Skip to main content

Insights on benefits

For employers and plan sponsors

Welcome to Insights on Benefits, our online publication for employers, plan sponsors and group administrators. This publication will bring fresh perspectives to help you stay current on health and benefit issues.

We welcome your feedback and suggestions for topics that you would like to see addressed.


How we are identifying and creating new opportunities to help plan sponsors and plan members take full advantage of their benefit plans.

Group Administrator Zone

Practical tips and guidance on administering your plan and members

Medavie Blue Cross Updates

Find out what we have been up to lately


New phone technology improves service and insights

Over the past several months, we have transformed our phone technology into a state-of-the-art solution that provides better ability to serve our clients and members.

With our Digital Voice Evolution project, our employees are now using a system that seamlessly integrates voice, video, messaging, desktop sharing and conferencing capabilities. The system greatly improves efficiency and ability to serve clients.

At the same time, we are also introducing new technology for our contact centre employees and others who deal with members, providers, group administrators, and other external customers by phone. This customized solution simplifies workflows, connects data, and allows us to gain actionable insights from our call experiences. This will help us ensure our products and services reflect the changing needs and expectations of all our stakeholders.

By investing in new ways of doing business, we are able to ensure everyone we work with the best possible service and support.

Medavie Blue Cross updates

Benefit Webinars

Want to know what’s trending in the benefits industry? Sign up for our webinar series to:

  • Gain knowledge to share with your colleagues
  • Use insights to inform your decisions
  • Turn fresh ideas into new approaches

Here are the details on our next webinar:

Thursday, February 28 | 2 p.m. EST

Building Employee Resilience:
A Practical Guide to Creating & Operationalizing Self-Care Strategies for the Workplace

Guest Speakers:
Dr. Bill Howatt, Chief of Research, Workforce Productivity, Conference Board of Canada
Jesse Adams, Head of Strategy and Operations, Howatt HR Consulting

Register here.

Don’t miss these highly focused learning opportunities. Email [email protected] to get on our e-vite list.

Insights blog: Stay in the know and grow

Our blog page, Insights, is gaining recognition as a go-to centre for the latest news, views and trends around health benefits. This online information hub features blogs, articles and webinar recordings to keep you in the know and help your business grow.

Recent content includes an article on the Health Care System of the Future by Bernard Lord, CEO, Medavie, and the conclusion of our three-part blog on disability management.

Medavie Health Foundation 2019 Grants Program Now Open

Medavie Health Foundation is seeking funding applications from community-based organizations focused on improving the lives of those impacted by child and youth mental health, post-traumatic stress and type 2 diabetes.

All submitted projects are important; however, we focus our support on grassroots, community initiatives that demonstrate sustainability, broader community partnerships, the potential for replication, and improve access to services in addressing physical and mental health care challenges related to our core causes.

To apply for funding, organizations must be a registered charity offering programs in one of these three core cause areas. The deadline to apply is March 31.

If you are involved with an organization that has a project that aligns with the Foundation’s focus, we encourage you to look into applying. Click on “Community Impact” at for more information.

Medavie Blue Cross enters Canada’s Most Admired Corporate Cultures’ Hall of Fame

Late last year, we were delighted to once again be named one of Canada's Most Admired Corporate Cultures.

The year marks the fourth consecutive win for Medavie Blue Cross, which first received the award in 2009 and again in 2012 and 2015. It is valid for three years. This is a designation few organizations have achieved and we’re immensely proud to be recognized in the Award’s Hall of Fame alongside some of Canada’s most recognizable companies.

The national award program, presented by Waterstone Human Capital, recognizes best-in-class Canadian organizations for fostering corporate cultures that enhance performance and help sustain a competitive advantage.

“Our organization is built on collaboration. Employees know they are part of a team that supports one another, and our success is driven by the award-winning corporate culture they have all helped shape,” said Bernard Lord, Chief Executive Officer, Medavie. “It’s an honour that on our 75th anniversary, our culture is being recognized once more at the national level.”

Group Administrator Zone

Simplifying your billing process

We have launched a campaign to encourage plan sponsors to switch to electronic billing for their benefits and enrol in pre-authorized payment plans for their benefits premiums.

Benefits of eBilling:

  • instant delivery by email - no postal or weather delays
  • more time to review your bill details before payment is due
  • detailed statements - not just a bill summary
  • your choice of format to best manage your benefits plan – downloadable pdf, excel or csv file
  • no papers to file, misplace or clutter up your desk
  • access statements from previous 12 months
  • a world that’s a little more green thanks to you!

Benefits of pre-authorized payment plan:

  • automatic bill payment – no reminders, no cheques to write
  • an account that’s always up-to-date – no inconvenience of late payments or claim suspension

As an incentive, plan sponsors will be automatically entered in a draw to win an Apple Home (valued at more than $450) when they make the switch. As an added bonus, all clients who are enrolled in both electronic billing and pre-authorized payment as of the contest deadline of June 1, 2019, will receive an additional chance to win!

Group Administrator Portal Update

We have changed the process for backdating member terminations. A claim check will now be done on all backdated terminations, checking Hospital, Travel, EHB, Drug and Dental claims. If a claim was submitted after the requested termination date, the transaction will be stopped and the Group Administrator (GA) will see a message advising of the last date a claim for the member was paid. The GA can then change the termination date to this date.

Backdates can go back up to 31 days for Fully Insured plans, and 180 days for ASO and Retention plans.

The steps involved in this new process are shown in detail in the Group Administrator Toolkit.

To help control costs and ensure proper coverage for plan members, it is important that GAs and Plans Sponsors update their information on the portal as near as possible to the date they occur and review monthly invoices to ensure additions, terminations and changes in coverage are reflected.

Industry News

Changes coming to OHIP+ in Ontario

Effective April 1, 2019, the Ontario Government has proposed changing the eligibility criteria for the OHIP+ program, which provides drug coverage to Ontarians under 25 and was introduced in 2018. The OHIP+ program will no longer reimburse eligible drug expenses for those individuals under 25 years of age with ‘private insurance’.

Update: The amendment has now been officially passed. You can see the amendment here.

For plan sponsors, this means any private-plan-eligible drugs that are currently being reimbursed by OHIP+ will start to flow back through the plan. The province’s Trillium program will continue to provide partial or second payer coverage for high cost drugs for Ontario members of private plans that meet Trillium’s requirements.

Residents under 25 who do not have access to private insurance will continue to receive drug coverage through OHIP+. This coverage is not intended to be supplemental to a limited drug formulary.

We will work to ensure no gaps in your members’ coverage. Pricing impacts will be minimal and reflected on your next renewal, if applicable. We are continuing to work with CLHIA and the Ontario Ministry of Health to ensure clarity of these changes so that we can properly adjust our system to account for the changes.

Message you can share with your Ontario-resident members:

Starting April 1, 2019, the Province of Ontario has proposed changing its OHIP+ program for residents under 25 years old covered by a benefit plan. If you or a family member is under 25 residing in Ontario, prescription drug benefits will start being reimbursed through Medavie Blue Cross, based on plan design and eligibility, instead of the OHIP+ plan. This may result in a change in your out-of-pocket costs for these drugs.

If you have coverage for a drug that requires Prior Authorization, we will be working with Patient Support Programs to ensure a seamless transition for your coverage. You can contact us at [email protected] if you need more information.

Reader Poll

Fill out my online form.