• The summer heat continues, and as employers we must know what signs to look out for when detecting heat stress.

    Check out this great resource for the signs and more importantly some ways to prevent:
    * Wear a hat and or SPF clothing
    * Keep hydrated and have your employees drink a cup of water every 20 minutes
    * Take breaks often in the shade
    * End the day early

  • Disability & Critical Illness Insurance

    Dean Teasdale, President of Norbram Group Insurance, is interviewed on The Humble & Fred Radio Show August 5, 2021 discussing the Chambers Plan and how critical illness and disability coverage is “the good news insurance.”

    Chamber of Commerce Group Benefits – Group Insurance For Small Business – Employee Benefit Plans For Small Business

    Please click below to listen to the Dean Teasdale interview with Humble & Fred.

  • Justin Paget/Getty Images

  • Ontario's Action Plan on Mental Health

    It's not news that the Mental Health of Canadians has been greatly impacted over the past year.

    - From January to June of 2020 Express Scripts Canada saw an alarming 11% increase in antidepressants

    - 70% of total disability claims are due to mental health in Canada

  • Top 5 Chambers Plan Frequently Asked Questions

    At Norbram, our team collectively manages the accounts for over 1500 Chamber Plan clients across Ontario. We'd like to share with you the Top 5 most common plan administration questions we get from our clients, which may come in handy the next time you have a question about your coverage.

    Question 1:

    I forgot to add an employee, what do I do next?

    Answer: Well this wins for the most common question. If a new employee isn't added within 30 days of completing their waiting period, they are considered a late entrant. Late entrants must complete a statement of health which may result in coverage modifications. If approved, the employee may be subject to dental restrictions for their first 12 months on the plan.

  • At Norbram Group Insurance Benefits Inc., we recognize the importance of addressing our environmental impact. We’re reducing the carbon emissions footprint of our operations and supporting renewable energy in Canada by choosing green electricity and green natural gas through our partnership with Bullfrog Power, a Spark Power company. For more information on how it works please visit this link here

  • Check out these stats on Mental Health

    The Conference Board of Canada tells us that on any given day, 500,000 Canadians are limited or prevented from working due to a mental health-related issue; the annual costs of anxiety and depression in Canada are estimated to be $17 billion and $32 billion, respectively.
    It is a smart business decision to get involved in the mental wellness of your employees. Now, I've shared a lot of resources available for both employers and employees this week, however internally here are three ways to set your team up for success:
    1. | Onboarding - All about an employees expectations
    2. | Training - All about the knowledge and confidence to do their
    3. | Senior Leaders - Leading by example and communicating

  • Today I want to highlight an amazing digital course through BEACON, which offers cognitive behavioural therapy for residents of Ontario.
    Another great tool to refer your employees to, or to communicate to them that these are available.
  • October is Healthy Workplace Month in Canada!

    Check out these great resources to support you on this journey to becoming a health(ier) workplace with weekly challenges for the month.

    October 5-9 | Taking Action on our Mental Health

    These challenges offer some great tools to support you as an employer with guidance along the way.

  • Most of us have needed to quickly embrace technology, seemingly overnight, so that we can stay in touch and remain productive. Whether these virtual meetings are using applications such as Zoom or Google Meet, it helps to ensure that we are all communicating together as a community and an organization. The challenge however, is incorporating a sense of belonging within a team and maintaining culture within the business as a whole.

    Remote working: How to establish a continued sense of belonging

    Speaking to Brian Freese. Sr. HumanResources Business Partner at DocuSign, we explored the idea of engaging with positive intent. "The companies that are going to come out on top after this pandemic are the ones that lead with positive intent during this time.

  • Most of us have needed to quickly embrace technology, seemingly overnight, so that we can stay in touch and remain productive.   Whether these virtual meetings are using applications such as Zoom or Google Meet, it helps to ensure that we are all communicating together as a community and an organization.   The challenge however, is incorporating a sense of belonging within a team and maintaining culture within the business as a whole.


    COVID-19: Top priorities for HR leaders revealed

    The Gartner survey shows that organisations, trying to balance employee needs with financial realities, are employing a variety of approaches to time-off policies in response to COVID-19. Nearly half (48%) of employers require employees to use sick leave first, then vacation leave and finally potential PTO for coronavirus absences.

  • A National Guide for Business

    As businesses prepare to reopen or revamp their operations amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there are numerous issues and challenges to consider. This toolkit prepared by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s Canadian Business Resilience Network is designed to provide guidance, or access to guidance, for business owners and senior managers responsible for re-establishing their operations while ensuring the health and safety of operators, staff, customers and the general public is at the forefront.

    Read the full article by clicking the link below. 

    Click Here



  • FACT - Your business has changed

    If you were able to adapt your business and or are just surviving, the fact is that there is going to be a plan in place for reopening.

    Follow the 5 P's to prepare and plan for how you are going to do business, how you will be setting up your office space, safety at work, and your remote workplace policies:

    • Position

    • Plan

    • Perspective

    • Projects

  • Here are some great tips on how to set up your space,

  • What you need to know when it comes to your benefits

    COVID-19 is a respiratory illness, first identified in China, that includes symptoms such as cough, fever, and shortness of breath. It is most commonly spread by coughing or sneezing, physical contact with someone who is infected, or touching something with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes.

    Chambers of Commerce Group Insurance Plan is actively monitoring the situation through government websites, World Health Organization, The Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association and through constant  communication with our insuring partners.

    The Government of Canada website ( is a great resource to obtain the most current travel advisories for destinations employees may be considering visiting.


    Do you currently have a vacation policy in place?

    What is the general feeling at your workplace? Are employee's encouraged to take their vacation? Do they take their allotted amount of vacation days?

    A well communicated vacation policy goes along way in terms of employee retention and morale.

    I'm not saying go and offer the "unlimited" vacation days, but offering say a paid birthday day off or a bonus $$ for using your vacation days will give your employees the break that they need.

    Check out a helpful guideline for following the legislation for vacation and for adding your own twist to make yourself stand out...go and get creative!

  • How to Handle Holiday Stress

    With the holidays upon us, it’s easy to get swept up in the season that claims the title of “Most Wonderful Time of the Year”. Unfortunately, it’s that kind of pressure and often unrealistic expectation that we impose on ourselves that leads to increased stress and depression during the holidays. From navigating personal and financial demands of the season, to meeting year-end targets at work, maintaining a healthy work-life balance can seem next to impossible. However, as with any looming deadline, preparation is the key to success. You can help fight overwhelm by being pre-emptive and identifying key triggers ahead of time that make you feel anxious around the holidays. Here are just a few ways to cope with some common challenges.

    Get planning

  • You wouldn’t normally expect an insurer to keep surpluses in their benefits program but with the Chambers Plan that’s exactly what happens. As a not-for-profit benefits plan, the Chambers Plan reinvests these surpluses back into the program to reduce rates, to continue to add additional benefits and provide high-quality service with ever evolving options.

    Small and mid-sized business owners face a lot of uncertainty and they don`t need that to include their employee benefits plan. A local Chambers Plan advisor can help show them why the Chambers Plan is the number one plan for businesses looking for stability in their benefits plan.

    Why should this be a concern? Well, first there are inflationary factors that can cause your benefits plans to rise. Next, some group benefits providers will lure businesses in with unsustainable rates, which will be followed by larger premium increases in subsequent years. Many business owners have experienced this roller coaster ride already and we can show you how to avoid that.

  • Making Employee Benefits Easy, Benefits 101

    Employee benefits can be complex but a dedicated Chambers Plan advisor can make it simple. With their help any business can launch an effective benefits plan within their budget. They will go further than that too, and also help you manage it. Sometimes business owners assume they don’t have the expertise to administer a group benefits plan. With the Chambers Plan, they make it easy for you.

    First, getting a quote requires basic information and a brief discussion with an advisor. From there, once a plan design has been agreed upon, the advisor will assist you in the process of enrolling your employees. Training can also be provided for your admin staff or yourself, and walk the employees through the plan.

  • How To Recruit And Retain Employees With Ease

    A solid benefits plan makes a great addition to an employee compensation package. With the Chambers Plan your business can recruit the high-quality talent you need to compete. Whether your business has 1 or 100 employees you have just as great a need to attract and retain talent as a larger corporation. Their employee group benefits plan can provide you with options that will allow your business to compete with anyone for those employees.

  • The Employee Experience Part II

    The Employee Experience Part II: Wellness at Work, Ongoing Education, and Exit Interview

    To pick up where we left off from The Employee Experience Part I, it’s important to take into consideration three final valuable components that conclude this series. We know that incentives in the early stages of a new hire’s journey can leave a lingering impression on their decision to stay (for the short term), but an employer that invests in Wellness at Work initiatives and Ongoing Education will cultivate a healthy and happy workplace, which in turn can improve their peoples’ overall quality of life. Only if and when an employee makes the difficult choice (keyword: difficult) to leave - and hey, it happens - will the value of conducting an Exit Interview be revealed.

    Wellness at Work

  • Private Health Insurance: Understanding your options

    As Ontarians, we’re lucky to have a world class provincial healthcare system in place. But it’s no secret that there are gaps in OHIP coverage that can result in significant out of pocket expenses. The cost of prescription drugs, vision care, registered therapists and dental care can really add up. 

    The good news is that private health insurance plans can help us fill those gaps. Depending on your employment situation, there are a number of options available to you or your family that can provide coverage for everyday expenses, and protection against the unknown.

    Which category best describes your situation?

    Employee of a company / Retiree

  • The Employee Experience Part I

  • How To Easily Offer Your Employees A Wellness Benefits Program

    Large companies aren’t the only ones that can provide their staff with a Wellness program. According to a recent (2017) Sanofi Health Survey, wellness and illness prevention are top priorities for employers. Let the Chambers Plan provide you with the resources to provide your staff with wellness options regardless of the size of your organization.

    Today, there are varying views about what a wellness program should look like. There are some that feel food stations at work and flex hours are a wellness program. Others feel it should include an Employee Assistance Plan and options like a Lifestyle Spending Account, allowing employees to claim benefits like gym memberships and active devices such as Apple Watches or a FitBit.

  • On April 1st, 2019, the Ontario provincial government shifted their focus of OHIP+ benefits to prioritize youth without a private plan. Ontarians aged 24 and under who are insured under a private drug benefit plan are no longer eligible for medication coverage through OHIP+. Those without access to private coverage will continue to be OHIP+ insured and eligible for prescription medication coverage funded by the province.

  • It’s All About Caring

    There are many reasons that employers provide their staff with employee benefits. Employee retention is higher and recruitment easier. It’s typically tax advantageous with health and dental premiums not being taxable benefits to employees. The reality is when we talk to business owners there is a sense of caring.

    They want to look after their employees and their employees’ families, not just as an efficient part of their business but more as an extended part of their own family. Most employers are protective of their employees and benefits help them provide some of this net of security for them.

    Let’s face it, if people had the choice they would spend their time with family and friends. Since most of us must work, we might as well use work to make our lives better. Employers know this and they realize the business they have created not only looks after themselves and their families but also their employees and their families.

  • Two important tips you must know about Employee Benefits Taxation!

    Are employer paid premiums taxable to the employee?

  • Benefit Plans Rates That Are Stable And Predictable

    Small and mid-sized business owners face a lot of uncertainty and don`t need that to include their employee benefits plan. A local Chambers Plan advisor can help show why the Chambers Plan is the number one plan for businesses seeking stability in their benefit plan.

    Why should this be a concern? First, inflationary factors can cause a benefits plan to rise. Next, some group benefits providers lure businesses in with unsustainable rates which are followed by larger premium increases in subsequent years. Many business owners have experienced this roller coaster ride already.  We can show you how to avoid that.

  • How Does your Benefits Plan Measure Up?

    How Does your Benefits Plan Measure Up?

    Employers, did you know that plan design features can be a strategic way to control cost for the future? Possible ROIs include increase in employee productivity and engagement, as well attracting and retaining talent for small businesses (employers with less than 50 employees). A recent report published by Sun Life Financial revealed valuable insight into the Canadian group benefits space, claiming that customizing a benefits plan to best suit the workforce can reinforce and accomplish an organization’s goals. The 54 page report offers a comprehensive overview of some of the most common plan designs which can assist small businesses in making the best decisions to meet the health needs and benefit preferences of their employees. To save you some time, we have extracted the five most common plan design options to consider when designing your benefits package.


  • Well, as you’ve probably heard, the much-anticipated date of October 17th has come and gone, and recreational marijuana is now legal in Canada! Many of our clients have been asking us, what impact does this have on employee benefits plans?

  • Top 5 Tips to Eat Healthy at the Office and on the Road

    Between balancing a career, family, extra curriculars and trying to fit in some semblance of a social life, the day to day grind can be brutal. The struggle to stay on top of everything is so real, and so often comes at the expense of our self care and ability to balance a healthy diet while at the office or on the road. The good news is it’s never too late to hit reset. March is Nutrition Month, and we want to challenge you to put your wellness first, and break some of the most common and problematic patterns (that you may not even realize you’re doing) which can, in effect, give you more energy and improve your overall health.  Since many of us spend at least half of our waking hours at the office, we think it’s worth giving some of these tips a try:

    1. Start with a well balanced breakfast

  • Fight the Winter Blues with these 4 Helpful Tips

    We the North are known to be a resilient people, frequently adapting to changing climates and irregular surroundings. We experience the swift and dramatic change in temperatures, and are unwittingly placed on a seasonal rollercoaster which, for many, becomes an emotional one. For many Canadians workers, weather causes undue stress when taking on a number of day to day tasks, such as selecting appropriate attire, or setting the proper morning alarm to account for the always unpredictable commute time.

  • Great Changes Coming for Canadian Families

    OHIP+: Children and Youth Pharmacare

    Starting January 1, 2018, Ontario families welcomed OHIP+, a new pharmacare plan that extends free prescription drug coverage to everyone under the age of 25, regardless of their socio-economic status. More than 4,400 eligible medications will be covered under the new Ontario Drug Benefit Program, and is expected to come at a cost of $465 million per year, according to the Liberal budget. These changes are the first the province has ever seen. Until now, the current Ontario Drug Plan only provides prescription drug coverage for seniors and citizens on social assistance.

    New Rules for Maternity and Parental Leave

  • 2018 HR Trends

    In September 2017, Morneau Shepell released their annual report on Trends in Human Resources which surveyed 370 Canadian employers about their future plans, and asked HR leaders to identify their primary areas of interest in 2018. The findings revealed an overarching goal to build high performing and resilient workforces. The top three concerns were, improving employee engagement (65%), attracting and retaining employees with the right skills (56%), and helping their organizations adapt better to ongoing change (55%).

    Despite an expected increase in average salary of about 2.3% from 2017, employers don’t seem overly concerned about its affect on business. This suggests a shift in focus to reduce cost by investing in their employees’ well being. Increased use of data is linking employee health, engagement and productivity which give employers much to consider. When approaching the issue of mental health, HR leaders reported that their primary challenges were lack of knowledge by their managers (58%) and employees (55%), in addition to stigma (55%).

  • The ROI of Wellness

    In business, anything you spend money on should ultimately lead to increased profits. It’s not an easy task to evaluate the ROI of any wellness program as it can be expensive, complicated and quite often takes some time to see results. However, the outcome of understanding will lead to bumping that bottom-line by keep staff engaged and boosting productivity.

    In order to understand and measure your wellness programs, we should first look at the barriers; the most obvious is that it’s expensive. Analysing any area of business is costly and takes time. Wellness is an especially difficult area to evaluate as it has many different sets of data to analyse. In order to make sense of the data you would need the help of analytics companies as some of this information can be difficult to understand and keeping that information private is of paramount importance.

  • Fair Tax Plan, is it really Fair? Taxes and the outcome


    Canadian small businesses have been hit with numerous changes (or proposed changes) this year that will threaten their long-term prosperity and their ability to compete globally. From minimum wage hikes to the proposed tax reforms titled the “Fair Tax Plan”, life as a small business owner isn’t getting any easier.  

    For those who haven’t heard much about the “Fair Tax Plan” and for those struggling to make sense of the proposed changes under the plan, here’s a quick breakdown. All measures are aimed at modifying areas where business owners are allowed to allocate income in a different way to reduce their marginal tax rate. If any of the following tax situations apply to you, then you will be impacted by these changes.

    1. Dividends to family members.

  • 4 Quick Tips On How To Maximize The Value Of Your Group Insurance Plan For Your Employees

  • 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.    

  • 3 Simple Ways to SAVE on your Prescription Drug Costs

  • Exploring Healthcare Spending Accounts (HSA’s)

  • Group Benefits vs. Salary Increase

    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.  

  • 3 Simple Ways to Control Claims on your Employee Benefits Plan

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

    Learning to Breathe Easier

    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. 

    Top 5 Mistakes Business Owners Make when it comes to employee benefits. 

  • 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.

    Spring Cleaning Tips...For Your Employee Benefits Plan

    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.  


Contact Us



Norbram Group Insurance Benefits Inc.

15074 Yonge St., 
Aurora, ON, L4G 1M2




Chambers Plans Partners

Click here