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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 pharmacogenetic testing pilot launches

We have recently launched a pharmacogenetic testing pilot to help our plan members with an active disability claim find the medication that is right for them.

Pharmacogenetics combines pharmacology and genomics to analyze a patient’s DNA and determine how it affects their response to prescribed medications, including how they metabolize them.

We have partnered with GeneYouln Inc. to deliver a personalized, state-of-the-art medication management service called Pillcheck™ for this pilot.
The pilot will target select disability claims that are approved and active, and that meet specific criteria. The pilot will initially focus on mental health and pain management claims, and will be monitored to determine impact on claim duration and recurrence.

Participation in the testing is voluntary for the claimant, who is referred to an online portal to set up a personal account and order a kit. The kit involves a DNA cheek swab that’s sent to a laboratory for analysis. As with other rehabilitation expenses, there is no direct cost to the member.

Test results can be used by a disability claimant’s treating physician to help select medications that match their pharmacogenetic profile and/or to determine if another medication option needs to be considered.vThe test results are completely confidential and are not shared with the insurer. They are forwarded directly to the claimant.

Recommendations may result in medication changes (dosage, different medication), fewer medications prescribed and less medication waste.

During the pilot, we will examine a number of data points to assess whether this new technology delivers measurable results for claimants and employers. These results will help us determine the value of applying pharmacogenetics to our business more broadly going forward.

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!

Portal enhancements

2019 will see a series of upgrades to our Group Administrator portal to add new functionality and a better client experience. Many of these changes reflect feedback we have received from users of the site – we appreciate your insights. Watch for more information coming soon!

Medavie Blue Cross updates

Insights Blog: Get the industry lowdown

Read all the latest news and views on health care and health benefits in our Insights blog. Just as its name suggests, Insights is our online information hub, designed to help you gain insights to build your B2B relationships and your business. First-time visitor? Go here to view and bookmark our blog. Haven’t been to Insights in a while? Check out these latest posts.

Must Reads

Diabetes management blog: Two-part blog that gives 360-degree look at the profound impact diabetes is having on the workplace and cost-effective strategies to prevent and manage the disease.

Financial Post article: Article featuring interview with Medavie CEO Bernard Lord on fostering a culture of wellness that earned Medavie Blue Cross a coveted place in the Hall of Fame of Canada’s Most Admired Corporate Cultures.

Avantages article: Interview with Pierre Marion, Regional Vice President, Business Development, Medavie Blue Cross, for “Thirty-Something” series to mark the 30th anniversary of the magazine and Pierre’s 30-year career in insurance. Congratulations Pierre!

Recorded webinar: Recording of our recent Driving your Plan with Data webinar — an in-depth look at the winds of change that are reshaping our landscape. Derek Weir, Manager Health Benefit Solutions, gives insights on how to navigate this landscape with smart solutions that meet the evolving benefit needs of the modern workforce.

Insights Webinar: 2019 Drug Trend Report

Wednesday, June 5 | 10 a.m. EST

The rapid pace of change in the drug landscape is putting unprecedented pressure on private benefit plans in Canada. So how can plan sponsors manage drug costs effectively in this fast-moving and highly complex environment? Chris Goguen, Manager Pharmacy Benefit Management, will share his insider knowledge and expertise advice to answer this question and more.

Learn & Earn CE credits
Don’t miss out on this CE-accredited learning opportunity to discover what’s trending in the drug management space, what it means for your benefit plans and what you can do to contain your costs, without compromising on health.

Register today

Can’t make the date?
Register anyway and we’ll send you a recording of our webinar

Don’t miss future webinars
Email [email protected] to get on our e-vite list.
View recorded webinars on our Insights blog and earn CE credits.

Finding solutions to support families of serving and retired members of the Canadian Armed Forces and first responders suffering with post-traumatic stress (PTS)

Finding solutions to support families of serving and retired members of the Canadian Armed Forces and first responders suffering with post-traumatic stress (PTS).

Families of military and first responders play an essential role in the treatment journey for those living with PTS, but are often forgotten. To identify the challenges families face, the gaps in support, and the priority needs to action on, Medavie recently hosted a PTS roundtable, in partnership with Wounded Warriors Canada, Vanier Institute of the Family and the Mental Health Commission of Canada.

Family members are key to ensuring people living with PTS are well-cared for and they can play a big role in improving outcomes. At the same time, families face immense pressures themselves and they need assistance, too. Discussion and key outcomes of the roundtable included opportunities for:

  • Improving awareness and understanding of PTS among families;
  • Strengthening treatment programs available; and
  • Expanding access to those services.

The roundtable was attended by experts and key stakeholder groups, and included a keynote address from Roméo Dallaire, Retired Lt-General and National Patron for Wounded Warriors Canada, and a panel discussion moderated by Canadian hockey legend, author and former MP, Ken Dryden. A white paper is being developed to share the learnings from the discussion and provide government and stakeholders with actionable recommendations for next steps.

Medavie Blue Cross Recognized as a National Leader in Community Investment and Social Responsibility

Medavie Blue Cross is honoured to be recognized as a Caring Company by Imagine Canada, a designation that places the not-for-profit organization among the nation’s leaders in corporate philanthropy.

The Caring Company Program recognizes organizations who demonstrate national excellence and leadership in community investment and corporate social responsibility.

"I am very excited to welcome Medavie Blue Cross as our newest Caring Company. Through our Caring Company program, we're working toward showcasing businesses that not only have made a commitment to giving significant support to their communities but are also influencing the future of social good in Canada as community investment thought leaders,” said Bruce MacDonald, President & CEO, Imagine Canada. “Today, we celebrate Medavie Blue Cross as a Caring Company, and we look forward to your continued leadership in the field of community investment."

As a not-for-profit organization, Medavie Blue Cross takes the long view toward how it can serve the communities where it operates. For over 75 years, the company has focused its investments and community volunteerism programs toward initiatives that improve the health of local communities.

First launched in 1988, the Caring Company Program is Canada’s premier public expression of excellence and leadership in community investment and corporate social responsibility. Caring Companies commit to giving at least 1% of their pre-tax profit in support of their communities and in doing so, set the standard for corporate philanthropy in Canada.

Along with Medavie Health Services and as part of Medavie, Medavie Blue Cross commits a portion of its net income to the Medavie Health Foundation. Since 2011, the Foundation has formed partnerships and funded programs that improve the lives of those impacted by child and youth mental health, post-traumatic stress disorder, and type 2 diabetes.

“Caring is one of our core values because it is inherent in what we do each and every day,” said Bernard Lord, Chief Executive Officer, Medavie. “It’s an honour to receive this designation in recognition of our past, present, and future commitment to caring for Canadians. We share this recognition with our nearly 2,100 employees who, often through their own initiative, truly demonstrate our commitment to giving back to the communities where we live, work and play.”

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