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    We’ve all been there, waiting in line at the pharmacy to drop off that prescription, eager to get it filled. Many of us don’t consider the cost of our prescription drugs, especially when a comprehensive employee benefits plan is in place that immediately covers all, or most of the expense. Did you know that 70% of every dollar spent on benefits plans in Canada goes towards the cost of prescription drug claims?  The average prescription costs between $50 and $75. For recurring prescriptions, this could quickly add up to $600-$900 per year.  That is a significant amount!

  • A Healthcare Spending Account (HSA) is an employee benefit that differs from the traditional fully insured plans that many of us are accustomed to. Generally speaking, the company (aka plan sponsor) would select an amount of coverage that would be offered to all employees, or all employees within a specific class (ie. Management, executives etc). The funds from the HSA can typically be used by the eligible employees for any type of medical or dental expense. In that sense, this type of plan provides complete flexibility and customization for the plan members. If an employee wishes to spend their full account value on laser eye surgery, for example, they can do that. The eligible expenses are determined by the Canada Revenue Agency and a list can be found on the CRA website. Most healthcare and dental related expenses are eligible, while cosmetic procedures are generally excluded. 

  • This is a debate we see quite often amongst small businesses and their employees. With many employees at different stages of their lives,all with different priorities, the debate can often be a difficult one, leaving some employees feeling as though they’ve lost out. Either way, it’s important for employees to understand the value of a group benefits package and the costs associated with a salary increase, so that they are able to make an informed decision.  

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    Are employer paid premiums taxable to the employee?

  • Susan is the office manager of a busy real estate firm. She has a six-year old daughter Emily, with severe asthma. 

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    Susan worries about Emily's health and the family finances. Emily takes a daily asthma controller but the constant expense of medication adds to Susan's concerns about making ends meet. Her husband, Jeff, is going to school upgrading his skills so family finances are tight. 

  • Employee benefits are an important part of the compensation package for any employee. Today, more than ever, employees expect valuable benefits that are competitive with those offered by other companies operating in your market. Most candidates will ask about your employee benefits offering in the interview process, and not having a plan can impact your ability to hire and retain the kind of talented employees that will help you grow your business. 

     

  • Why disability insurance?

    We get this question often.  The truth is that disability insurance is one of the most important types of insurance available.  After all, it protects your greatest asset; your ability to earn an income.  

    Unfortunately, government sponsored programs such as CPP and EI just don’t provide the level of disability coverage that most of us would need in order to maintain our current standard of living in the event of a disability, especially if you’re self-employed.  

  • 4 simple ways to keep your employee benefits plan onside and up to date.

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    Time flies. With so many other priorities and distractions, it's easy to miss making changes to your employee benefits plan. But many changes to your benefits plan are time sensitive, so it's important that you spend the time to ensure your plan is up to date.

    Here are 4 simple ways to ensure that your plan remains onside and up to date…

    1) Update Employee Salaries

    Updating employee salaries each year, if not more frequently, is important. Especially if you have income based benefits such as Short Term Disability, Long Term Disability, or Life Insurance that is tied to a multiple of earnings. If updates are not provided in a timely manner, employees could find themselves underinsured at the time they need the coverage most.

  • You’ve decided to consider employee benefits for your organization, or maybe you’ve got a plan and are looking for a second opinion.  Here are 3 tips that will help you make an informed decision, and avoid frustration along the way.  

  • Do you want to grow your business?

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    One of the first steps to growing your business is partnering with your local Chamber of Commerce or Board of Trade.

  • Generic drugs are often touted as money-­‐saving options, a valuable way to keep health care affordable for all stakeholders – including employees, employers, insurance companies and the government. But there’s a lot of confusion about how a generic stacks up against an originator, or brand name, drug.

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  • It’s no secret that prescription drug costs are on the rise.  According to the Canadian Institute for Health Information, total drug expenditure is estimated to have reached $33 billion in 2012.  With significant advancements in the treatments of rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, multiple sclerosis, just to name a few, it’s not uncommon to see annual drug costs for these patients totaling $10,000-  $100,000, or more.  To illustrate this point, in 2013 insurers in Canada paid more than 4,000 claims for prescription drugs that cost in excess of $25,000.    

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    As consumers, we’re faced with countless purchasing decisions on a regular basis.  We all strive to make the best financial decisions for ourselves, our businesses and our families.  At some point in our lives, we’ve all learned the hard way that the decision to purchase the cheapest solution can often end in frustration and disappointment. 

    Let’s take, for example, the decision to buy a car.  It’s a situation we’ve all been in before.  There are countless options out there.  Do I buy new or used?  Which brand is most reliable?  Who has the best warranty?  If you were to buy a car with low cost as your first priority, it is likely that this car won’t be the most reliable, won’t have all the bells and whistles you want and is likely to cause you problems down the road. 

  • We've all heard horror stories of families who have incurred thousands of dollars-worth of medical expenses while on vacation and returned home to find out that they weren't covered because of some limitation or loophole in their travel insurance policy. Well we'd like to help you avoid this!

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  • It’s always a tough question for me to answer. Let’s be honest here, I sell insurance for a living. But I think that the tough part about critical illness insurance is that we don’t want to believe that we’ll need it. We want to see ourselves as invincible. We don’t want to think about the possibility of a sudden change of health, such as a heart attack, cancer or stroke.  

  • You are unique.  And you have unique needs when it comes insurance.  When we sit down with you to discuss your life insurance options, we want to first learn more about your specific situation before customizing a plan that suits your needs.

      

  • Adding dental benefits to your employee benefits plan is a great bonus for your employees.  Each of the insurance providers that we work with offer a number of dental options that can be tailored to suit you and your employees.  Statistics Canada reported* that 56% of Canadian employees have a dental plan at their place of employment. 

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  • Last week, I was standing in what seemed to be an exceptionally long line at the supermarket cash register.  To kill some time, I picked up and started leafing through a copy of the international bestseller by Richard Templar titled “The Rules of Wealth”. 

  • Here’s the scenario; you have an employee that comes into your office to complain that they submitted a claim for massage therapy a few weeks ago but still have not received their reimbursement cheque.  You scratch your head, because it’s been your experience that the Chambers Plan turns claims around in just a few days.

    You ask the employee to do a quick check on their claim to ensure that they followed the Five Best Practices for getting a claim reimbursed quickly.

Contact Us

Telephones:
1-800-667-2726
416-798-4974

Fax:
1-888-313-5886
905-940-1266

Norbram Group Insurance Benefits Inc.

1-360 Industrial Parkway S., 
Aurora, ON, L4G 3V7
Canada

 

Email: 
info@norbram.ca

 

Chambers Plans Partners

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