Canada, one of North America’s leading diversified financial services companies. RBC Insurance is among the largest Canadian bank-owned insurance organizations, with approximately 2,900 employees who serve more than five million clients globally. For more information, please visit rbcinsurance.com.

SOURCE RBC Insurance

3 things you should always tell your travel health insurer

3 things you should always tell your travel health insurer

The excerpted article was written by LISA FELEPCHUK | Calgary Herald 

Whether your next trip has you looking forward to a special restaurant experience or an epic cycling excursion, researching and planning a vacation is usually a fun task. But once the trip is booked and before you show up at the airport to board your flight, there’s one more thing you need to do: book travel insurance. Some credit cards come with a limited amount of coverage for things like cancellations or lost luggage, but keeping yourself protected against illness and injury abroad needs to be booked separately.

We get it, travel health insurance is boring, but it is important. All it takes is one clumsy move, like tripping on the curb of the sidewalk, to wind up with a broken bone, and adding to the stress of navigating an international hospital is knowing that you’re going to have to pay hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars out of pocket. For some people, unexpected medical bills can mount to more than the original vacation price tag. Sometimes a lot more.

According to the Government of Canada, your Canadian health insurance won’t cover most international medical fees and even if it does, it’s often just a small fraction of the total bill. Don’t ever rely on this alone.

“In some countries, hospitals and clinics will not treat you if you do not have enough insurance or money to pay your bills,” explains the Government of Canada website, which also notes that the Canadian government is never responsible for your medical bills abroad.

Here are three things you should always talk to your travel health insurance provider when booking a policy for your upcoming vacation.

Pre-existing medical conditions

A pre-existing condition is just that: any medical condition big or small (heart arrhythmias like atrial fibrillation, diabetes, cancer or even sleep apnea) that you have been diagnosed with by a medical practitioner. If you have a pre-existing condition, you may need to shop around to find the best rate, but many companies will still offer coverage as long as your diagnosis is considered stable before you travel.

But here’s the murky part: the definition of “stable” varies from provider to provider and the amount of time you need to be in this stability period also varies. Some providers will require you to be stable for 90 days before departure while others have shorter windows, like 60 or 30 days.

As with booking all travel health insurance, be honest and upfront with your broker before booking. If you don’t disclose a pre-existing condition, then drink a few too many margaritas and wind up in the ER with an abnormal heartbeat, chances are you’ll be paying for that doctor’s time on your own dime.

Outstanding or upcoming medical appointments

Another important piece of information to disclose to your travel insurance broker: pending medical tests and appointments. If, for example, you’re travelling to Mexico in March, but have a CT scan of your abdomen scheduled for April, any related health issues to your abdomen that arise while out of country could be void of coverage. Always be transparent and discuss upcoming medical tests that your doctor has requested with your broker.

The countries you’re planning on travelling to

Aside from your medical history, your travel insurance provider will also need to know the country or countries you’re going to visit. If the Government of Canada has issued a Travel Advisory for your destination, your provider might void your policy. Make sure to disclose all of the places you plan to travel to and be aware of all government-issued travel advisories and warnings.

Edited for ILSTV

Chubb Appoints Suresh Krishnan COO, of Accident & Health in the United States & Canada

 Eric Bartenstein Named Chief Underwriting and Digital Officer 

WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J., Jan. 15, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Chubb appoints Suresh Krishnan to Chief Operating Officer for its Accident and Health (A&H) business in the United States and Canada. In this newly created role, Mr. Krishnan will assist in overseeing the day-to-day operations of the business and report to James Walloga, Chubb’s Executive Vice President, North America Accident and Health.

In this capacity, Mr. Krishnan will be responsible for developing and implementing a range of strategies related to profitable growth for the business, including sales and distribution, claims and product development for the company’s large account and middle-market insurance segments. He will also oversee Chubb’s Canada A&H business. He will be based in New York.

Mr. Krishnan brings more than two decades of experience to his new role. Throughout his career, he has served in several senior leadership roles. Prior to this new position, he served as head of Europe’s Major Accounts Division, where he led the development of business strategies and oversaw the structures, processes and performance metrics that ensured clients and brokers fully benefited from Chubb’s risk and underwriting expertise, as well as its multinational network and services.

“Suresh is a strategic leader who has been with Chubb for quite some time and has a deep understanding of our business, our culture, and our clients’ needs,” said Mr. Walloga. “That background is a good reflection of our overall leadership team and is key to our consistent approach to bringing innovative products and services to market, while providing superior support to our distribution partners. I look forward to working with Suresh in his new role and further building upon our successes.”

Mr. Krishnan joined Chubb in 1999 and has held a variety of executive-level legal positions. Prior to the merger between ACE and Chubb in 2016, he led Chubb Overseas General Insurance Division’s multinational and large accounts strategy, where he assembled and oversaw cross-functional teams in Asia Pacific, Africa, Eurasia, Europe and Latin America. This included leading and managing the Global Client Executive Practice for Chubb’s Overseas General Insurance Division.

“This is yet another example of the depth of unmatched leadership that distinguishes Chubb,” said Joe Vasquez, Chubb’s Senior Vice President, Chubb Group and head of the company’s Global Accident and Health business. “I am excited to have Suresh serve in another leadership capacity and confident he will continue to represent the world class underwriting, service, and claims support Chubb is known for.”

Succeeding Mr. Krishnan as head of the Major Accounts Division, Europe will be Chubb’s Country President for France, Nadia Côté.

Mr. Krishnan holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Colgate University and a Juris Doctor from The University of Richmond School of Law.

Chubb Creates New Digital Role for North America Accident and Health Division 

Chubb has also named Eric Bartenstein Senior Vice President, Chief Underwriting and Digital Officer for its North America Accident and Health division. In this newly created role, Mr. Bartenstein will focus on leading the transformation of North America’s A&H business into a digital environment that makes it even easier for clients and distribution partners to do business with Chubb. Mr. Bartenstein will be based in Philadelphia and report to Mr. Walloga.

“We are committed to creating an ideal environment and experience for our clients and distribution partners,” said Mr. Walloga. “I am excited to work closely with Eric to expand on our technical capabilities and ensure best practices are in place to meet our clients’ unique needs.”

Mr. Bartenstein has more than two decades of experience in A&H underwriting. Prior to this expanded new role, he served as Chief Underwriting Officer for the A&H business.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Syracuse University.

About Chubb

Chubb is the world’s largest publicly traded property and casualty insurance company. With operations in 54 countries and territories, Chubb provides commercial and personal property and casualty insurance, personal accident and supplemental health insurance, reinsurance and life insurance to a diverse group of clients. As an underwriting company, we assess, assume and manage risk with insight and discipline. We service and pay our claims fairly and promptly. The company is also defined by its extensive product and service offerings, broad distribution capabilities, exceptional financial strength and local operations globally. Parent company Chubb Limited is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: CB) and is a component of the S&P 500 index. Chubb maintains executive offices in Zurich, New York, London, Paris and other locations, and employs more than 30,000 people worldwide. Additional information can be found at: chubb.com.

Chubb Insurance Company of Canada has offices in Toronto, Calgary, Montreal and Vancouver and provides its products and services through licensed insurance brokers across Canada. For additional information, visit chubb.com/ca.

SOURCE Chubb

 

What you should know about health care for international workers & students

Santiago Guzmán · for CBC N.L.

Picture this: you just finished grocery shopping for the week. Standing in front of the glass door that leads to a crowded parking lot in St. John’s, you see a not-so-scary snowstorm coming before you.

Luckily, you’re just a couple of metres away from the bus stop, so it shouldn’t be that bad. You don’t take the bus regularly because of its lack of efficiency — sometimes it’s easier and faster to walk, instead of waiting for an extra half hour.

This time, the bus is your best bet. Plus, the bus will leave you almost in front of your door. Sounds like a well-thought-out plan.

You’re trying to be positive. Although this is not your first winter in Newfoundland and you know how to deal with it, sometimes it’s hard to keep yourself positive. Kudos to you.

Now that you’ve made a plan, you put your groceries on the floor to prepare yourself to face this winter crusade: you pull out your mittens, put your warm hat on, cover your mouth and nose with your bulky scarf.

You walk through the glass door.

You can feel the immediate change in temperature and the wind. You start walking slowly, aware of the slippery street, balancing the grocery bags you’re carrying. It seems like there is enough salt on the floor to protect you from sliding, and the bus stop is barely 60 metres away.

Slip.

Your right boot swiftly slides on an icy spot that the salt didn’t cover. Miraculously, you juggle the grocery bags, as though you were on a tightrope above a hungry shark waiting for its prey to fall.

You find your balance and stand still for a second. That was close!

You let a laugh out, take a deep breath and try all over again.

Now you’re sitting on the barely cleared sidewalk with all your groceries around you. No laughs this time.

Instead, slow tears that freeze as they fall down your face. Your ankle. Despite the cold making your body feel numb, you can feel pain. Deep, sharp, acute pain. It’s broken, you know it.

In the distance, you see the bus arrive, its passengers get out while some others hop on, and you’re still on the ground in pain. No bus, no groceries, no laughs, but a broken ankle and the fear of having to go to the doctor.

No, you’re not afraid of needles, and prescriptions — you’re afraid to have to pay fully for the medical service in ER.

The answer I’ve always encountered is ‘you’re not eligible.’

You don’t have health coverage.

You really don’t know why you’re crying now: if it’s the pain of your broken ankle or of depleting your minimum wage savings to pay the medical bills.

READ MORE HERE from CBC News

 

 

Injured veteran’s insurance benefits halted over questions whether she can work

The excerpted article was written by Ben Cousins CTVNews.ca 

TORONTO — An injured veteran had her insurance benefits temporarily pulled just days before Christmas after she says Manulife mistakenly determined she was capable of working.

Kelsi Sheren served in Afghanistan in 2009 and was medically released from the Canadian military in 2011. She founded the jewelry company Brass and Unity in 2016, but says she does not take a paycheque from the business and instead uses it as a way of coping with her post-traumatic stress disorder.

“I’m not employable and that’s why I do what I do,” she told CTVNews.ca in a phone interview.

“I’m just the face of it, because it’s my story that the company’s built on,” she added. “This is my therapy. This isn’t anything else.”

Sheren said she recently received a call from Manulife, where the representative told her that her insurance payments would be taken away because it appeared she had a successful business.

“I won’t be able to pay my mortgage and I have a three-year-old son right before Christmas,” she said on Monday.

Sheren receives payments through Manulife’s Service Income Security Insurance Plan (SISIP), which offers income protection to military members who are released for medical reasons or who qualify as being “totally disabled.” The plan is also designed to provide skills training to military members with the goal of obtaining gainful employment.

“We pay into this. We’re owed this,” Sheren said. “They put all these stipulations on you and if you don’t follow them, they drop just you. That’s how quick it happens.”

After CTVNews.ca reached out to Manulife, Sheren was informed that her benefits would be reinstated, but only until the New Year, where they would then be “re-evaluated.”

In a phone interview, Manulife spokesperson Shabeen Hanifa said the company has been in contact with Sheren, but is unable to comment on the situation.

“We strive to do everything within our powers to serve our customers and we have been in ongoing contact with this particular plan member to provide the appropriate assistance,” she said. “We do take the responsibility of protecting the privacy of our customers very seriously and so we can’t discuss the specific details of any individual.”

Brass and Unity offers a variety of fashion accessories, but is most known for creating bracelets and necklaces featuring recycled shell casings. Twenty per cent of net profits are sent to veterans and charities that support veterans, while the remainder goes back into the company.

On Tuesday, Brass and Unity was featured on the CBS daytime television program “The Doctors.”

Sheren believes Manulife cut her SISIP payments because these television appearances and her public persona make it look like she gets paid by a successful business, while her medical records and tax returns indicate otherwise.

“They Googled me and made their decision based off of outside perception of what social media looks like, instead of looking at my doctor’s eight years of paper work,” she said.

Sheren said that while she can handle this situation, losing these payments could be life-threatening for some of her fellow veterans who are in a worse position.

“I’ve got enough of a support system and fortunately I have that, a lot of people don’t,” she said. “This is a chronic problem that nobody talks about.”

“What if this was somebody that (Manulife) called and did this to and they had nowhere to go?”

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