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Ontario Human Rights Tribunal ruling

  • A case between an employee and employer was recently brought before the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal.

    The case related to the termination of health, dental and life insurance group benefits at age 65.

    In an interim decision issued on May 18, 2018, based on the evidence presented, the Tribunal ruled that the provision of the Ontario Human Rights Code which permits employers to cease benefit coverage at age 65 is unconstitutional. The provision violates the equality rights in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

    It is unknown if there will be an appeal on the decision. If there is no appeal, the parties have until early July to agree to mediations or return for a hearing on the tribunal ruling.

    Manulife is reviewing the specifics of this decision. We will continue to monitor this matter closely and provide updates as they become available.

    Questions?

    Please contact your Manulife Representative.


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An update on Saskatchewan PST

  • On February 26, 2018, Saskatchewan’s premier, Scott Moe, announced he was reinstating the Provincial Sales Tax (PST) exemption for individual and group life and health insurance products. This also applies to Administrative Services Only (ASO) arrangements.

    If this legislation applied to you…

    For plan sponsors who receive a monthly bill from Manulife and ASO arrangements

    The Saskatchewan PST has now been removed from all bills.

    We’re crediting accounts for the relevant tax payments you’ve made since August 1, 2017 – the day the PST charges first became effective. Credits for active customers will be completed by early June.

    If you are an AdminAdvantage client and receive a payroll file, you will see this change in your payroll data by the end of May.

    For Third Party Administrators and Self-administered plan sponsors who submit their bill to Manulife

    If you prepare your own bills and have not stopped submitting Saskatchewan PST with your payments, you can do that now. If you haven’t already done so, adjust your next bill by the amount of your Saskatchewan PST credit.

    Background

    On August 1, 2017, Saskatchewan started charging 6% PST on individual and group life and health insurance products. At that time Manulife Group Benefits, plan sponsors, and third-party administrators with plan members in Saskatchewan made system changes to collect and remit the required PST.

    On February 26, 2018, the decision to charge PST on these products was reversed by the premier of Saskatchewan.

    If you have questions, speak with your Manulife representative.


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13 new reports

  • On May 7, you will have access to 13 new reports directly from the PA site. Previously available by request only from your Manulife Representative, you will now be able to access them when it’s convenient for you. The new reports you now have access to online are:

    • Top Drug Ranking Report by DIN
    • Top Drug Ranking Report by Active Ingredient Report
    • Most Common Indication Report
    • Top Pharmacy Provider Ranking Report
    • Specialty Drug Claims Summary Report
    • Brand versus Generic Claims Summary Report
    • Claims by Dollar Range Report
    • Claims by Age Range Report
    • Claims by Submission Type Report
    • Claims Service Detail
    • Pooled Claims Report
    • Utilization Report
    • Recurrent Claims Report

    Why we’re excited to promote these reports

    Having these reports available directly from the PA site means more reporting capabilities at your fingertips. With the addition of these reports you’ll also benefit from these added features:

    • Available in Excel format
    • Built in benchmarking that lets you compare your plan to Manulife’s overall block of business
    • Available in English and French
    • Flexibility of requesting reports for individual divisions/ policy numbers or consolidated across multiple divisions and contracts

    As part of this project, we’ve looked at the online reporting library and have made the decision to remove some reports. The reports we are removing either are outdated or have been replaced by one of the new reports. You can find a full list of these reports here. If you previously had a report scheduled to run on a certain date or time, you’ll need to set it up again.

  • Quick reference guide


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Hello. ¡Hola! Ciao! Namasté. Talking to us just got easier!

  • We’ve partnered with LanguageLine Solutions® to offer your group benefit plan members the convenience of talking to us in over 150 languages. At no cost to you or your members, this new partnership gives us access to a team of nearly 9,000 professional interpreters that know and understand our business.

    How it works?

    It’s simple. A member calls in to our Customer Service Centre. They’re looking for information on their group benefits plan, but, English or French isn’t the language they’re most comfortable speaking. All they do is let the customer service representative know and they’ll conference in an interpreter to help.

    Understanding and getting answers to questions about their benefits plan is now a lot easier. Spread the news. Here’s an email you can to send out to your members.

    Need more information? Get in touch with your Manulife representative.

  • Email template


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Pharmacogenetics testing program is now underway

  • An innovative pilot program is underway with a limited number of clients that aims to help plan members (on disability or actively at work) with depression, pain or anxiety, to speed up their treatment.

    Pharmacogenetic testing can help determine how genes can positively or negatively affect a person's response to drugs. The results of the test offered through this pilot can help physicians prescribe the most effective medication more quickly. This may lead to better health outcomes, reduce the suffering of plan members and avoid several trial-and-error treatments with potentially adverse side effects.

    The pilot, being conducted in coordination with BiogeniQ, will allow us to gather plan members’ experiences and feedback, and evaluate the impact of these tests on group benefits plan. Plan member’s personal results will be kept confidential. We expect the pilot evaluation to be complete in 2019. Stay tuned for future updates on the pilot’s progress and results.

  • Fact sheet


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Manage your team's admin rights to your account – online

  • You can now manage administrator access to your account yourself. No more paper requests! One key plan administrator can add and update other administrators, giving you better and faster control of your account.

    Identify your main administrator and get started. Here are the instructions.


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Prices for almost 70 generic drugs dropping 25-40%

  • On April 1, the prices on the ingredient cost for almost 70 of the most common generic drugs will drop 25-40%. These drugs include those used to treat high blood pressure, high cholesterol and depression – and are used collectively by millions of Canadians.

    The discounts are based on an agreement between the pan-Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance (pCPA) – which represents provinces, territories and federal government – and the Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association (CGPA). Under the new agreement, provincial and territorial governments agreed not to pursue tendering for participating drug plans over the five-year term.

    Why this is important

    The price drop applies to both public and private plans. Public plans, plan sponsors and their plan members and those that pay themselves stand to save money.

    Private plans with generic substitution stand to offer even greater savings

    Plans with generic substitution help manage drug costs by reimbursing lower priced generic drugs and brand name drugs that don’t have a generic equivalent.

    Plan sponsors looking for ways to manage their drug plan may want to look at applying generic substitution. For these plans, since pharmacists typically offer a generic drug when it is identified as interchangeable by the province, the plan member experiences minimal disruption.

    What we’re doing

    • Commencing with the August renewals, EHC premiums/deposits will reflect a 1.5% reduction.
    • There will be no off-renewal adjustments.

    Questions?

    Please contact your Manulife representative


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March is Fraud Prevention month

  • March is Fraud Prevention month! As part of our year-round commitment to protecting you from group benefits fraud, an innovative trusted providers program is being piloted. By supporting plan members to be smart consumers, we can work together to prevent fraud and continue our mission to provide the best group benefits experience in the industry.

    How it works

    Providers involved in the pilot, can apply to be featured on the trusted providers network list. Once the applications have been reviewed by the team, they are rigorously audited to ensure they meet the required standard of business practice and service expectation. Once the provider has been identified as ‘trusted’ they are added to the trusted providers network list.

    How it benefits customers

    The main objective of this pilot is to significantly reduce the risk of fraud against group benefits health plans, by partnering with reputable providers and establishing an additional level of security to prevent and detect provider fraud.

    How it benefits plan members

    By validating the provider prior to claim submission, the process is made more secure and efficient, further improving the plan member experience, when choosing to be treated by a provider from the trusted providers network list.

    How it benefits providers

    By being featured on the trusted providers network list, the provider gains a marketing advantage, having been identified as having high standards of professionalism, integrity and business practice.

    The trusted providers network program is currently being piloted in London, Ontario and we expect to have the results of this pilot later in the year. Stay tuned for updates!

    Here are some resources for you to use with your plan members

  • Recognizing benefits fraud

  • Information sheet

  • Narcotics Risk Management

  • Do’s and Don’ts guide

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  • Report Fraud Now

    If you suspect benefits fraud, report your concerns to gb_investigative_services@manulife.com or call our confidential tip line 1-877-481-9171.

    If you have any questions or would like any further information, please contact your Manulife representative.


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Diabetes Wellness Program pilot has now launched!

  • An innovative pilot program is underway that aims to help eligible plan members with diabetes manage their condition. The program has been developed to:

    • Help plan members better understand their diabetes and make positive lifestyle choices that maximize long-term health and wellness
    • Help mitigate the risks associated with diabetes and their impact on members’ quality of life and work

    Eligible plan members will benefit from timely personalized support and coaching ‒ from Certified Diabetes Educators, pharmacists, online resources, and the latest blood glucose monitoring tools. The goal is to enhance health outcomes through better lifestyle habits and glycemic (blood sugar) control. Members will also be advised about opportunities to optimize their medication therapy, including more effective drugs and lower-cost alternatives.

    The pilot, being conducted in coordination with Express Scripts Canada (ESC) and ProHealth, will allow us to gather plan members’ experiences and feedback, which will help shape the future of the program. We expect the pilot evaluation to be complete in early 2019. Stay tuned for future updates on the pilot’s progress and results.


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Enhanced Private Duty Nursing Experience

  • Manulife is partnering with Bayshore Home Health (“Bayshore”) to help members get enhanced guidance and support for their Private Duty Nursing (PDN) needs—when they need it most. A Bayshore registered nurse will provide a free telephone assessment to determine the member’s nursing needs. Members will be able to feel confident knowing that they and their loved ones are receiving the proper care they deserve.

    Bayshore is a Canadian-owned premier healthcare provider with over 50 years’ experience. They are a trusted expert in handling and assessing PDN situations.

    How it works -

    After a member contacts Manulife and provides consent, a registered nurse will call them to obtain all required medical information. The registered nurse will also help to navigate the healthcare system and offer guidance and support in accessing additional funding through government services and programs that may be available to help members maximize their benefits.

    Although there is no obligation for members to have the nursing services provided by Bayshore, Manulife has negotiated preferred pricing with Bayshore to help benefit dollars go even further.

    For more information contact your Manulife representative.


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Year in Review: 2017

  • As we welcome a new year, we look back at some of the ways we’ve created a better benefits experience that simplifies administration, reduces time and effort, and helps you and your members be more efficient and effective. Here’s a short list of the most popular enhancements in Group Benefits last year:

    • Better digital experience
      • All claims online
      • New plan member home page
      • New digital experience for plan administrators
    • More ways for plan members to see and use their benefits plan
      • Manulife Mobile
      • Mobile benefits card
      • Smart Home Technology

    But there’s so much more! 2017 was very busy and productive year. Visit the GB Advance HUB to review our complete collection of news, tools and enhancements for plan members and sponsors. Then explore new enhancements in Group Retirement! Check out the GRS Innovation HUB to see how we’re creating a better group retirement experience.

    In 2018, you’ll hear more about how we’re working on making it even easier for members to interact with their benefits plan, and for you to add new employees and administer your plan.
    We want to thank you for being our customer! Looking forward to another great year of helping you and your employees bring their best to work each day. Here’s a short list of the most popular enhancements in Group Benefits last year


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OHIP+ resources for you:


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AndroidTM Fingerprint ID

  • Great news! On October 27th, Manulife became one of the first benefits and retirement service providers to offer Fingerprint ID for AndroidTM . Now, plan members using iOS and AndroidTM devices can access their group benefits and retirement accounts using Manulife Mobile without having to enter their sign-in credentials. By simply using their fingerprint to identify themselves as plan members, they can start managing their accounts.

    Offering Fingerprint ID for AndroidTM is another big step towards our mission to offer the best plan member experience in the industry.


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Innovative treatment pilots to help your plan members return to health and sooner

  • People suffering from health issues want to return to health as quickly as possible. Faster, more personalized services may help them do just that.

    Working with specialized physical and mental healthcare providers, we’ve kicked off five ground-breaking pilot programs to explore new treatment options that could make a real difference in the lives of our plan members. The pilots offer individuals struggling with mental health issues and musculoskeletal disorders -earlier, more personalized and intensive treatment for their specific health needs.

    By helping plan members quickly and easily access the treatment that is right for them, our goal is to shorten their recovery time and allow them to either stay at work or return to work faster. We also hope to help plan sponsors lower the costs associated with disability-related absences – and more importantly, benefit from having their employees back on the job, bringing their best to work every day.

    Our pilots at a glance

    Each pilot applies a different combination of early intervention and intensive treatment allowing plan members to benefit from a wider array of treatment options to meet their varied needs.

    Musculoskeletal disorders pilot

    1. Early, intense and collaborative care - This pilot provides plan members with earlier access to an individualized, intensive multi-disciplinary treatment approach, so that they can quickly and safely recover from musculoskeletal or orthopedic disorders such as lower back, neck and shoulder strains. A Care Coordinator also helps plan members keep on track during their recovery journey.

    Mental health pilots

    2. Innovative e-care - This pilot provides virtual cognitive behavioural therapy and earlier access to evidence-based treatment to help reduce stigma and make treatment convenient. A Care Coordinator guides plan members through this program towards recovery.

    3. Best-in-class human touch and e-treatment - Depending on the individual needs of plan members, this pilot offers in-person cognitive behavioral therapy, tele-psychology and therapist-assisted digital cognitive behavioural therapy.

    4. Specialized and compassionate care - For plan members requiring a multi-disciplinary approach, this pilot provides earlier access to a blend of in-person psychotherapy and tele-psychiatry services, as well as the support of a Care Navigator to help them engage in their health and recovery.

    5. Pharmacogenetics testing - This type of testing helps determine how genes can positively or negatively affect a person's response to drugs. This pilot gives plan members suffering from anxiety, depression or chronic pain access to pharmacogenetics testing to help physicians prescribe the most effective medication more quickly. This may lead to better health outcomes, reduce the suffering and avoid several trial and error treatments with potentially adverse side effects.

    We’ll share more detailed information about each of these pilots in the coming months.

  • Fact sheet

  • Fact sheet

  • Fact sheet

  • Fact sheet

  • Fact sheet


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New digital experience for plan administrators

  • Manulife’s contracts are now available exclusively electronically. This means that the next time you make an amendment to your plan, you’ll receive electronic copies of your updated contract and booklet. This will help ensure that you and your members are accessing the most up to date materials for you plan.

    Digital welcome experience for new plan administrators

    We have also moved to a completely digital welcome experience for plan administrators. This only applies to any new administrators you add to your plan. They will be emailed information on how to log into their account for the first time. When they log into the site, they will be guided through the welcome process and directed to the materials they need to get started.

    Don’t forget!

    We recently moved to electronic booklets. You can find the latest booklet for your plan on the plan administrator secure site and your members can find it on the plan member secure site. If you or your members don’t have access to the secure sites, Manulife can email a copy to you.


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Regional call centre teams now available!

  • New, specialized customer service teams have been created to better support you. When contacting the Call Centre, you can speak directly with a Customer Service Representative dedicated to your specific location in Canada.

    Continue to call the same numbers: 1-866-318-2727 for English and 1-866-445-2727 for French, and input your policy number. Your call will automatically be routed to your regional team.

    These customer service representatives will have greater experience with your location and can help provide more relevant and informed service - all designed to create a better benefits experience for you.


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Send Files

  • The Send Files tool is a new feature that will streamline day-to-day plan administration. Fast, easy and secure, you can send files in a variety of formats (e.g. .doc, .jpg, .pdf, .xls) through the plan administrator website.

    Send Files provides a secure way to send these and other documents to Manulife:

    • Eligibility Forms
    • Authorized debit forms
    • Self-administered billing statements

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Add Deposits to your Health Care Spending Account or Taxable Spending Account online

  • You can now add deposits to your plan members’ Health Care Spending Account (HCSA) or Taxable Spending Account (TSA) on the plan administrator website.

    Simply sign in to the plan administrator site, choose My members at the top, then Add deposits. Once deposits have been added, they will be processed within 1-2 business days. You can then view your members’ balance online.


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View Monthly Premiums online before receiving your bill

  • You can now view plan members’ monthly premium amounts on the Plan Member Coverage Summary page on the plan administrator website. This new process will make calculating payroll deductions quicker and easier – no need to wait for your next bill or call the Customer Service Centre to determine the monthly premium amounts.

    Simply sign in to the plan administrator site and search for a member in the Find a member section. You will be directed to the Plan Member Coverage Summary page. You can view the Monthly premiums under the Coverage information section, or by viewing the “Coverage statement” under member documents.


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Submitting a disability claim is easier than ever

  • We’re improving how you and your members manage benefits with Manulife: Now disability claims can be submitted online.

    Efficient and convenient

    Clients with health, dental and disability plans – who use standard forms – can submit disability claims using the Submit a disability claim link on the secure website. However, plans with Absence Management Consultation Services (AMCS) only allow administrators to submit disability claims online.

    Submitting a disability claim for a member

    • Sign in to manulife.ca as a plan administrator
    • Search for a member using any of the fields available
    • Click the member certificate number to access the Plan Member Coverage Summary page
    • Click Submit a disability claim and select the appropriate benefits

    Completing claims and authorization forms online gets them to Manulife quickly and securely– no need for faxing or mailing. You and your members can simply scan or take a picture of completed authorization and physician forms then upload the attachments. Members can even submit them with their mobile device*. For more details, refer to the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document.

    Use this email template to let your plan members know about this new feature.

    Changing the way disability claims are submitted is another way Manulife is creating a better benefits experience for you and your members.

    *Standard data charges apply.

  • Email template