10 Things You Should Know About Chambers Plan

The Chambers of Commerce Group Insurance Plan provides employee benefits to over 33,000 business owners in Canada. The Chambers Plan offers affordable and accessible benefits to businesses with as little as one employee. So, here are ten things you should know about the Chambers Plan!

  1. No Minimum Firm Size

    1. The Chambers Plan was introduced to protect small businesses of various sizes. The plan can offer coverage to home-based businesses and growing companies of up to 50 employees

  2. No Industry Restrictions

    1. All for-profit businesses are eligible to participate in the Chambers Plan as long as they are members of a participating Chamber of Commerce or Board or Trade

    2. The Chambers does not believe that your industry should determine your coverage, therefore they can provide the benefit plan that is best for the specific needs of your business and employees

  3. Guaranteed Approval

    1. Firms with as little as one or two employees can choose options with guaranteed coverage

    2. Businesses with five or more employees can choose extensive dental coverage

    3. Groups with ten or more employees can add children’s orthodontics

  4. Guaranteed Renewable

    1. Your business is guaranteed renewable coverage as long as you pay your premiums each month

    2. Chambers makes this easy by offering one automatic payment to renew your Chamber membership and Plan premium

  5. Rate Stability

    1. Claims are averaged over more than 30,000 companies, just like yours

    2. The Chambers uses a pooling concept on health and dental benefit claims

    3. Small fluctuations to a firm’s claims do not automatically factor into the rates giving firms a greater opportunity for rate stability over the long term

  6. Not-For-Profit

    1. Chambers Plan operates under the direction of the not-for-profit Chambers of Commerce Insurance Corporation of Canada

    2. All surpluses are put back into the plan, keeping your premiums low!

If you’re wondering how you can become a Chambers of Commerce Group Insurance Plan member, give us a call! We can help you determine the plan that is best for you.

Coordinating Health and Dental Benefits

Coordinating benefits is common with health and dental plans; it allows employees and their dependents to make the most of their plans by combining benefits to receive 100% coverage on prescriptions and/or health and dental procedures. 

If an employee and his/her spouse both have coverage, the claims should go through the patient's plan first. Any expenses that are not covered by the patient's plan can then be submitted to the spouse's plan along with an explanation of benefits from the initial claim.

If the employee and his/her spouse have dependants, the claim goes through the plan of the parent whose birthday falls earlier in the calendar year, then to the other parent along with an explanation of benefits.  

When parents are divorced or separated, the dependant's claims should be submitted in this order: 

  1. The plan of the parent with custody 
  2. The spouse of the parent with custody 
  3. The parent who does not have custody
  4. The spouse of the parent who does not have custody

Coordinating benefits can help employees to save money on health and dental claims and ensure that they are receiving the most amount of coverage available to them. 

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a form of traditional Chinese medicine which focuses on the flow of energy throughout the body. When the flow is disrupted it can lead to pain, illness, or lack or normal function; your acupuncturist will focus on various acupoints in your body to relieve tension and to help release your body’s natural pain killers by targeting some of the body’s main systems, including the nervous, endocrine, immune, cardiovascular, and digestive systems.

Your acupuncturist will start your appointment by examining your tongue, checking your pulse, and asking you some questions about your medical history; once they have determined the best treatment plan for you, they will start with your acupuncture treatment. Your practitioner will insert needles as slim as human hair into your acupoints. After insertion, the acupuncturist might manipulate the needles by hand or by adding an electrical stimulant.

Although some people might shy away from this treatment due to a fear of needles, most patients report little to no discomfort and leave the treatment with a sense of relief.

The most common reason for visiting an acupuncturist is to manage neck, back, joint, or head pain, including the treatment of migraines. Additionally, acupuncture can help with nausea, allergies, menopause symptoms, and infertility.

Depending on the severity of your condition, your acupuncturist might recommend coming back for a series of weekly treatments, or he/she might suggest continuing acupuncture as a form of maintenance.

Regardless of physical condition, acupuncture is generally suitable for most people. It can help to treat the root cause of your malady and can reduce your dependence on medication and/or prevent you from needing medical procedures.

Some people might experience minor discomfort after treatment, including stiffness and/or soreness, but these symptoms are not generally a cause for concern.

Clinical studies have also shown acupuncture to help treat the following:


  • Depression,
  • Knee pain
  • Dental pain
  • Sciatica
  • Cardiac neurosis
  • Ear pain
  • Female reproductive pain
  • Insomnia
  • Hypertension

Acupuncture is generally covered under your group insurance plan. Please talk to your plan administrator or review your employee booklet form more information.

 

Read More: Advantages of AcupunctureClinical Care

5 Reasons to Get A Massage

5 Reasons to Go for A Massage

Did you know that massage is covered under most benefit programs, allowing you to claim a portion or the entire cost of massage service? It appears most people think of massage as a treat to themselves, but it can be a really great way to maintain your overall health, decrease muscle pain, improve your athletic performance, and assist in reducing pain caused by arthritis and/or other illnesses.

1.      Stress Relief

Massage can provide you with 30-90 minutes of relaxation, taking you away from your every day stresses and allowing you to clear your mind of any bothersome thoughts.

2.      Reduce Anxiety

Alongside stress management, massage can help to reduce anxiety by enforcing relaxation. Many people experience anxiety throughout the week as they find a way to manage work place stressors and other personal concerns.

3. Decrease Migraine Frequency

Do you experience severe headaches and/or migraines? Massage can help to relax your muscles and decrease the frequency in which you experience migraines.

4.      Reduce Muscle Tension

Parallel to reducing headaches, massage therapists can help to relax the other muscles in your body that might be causing you pain or discomfort. Your massage therapist can work on specific muscle groups to release tension throughout your body.

5.      Enhance Exercise Performance

Massage can help to increase your range of motion, therefore enhancing your exercise performance. If you have tight muscles at the gym, you’re at greater risk for injury and you likely won’t be able to complete your exercises properly.

 

For more information about the benefits of massage, read the full article here.

If you’d like to learn about claiming your massage or you wish to know more about your coverage, please contact our office.

Simple Ways to Maintain A Healthy Lifestyle

Are you one of the many people who suffer from common aches and pains? It’s much more common that one might think and can often be helped by increasing your daily activity, and this doesn’t have to mean buying a gym membership and cutting your favourite foods out of your diet

We found an article with some simple suggestions to relieve every day aches and pains.

One of the simplest ways to increase your activity level is to get social with your friends. If you’re the type who frequents local coffee shops, try taking your coffee to go and exploring nearby neighbourhoods or venture down to the river valley for a peaceful change of scenery. If you’re looking for a bigger challenge, try signing up for a fitness class, like spin or yoga with your closest friends.

Another way to soothe pain is by frequently stretching your muscles. If you work in an office, you should stand try to stand up from your desk every 15-30 minutes. In doing so, you can take a short walk around the office, walk up and down the stairs if you’re able, and take the time to stretch your muscles.

If this decreases your productivity too heavily, you can try some simple neck, leg, and arm stretches at your desk. Not only will this give your body a break, but it’ll also give you a chance to rest your eyes and to re-cooperate your mind from tedious work tasks.

In addition to stretching, you should try to maintain proper posture as much as possible throughout the day. We know it is much easier to slouch in an office chair, but keeping your head up, shoulders back, and chin tucked can really help to prevent shoulder and neck pain.

The article also notes that we should try to maintain our lower body strength to prevent falls as we age. An easy practice to keeping your lower body in check is to stand on one foot as you are engaged in conversation or standing in line at a store. This is a very simple task that will help to maintain your balance and improve your lower body strength.

Keeping healthy doesn’t always have to be a daunting task, however it should always be placed as a priority to keep you strong and healthy into the later stages of your life.

If you’d like to read the full article, please click here 

What benefits do your employees really want?

There are many benefits to having an employee health and dental plan, but one of the main assets of a group plan is that it attracts and retains quality employees. 

As a company owner, you need to ask yourself which benefits would be of the most value to your employees. To make things easier for you we found an article that lists prescription drug coverage, dental care, and vision care as the most important qualities of a group benefit program.  

We can help you to find a plan tailored specially to the needs of your company and your employees. We can work within your budget, help you with prescription drug care maximums based on requirements, and can help you choose dental coverage to suit your employees. Further to that, we can discuss extended health care options, including vision coverage, that will improve your employees' quality of life. 

After implementing a plan, we can help you set your employees up with an easy-to-use mobile app to submit claims, see claims history, and register for direct deposit for claims reimbursement. Your employees can keep up to date on their coverage maximums, plan usage, and other pertinent information without the help of a third party. if they have questions about the mobile app or about their benefit plan, they can call our office directly and we can direct them while maintaining confidentiality standards. 

Similar to the mobile employee app, we can offer online plan administration, which allows you to make changes to and review all of the details of your group plan. Plan administrators can log on to the website to see taxable benefit information, billing statements, and a summary of your employee benefit program. They can also add or delete employees or make changes to a current employee if he/she experiences a life changing event, such as the birth of a new baby or entering a new marriage. 

We'd love to help create a better quality of life for your employees, so call us today for a quote or further information on the types of plans we can offer. 

 

To see the full article, please click here

Submit Health and Dental Claims on Your Smart Phone

 

 

1. Download the mobile app in iTunes or Google Play. 

Chambers of Commerce Group Plan participants can submit most health and dental claims using a smartphone or tablet. Submitting claims electronically is a convenient way to have your claims processed quickly and easily, resulting in faster reimbursement. 

 

 

 
Login, submit claims online

 

2. Enter your username and password. If you have not created an account, please visit the website to register. 

All plan members must first register online through the       www.my-benefits.ca.  You will need your firm and certificate number, which can either be found on your wallet cards or through your plan administrator. 

Once you have registered online, you can download the app and have immediate access to your plan information. 

You can even tell the app to save your ID cards and remember your username for easier sign-in purposes. 

 

 
Health care, disability, life insurance, dental benefits

 

3. Review your benefits

Upon sign in is a list of all of the benefits provided through your group plan. 

For a comprehensive explanation of each benefit, follow the purple arrow. This is a quick and easy way to review your coverage before booking health and dental appointments. 

If you have Extended Health and Dental coverage through your group plan, you can check your claims usage, next eligible service dates, remaining coverage, and a summary of previous claims. 

You are also able to access your prescription drug cards and all travel insurance information for out of province/out of country travel. 

 

 

4. See recent claims, update personal banking information, or submit claims using the menu on the left hand side of the screen.

Further explore the details of your benefits by clicking on each of of the options in the menu.

View your recent claims, change your banking information, and submit new claims for faster reimbursement.  

Side screen menu
 
Submit extended health and dental claims online

 

 

5. Submitting claims is easier and faster than ever when using the app

Fill out this form with the correct information and receive your automatic reimbursement much faster than manual claims submission. 

Select the family member who used the plan, the type of service, the date, and the amount charged. Upload a legible picture of your receipt and click submit!

 

If you'd like more information about the mobile app, or care to set up an in-person tutorial to learn the website and/or app, please contact our office. We are happy to walk you through the steps and help you make the most of your plan! 

Health and Dental Care Revisions

The Chambers of Commerce Group Insurance Plan is implementing a 12-month pilot project beginning in January, 2017. 

Currently, the Chambers Plan does not allow employees to claim services and/or treatments provided to them by their employer.

For example, a dental assistant cannot receive treatments from the dentist who he or she works alongside. 

The pilot project will revise this rule to allow employees to claim health or dental services provided to them by their respective employers. 

We hope that this rule allows for ease of access to health care providers and look forward to the positive changes this will bring to our Chambers Plan members. 

Learn more about your Health and Dental Benefits here.

Health and Dental Coverage for Disabled Employees

When one of your employees becomes disabled and has been approved for Long Term Disability the employer needs to decide what happens with their health and dental benefits. As an employer, there are a number of questions to consider, such as:

  • Should health and dental benefits terminate for an employee who becomes disabled?
  • Will the cost of carrying the benefits for the disabled employees impact your ability to provide a competitive and affordable program for active employees?

If you have decided to continue health and dental benefits, then you need to consider the length of time you are willing to provide these benefits for disabled employees. Some options to consider are: 

  • Continue the benefits on the same basis as if the disabled employee was an active full time employee 
  • Provide benefits for a disabled employee for a specific period of time
  • Provide benefits based on a graded schedule, based on years of employment. A sample schedule could be similar to the following: 

Things to note when considering the continuation of health and dental benefits: 

  • Employees can be required to continue to pay their portion of the health and dental premiums
  • In order for an employee to be removed from the plan all together, the employee must be terminated 

For more information on extending health and dental benefits, please contact our office.

Coordinating Health and Dental Benefits

In many cases, getting the highest coverage may mean coordinating benefits with other insurance plans. Coordinating benefits is common with dental and drug claims, and happen if an employee or a dependent is covered under your group insurance plan and under a spouse's program. In this case, the two plans may combine to pay up to 100% of the claim expenses . 

When both spouses have coverage, claims should go to the patient's plan first. Any expenses not covered by the patient's plan should then be submitted to the spouse's plan along with the Explanation of Benefits from the initial claim. 

For dependent's benefits, the claim goes through the plan of the parent whose birthday falls earlier in the calendar year, then to the spouse's plan along with the Explanation of Benefits. 

When parents are separated or divorced, dependent's claims should be submitted in this order:

  • The plan of the parent with custody
  • The spouse of the parent with custody 
  • The parent who does not have custody 
  • The spouse of the parent who does not have custody

Remember to make photocopies of all documents before you send them to each plan. By coordinating benefits, you can ensure your employees are making the most of their benefit plans.

Tips for Faster Claim Reimbursement

Health and Dental claims are the most utilized options in an employee benefit plan. Follow these steps to ensure you get paid as quickly as possible! 

  1. Make sure your health or dental provider has your current address on file  to ensure claim payments are mailed to the proper location. 
  2. Sign up for Direct Deposit so reimbursements are deposited directly into your bank account. 
  3. Always be sure to carry your Chambers Plan Wallet Card with you. If you have a medical emergency away from home, you must contact Voyage Assistance immediately. 
  4. Make sure your dependents' information is filled out correctly. If you are claiming expenses for a dependent who is enrolled as a full-time student, you must indicate this on all claim forms. 
  5. If your Health option includes a drug card, make sure to present your TELUS ASSURE card at the pharmacy - this ensures the quickest possible processing of  your prescription drug purchase.