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 

How Can Dieticians Help Us?

It's hard to keep up with the latest food trends, the latest fad diets, and the latest health crazes, but what if we actually visited someone who could help us to better understand what we should be eating in a day?

We did some research to learn more about Dieticians and what they can really offer us. 

Dietician

First and foremost, dieticians are registered nutrition experts who are trained to help us with our overall health and wellness. They are able to coach us through our daily diets and learn about lifestyle changes we can make to improve our eating habits; they help us to set goals and to follow through on them. Dieticians can help us to steer clear of the fad diets and to understand practical solutions to unhealthy eating habits, resulting in long term results and and overall improvement to our physical health. 

I think we all know how difficult it can be to understand the labels we find on our food; how is one ever supposed to fully understand a list of ingredients we can't even pronounce?! Luckily, registered dieticians can help us to read labels and fully understand what we should be getting from our foods. When we understand the labels we are given, it is much easier to stay on track and feed our bodies with proper nutrients. 

It's also important to realize that changing our diets doesn't necessarily mean we have to miss out on our favourite foods. Dieticians can help us to adapt our favourite recipes to better suit our diets, therefore keeping us healthy and happy! 

Registered Dieticians don't only work with clients one on one, they also work with families, communities, and professionals to develop healthy eating habits and to set reasonable health goals. They help patience who are in long term care, and they help hospitals, and nursing homes to maintain healthy menus for their residents. Further to that, Dieticians can work with corporations to develop a corporate wellness plan for you and your employees. 

As an added bonus, Registered Dieticians are covered under your Chambers of Commerce Group Insurance Plan! If you'd like to learn more about your coverage, contact us today. if you'd like to learn more about Dietitians, 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

Chiropractic vs Massage Treatments

Are you amongst the many people who experience soreness and/or stiffness at the end of a long work day? Regardless of whether you have an active job that requires you to be on your feet, or a job that requires you to be sitting all day, our bodies can become tired and worn out by the end of the week.

Two of the best and most common forms of pain management for sore muscles and joints are chiropractic and massage treatments, which are generally covered under your group benefits program. Using your benefit program to cover the cost of treatment allows you to maintain your overall health and well-being with regular visits to your licensed chiropractor or registered massage therapist.

However, there is often confusion about which treatment is right for your needs. So how do we know which one is best? First things first, we should know the difference between the two practices:

Massage is aimed at solving muscular issues such as tension, spasms, or strained/pulled muscles. Massage therapy can also reach into your nervous system by helping fluids to move more freely throughout your body. While massage therapists cannot adjust your joints or prescribe medications, they can be a great source of holistic healing to relieve tension and make sure your body is performing at its full potential.

Unlike massage therapists, chiropractors are able to address the issues lying within your musculoskeletal and nervous systems. They can write prescriptions and provide rehabilitative exercises tailored to your specific needs. Chiropractic care is especially useful in helping with joint pain, headaches, insomnia, and neck or back pain.

To take your course of treatment one step further, you can combine the two practices to help with chronic pain. Massage therapy is a great way to warm up your body and ensure you are relaxed before going in for a chiropractic treatment; your chiropractic adjustment is more likely to last longer if your muscles are relaxed before. Similarly, your massage is likely to be more effective when your joints are properly aligned.

Both forms of treatment can bring relief to your body and help with your overall wellbeing, but we know they can be expensive when they are not covered by your insurance. If you have questions regarding coverage of these treatments, please talk to your plan administrator or call our office for the details of your extended health care coverage.

 

To read more about the benefits of chiropractic and massage treatments, please see this article.  

Wondering About Travel Insurance?

Travel Insurance

Planning a family vacation or a romantic get-away? Carrying travel insurance is one of the most important things to remember when travelling out of the country. 

We know it's easy to forget about, so we've included it in the Chambers of Commerce Group Insurance Plan! 

Your extended health care insurance covers out of province and out of country travel - just have your wallet cards handy and you'll have access to emergency treatment when you're away from home. 

Your travel insurance will cover the cost of emergency treatment not covered by your provincial plan, including hospital rooms, physician charges, and prescription drugs. It also covers the cost of air fair changes, the return of a vehicle, chaperoning minors who must return home alone, and a bedside visit by a family member if the injured person was travelling alone. 

Your wallet cards have a toll free number on the back that provides access to a 24 hour telephone support system. This number will connect you to a helpful professional who can help you to find medical facilities and can even provide translation services in all major languages. 

Check your employee booklet, visit the Chambers Website or call our office to discuss travel coverage before taking off on your next trip! 

The more you know, the safer you will be in the event of an emergency!

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.

Disability Guide

There are a number of steps an employer must take when an employee becomes disabled, here is a guide to help you through the necessary actions you are required to take when an employee is off work due to a health or injury disability. 

Weekly Indemnity

  • Contact our service centre immediately
  • Weekly indemnity claims need to be completed no later than 90 days after the date of disability

Long Term Disability 

  • Contact our service centre after 60 days of the date of disability
  • LTD claim forms must be completed after 90 days of the disability

What's Next?

  • An assessor might call to discuss the duties of the insured and a possible return to work date
  • Underwriting will send an edited version of the approval or denial letter for your records
  • If the claim is approved, the plan will waive the disability premiums for the first day of the month following six months of disability

Online Banking in 3 Easy Steps

Setting up the Chambers Plan as a payee through your online banking allows quick and efficient payment of your monthly premiums. 

It can be done in 3 simple steps:

  1. You will need to be registered with online banking 
  2. Set up the Chambers of Commerce Group Insurance Plan as a payee 
    1. Search for the Chambers of Commerce 
    2. Select "Chambers of Commerce Gr.Insurance 
  3. Enter your account number 
    1. Ch + Five Digit Firm Number 
      1. Example: Ch12345

Pre-Authorized Payments:

If you prefer the payments to be withdrawn from your bank account automatically, you can set up a pre-authorized payment plan. Pre-authorized payments will you time, postage, and the stress of payment deadlines. 

If you are a client who is interested in setting up Pre-authorized payments, please complete the form below and return it to our office. 

 

 

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.

What Is Critical Illness Coverage?

There are often a number of financial stresses associated with surviving a health crisis; loss of wages, travel to and from medical treatments, and home modifications can greatly increase your cost of living as you deal with your illness. 

Critical Illness insurance is designed to ease financial pressures by paying a tax-free lump sum if you become seriously ill. The Chambers of Commerce Group Insurance plan can pay up to $50,000 for employees and/or spouses who receive a diagnoses of a serious conditions. This payment can be used however the plan member decides, there are no restrictions placed on how the money is used. 

Some of the illnesses covered by Critical Illness insurance include: 

  • Cancer
  • Heart Attack 
  • Parkinson's Disease 
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Major Burns 
  • Coma
  • Speech Loss 
  • Coronary Bypass 
  • Stroke
  • Kidney Failure 
  • Paralysis 
  • Deafness 
  • Blindness

To learn more about Critical Illness Insurance, please visit

:http://www.chamberplan.ca/benefit-facts/98-critical-illness-coverage-to-help-you-recover

Who Qualifies for the Chambers Plan?

In today's economy a comprehensive benefit plan is key to hiring and retaining employees. A benefit plan can seem overwhelming and expensive, but the Chambers of Commerce Group Insurance Plan offers health and dental benefits that can be made affordable for any budget. 

What kind of businesses use the Chambers Plan?

Small Businesses: 

  • Available to businesses with as little as one employee 
  • Guaranteed coverage to businesses with three or more employees 

Home-Based Businesses: 

  • Available to those who are looking to fill in the gaps left by provincial health care coverage 

Agricultural Businesses: 

  • Available for year-round protection for those who are farming, and those who are raising fish and/or livestock. 

The Chambers Plan is a highly attainable benefit plan for small companies who are looking to improve employee retention and improve the overall quality of their businesses! 

Extended Health Care Benefits

The Chambers of Commerce Group Insurance Plan offers a number of different Extended Health Care benefits. Some of the commonly forgotten about options include coverage of medical equipment and supplies as well as paramedical practitioner coverage. The following is a list of services that are covered by the extended health benefit. 

Medical Equipment and Supplies: 

  • Up to $25,000 per person towards home nursing care 
  • Emergency group or air ambulance to the nearest hospital
  • Up to $700 per person towards the purchase and installation of hearing aids 

Paramedical Practitioners

  • Audiologists 
  • Chiropractors 
  • Podiatrists and Chiropodists
  • Massage therapy 
  • Acupuncture 
  • Physiotherapy
  • Licensed speech therapy 
  • Naturopaths, not including food or vitamin supplements 
  • Osteopaths 
  • Clinical dieticians 

Make sure you make the most of your health care plan by becoming aware of all the services that your plan covers, and ensure that you submit all of your claims for reimbursement. 

Hints for Navigating Your Healthcare Plan

It can be easy to forget about keeping our office up to date on changes to your health care plan, but we want to make sure you get the most of your benefits. Here are some tips to help you navigate your Group Benefit Plan: 

  • You have 30 days to notify your plan administrator if you experience any life changes that will affect your coverage (marriage, birth of a baby, lost coverage through your spouse's plan, etc). If you miss the window of opportunity, there will be penalties/restrictions to your or your dependent's coverage. 
  • Your plan covers up to the cost of both brand name and generic drugs that are listed on our national formulary. If you prefer to have the brand name option of a drug when there is a generic available, please ensure that your doctor writes "No Substitutions" on your prescription. This will ensure that you receive the maximum amount of coverage possible on the brand name drug. 
  • Ambulance transportation is covered by your plan. There is a $250 charge for "paramedical assessment" if you call an ambulance (or someone else calls an ambulance on your behalf) and you are nor transported anywhere. this charge is not covered by the plan, so whenever possible, please let the ambulance take you to a hospital so that you're not stuck with the paramedical assessment fee. 

Your employee book contains a brochure with information about our online site called my-benefits. You can use the site to submit claims, check to see how much room you have remaining for each service type, and your next eligible service date, print off new cards, check on the status of all of your submitted claims, and much more. 

 

If you need additional help, please call or email our office and we would be happy to assist you! 

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.

My-Benefits Mobile App

Plan participants of Maximum Benefit can now submit most Health and Dental claims using a smartphone or tablet. Claims that are submitted online are processed quickly and easily, which allows you to get your money back faster. 

 

The my-benefits app gives Maximum Benefits participants secure access to coverage and services from anywhere at any time. In addition to submitting claims, you can also 

  • Check to see when you are your dependents are eligible for services 
  • Sign up for direct deposit so claim payments are sent directly to your bank account 
  • Access detailed coverage information easily and quickly 
  • Access your Assure drug card and contact numbers for emergency travel claims 

The my-benefits app is free and convenient, it can be downloaded from Google Play or the Apple App store. Once you have downloaded the app, sign in with your my-benefits username and password and you will have immediate access to your benefits, claims, and coverage. 

Visit www.my-benefits.ca and click 'Sign me Up'

 

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. 

Late Entrants

The Chambers of Commerce Group Insurance plan requires all new full-time staff to serve a three month waiting period before they are eligible for benefits. Once the employee has served the three month waiting period, he/she must complete an employee application within 30 days or he/she will be considered a late entrant. 

Late entrants are required to complete a medical questionnaire that will require approval from the insurance company before benefits can be granted. Even with an approved application, dental benefits for late entrants are limited in the first 12 months of coverage. 

To protect your firm and your employees, we suggest that you complete and submit the enrollment application when a new employee is hired. The Chambers Plan will process the application with the employee's coverage commencing at the end of their waiting period.


Enrollment timing is just as important for insured employees. Changes in marital status, adding dependents, or a spouse losing duplicate coverage must be reported to the Plan within 60 days. If the employee misses this deadline, any request for these changes will need to be medically reviewed and approved by the insurance company.