Alberta Dental Fee Guide

A dental fee guide has been set to be released in 2017 following a number of complaints against sky-rocketing dental fees.

Alberta has been the only province since 1997 without a dental fee guide, allowing dental practitioners to charge increasing prices for their work. As seen in the graphic below, 62% of Albertans limit their dental visits due to high costs and 87% of Albertans agree that dental costs are far beyond reach. 

Although the fee guide will create a guideline, it might have a negative affect on people with dental plans. A Red Deer dentist suggested that insurance companies will use the fee guide as an opportunity to reimburse at a lower level, which will not be taken into consideration when creating the guide. 

To read the whole article, please click here

Taxation of Employer-Paid Health and Dental Benefits

The federal government is considering taxing employer-paid health and dental benefits. In addition to hundreds or thousands of dollars that would be added to Canadians' tax bills, it also means that many employers may no longer provide coverage to employees.  

When a similar tax was introduced in Quebec, 20% of employers dropped health and dental benefits for employees. Although this tax would directly impact employees, studies suggest the removal of this tax benefit across the board could result in a decrease of 50% of small firms who will be able to offer health benefits.

Please tell your MPs that this move would harm the people the federal government promised to champion; the middle class.  

We are still hopeful that the Federal Government will back away from this proposed action but they need to hear from Canadians.  We are working with Chambers to do their part to ensure the Federal Government knows this is not a group insurance issue but a serious business issue.

Counselling Services for Owners and Employees

Did you know that the Chambers Plan provides counselling services for both business owners and their employees? 

Business Owners have up to 9 combined hours per year of the following services: 

  • Legal Advice - Practical interpretations of company, partnership, taxation and insolvency law. 
  • Accounting Advice - Helps management strengthen and gain control of the company's finances 
  • Human Resources - Solutions to terminations, labour laws, and other human resource issues. 

Employees have up to 3 combined hours per year for counselling services

  • If an employee's personal life is affecting his/her professional performance, company owners can help the employee to deal with the situation by referring him/her to a professionally trained counsellor 

The Business Assistance Service is a free service built in to each Chambers of Commerce Group Benefit Program. You and your employees will incur no out of pocket expense when using these services. 

Please call our office if you'd like more information on these services. 

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 Simple 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

Online banking will save you time, postage, and the stress of payment deadlines. 


If you are an existing client and need help with online banking, please contact our office and we will be happy to help you. 

 

What Kind of Businesses use the Chambers of Commerce Group Plan?

Providing a group plan to your employees has been said to increase job satisfaction and employee retention, however many business owners worry about the cost of providing benefits for their employees. 

So what kind of business has access to an affordable group benefit plan through the Chambers of Commerce? 

Small Businesses

  • For-profit businesses with as few as one employee are eligible for coverage. Small firms with three employees or more are guaranteed coverage

Home-Based Businesses

  • The Chambers Plan provides flexible coverage the fills in any gaps left out by provincial health care coverage. 

Agricultural Businesses 

  • Year round coverage can be provided to those who are farming, or raising fish or livestock. 

The Chambers Plan is easily accessible and affordable to small businesses in Alberta - contact us today for more information or to receive a quote for your business! 

Coordinating Health and Dental Benefits

Coordinating benefits is common with health and dental plans; it allows employees and their dependants 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.