CGIB Past Agendas

Wondering what is discussed at CGIB meetings?  Take a look…

Does anyone have any information on the “Olympic Benefits Plan” being offered by Northern Financial Group ?

How do you feel about chat-bots giving advice in this space?

What’s the future of the independent advisor doing group business

Anyone have experience with Mail Order Pharmacies. Do you have a preference for one and why?

Now that ORPP is out of the way, what are you doing to continue recommending – DPSP’s, Group RRSP’s, or DC Pension Plans?

What makes a good group rep?

Purchasing business from other brokers.

What experience, if any, has anyone had with the integration of payroll & benefits being offered by BBD and possibly others?

I am just getting to know about Group Insurance prospecting and interviewing buss. owners

What is the degree of flexibility in contractual-wording among insurers of < 20 life groups? Which carrier(s) are the most flexible, and which are the least?

Is there still a sense that ASO is more risky than an insured model? (specifically for smaller – under 100 or even under 50 lives)

Curious how HR Support now provided by Manulife has been received?

Has anyone dealt with moving a client from one provider to another and have come across the situation where a special auth drug was on the incumbents plan but was on the takeover insurer’s non-eligible drug list. Would CHLIA guidelines come into effect here where no one person can lose coverage?

Is anyone else experiencing a much higher increase than normal on almost all renewals this year? most seems to be justified but it is difficult to sell.

Does anyone have any information you can share about medical tourism pertaining to benefit plans ? I have been approached by 2 different entities recently about this. Thank you.

For succession planning purposes, does anyone know someone who could put a value on your practice, how to best set it up for sale and anyone who could sell it? (Not intended to start any rumors)

Recent trends in specialty drug utilization.

Does anyone have any experience or suggestions for putting together a benefits package for a group plan that is comprised of workers who are not actually employees. Setting aside the tax implications with respect to PHSP’s, are there any particular benefit lines or insurers who are more more willing to offer solutions these sorts of groups?

What are clients expecting from consultants nowadays? Advice, price, proactive consulting, industry updates? Are they more fickle then ever? Life change events. Employee wants to change coverage to spouse’s plan, due to Vision and not simple. Done within 30 days of their premiums increasing. Is this considered a reasonable request for the change?

I have a 10 man group I’m renewing with 2 divisions. One has 178% drug claims, the other has 22%. Aside from putting in a drug cap or splitting out the high spending division, any suggestions on how to control costs.

How is responsive to petition regarding Insurance companies doing blanket contract changes without broker client notification?
Anyone have experience with Mail Order Phar

how important is it to your block of business to look after owners and employees over age 65, re Ltd, and travel coverage? is ltd necessary, and re travel, does it have to be over 60 days of coverage?

Any ideas on how to better increase sales with virgin groups? ie. how do you convince them to get benefits if they do not have any? Any selling tools?

I have argued that for small group, TLR’s really are not as relevant as much as the premium rate charged to the group, but at what point does that change. As the group gets larger, the TLR discussion gets to be a bigger factor, especially if there is a 10% spread between 2 quotes… Opinions?

Why are Contractual Changes possible prior to renewal without client consent? How is it possible to obtain group benefits for clients at $30/mo per member as advertised on the Radio?

More information on Industry trends, Re Reinsurance, future regulations that we need to prep for.

Are you noticing any new trends, questions or common problems coming up in the market?

When your contact at a client changes, does anyone have a formal introduction strategy to meet the new contact and find out how they see the benefits going forward?

I would like to discuss the impact of specialty drugs on LAP/Stop-loss charges, and the utilization of provincially sponsored drug programs.

The new electronic platform that the Toronto board of Trade is holding a seminar on in September.

When selling a block of group business. What are the factors to take place and the price determination, and amount?

What are the considerations for selling or acquiring blocks of Group Benefit clients? Are their itemized checklists available? The list to include but not be limited to options of buyout periods, multiples, Clawback provisions, items to due diligence on to understand the quality of the block etc.

LTD – how to decide who is responsible to pay the claim….

What % of healthcare cost are brokers seeing for pooling charges for insured groups? How much reduction have you been able to achieve if you implement a drug spending cap? What sort of risk pooling charge are brokers seeing for travel insurance? What are brokers experiencing with stop loss rates for ASO as policy coverage renews?

Why do we have to continuously negotiate Renewals with the Group Insurance companies?

Do you advise your clients of new drugs that have entered the market? Things like Obesity and Diabetes.

Are carriers offering any reduction in admin fees (better TLR’s) due to the use of PA and members sites and e-claims?

Does anyone have any sales and marketing advice or tips for growth?

What is a typical cost to add coverage for vaccines? Other than GreenShield, are there any group insurers that automatically include coverage for vaccines with their drug benefit plan? Do any carriers offer vaccine coverage as a voluntary benefit?

When selling a block of group business. What are the factors to take place and the price determination, and amount?

LTD – how to decide who is responsible to pay the claim….

What % of healthcare cost are brokers seeing for pooling charges for insured groups? How much reduction have you been able to achieve if you implement a drug spending cap? What sort of risk pooling charge are brokers seeing for travel insurance? What are brokers experiencing with stop loss rates for ASO as policy coverage renews?

Why do we have to continuously negotiate Renewals with the Group Insurance companies?

Does anyone have any sales and marketing advice or tips for growth?

How do you best set up catastrophic/stop loss insurance with an HSA only health benefit (no drug or dental) benefit. What’s new on this front

Are there any benchmarking reports that actually give tangible information? Do you provide T4 Information at the end of the year and how do you receive it from Insurers and is this expected from the client. Do you know how they get if not from the insurer? Client says Ceridian is no help to the client.

I have a prospective client that is part of a larger association / multiple employer plan where their specific claims experience isn’t available. Now they are considering splitting out on their own and can’t details on past experience. Has anyone had success getting insurers to quote in this sort of situation?

What are insurers doing about helping with the high cost of drugs relative to managing the process when it comes to dealing with Trillium?

Stability at Renewal.

how can members promote CGIB ? or increase membership ?

who is best for groups 1 to 3 lives?

do you wish you could sell the Chamber Plan? would it be a good option for your clients?

Do you want a carrier/TPA to decline to quote on your group if they are not competitive on the pooled lines, but could be competitive on health and dental? Or would you prefer to get the quote and sell it on the overall savings?

Are there any H/R questions that come up regularly where you may need a resource to help you respond?

What are some things that brokers are doing during the slow summer to keep on top of their businesses? Stilll networking? Attending events? Prospecting?

What are folks doing to grow their health and perhaps retirement business (particular now that ORPP is behind us). Anyone actively prospecting or are advisors just trying to maintain what they have?

If group had a large claim two years ago that did not recur in the past year should this be excluded from the renewal calculation

Current and future reinsurance market towards group healthcare

What have you found to be helpful in educating employees about rising drug costs, script fees and other issues?

what carriers are quoting one/two life cases? Who are you using for these cases? Feedback on which ones you like and why?

Just because I missed it last time I brought this up: New drug to be aware of: Truvada. Used in both the treatment and prevention of HIV. Anecdotally we have heard of people using this as a lifestyle drug and it is being covered by carriers. It costs ~$1,200/month. Are there any other similar treatments to be aware of?

I would like to learn more about how to add value to my new and existing group insurance clients.

What resistance, other than cost, do people find to add a stand alone CI plan? How do you deal with it?

continued changes in contracts. travel, drugs, mandatory PPN’s, mid year changes,….are you concerned?

which provider are you recommending for health spending account on a stand alone basis? Do you know what their charges are?

Has anyone come across the Olympic Benefits Plan sold by Northern Financial Group? If so how does it compare to traditional plans?

Premiers Meeting and Pharmacare implications Value and outcome-driven mindset of public payers vs. cost

4 questions in 1 topic: 1) Has anyone else noticed a drop in TLR across most insurers, sometimes as the group is growing TLR falls up to 2%? Does anyone push back against this with success? 2) When an insurer sites privacy and won’t release information such as top din reports or claims per cert what should I do? 3) An insurer is telling me their book/manual rate for STD is .65, 3 years ago they took over the case at .29 meaning we need a 150% increase to get “back to manual” – what can I do? 4) with EP3 is it possible to move a group with a recurring remicade claim?

Biosimilars: 1) Is there interest in learning more about how Biosimilars can reduce plan costs; and any specific topics? 2) Despite the 50% discount, I am hearing that since the cost is still above the pooling threshold it will not generate savings for plan sponsors. Are all carriers taking this same position? 3) Any concern about not being able to convert plan members to the Trillium plan because they are not using the biosimilar?

Carryover question from June meeting: What is it that Markham members want from their breakfast meetings? How do we keep it sustainable? Maureen’s additional question: Are we interested in more education from vendors and product info or not? Maybe 5 minute vendor updates each meeting or a spotlight on a select vendor at each meeting? Possibly just give vendors the green light to talk a little more specifically about their solutions in response to specific questions?

How long do small to medium employers continue benefits for a disabled employee? Is there a best practices way to terminate them?

Has anyone in the past done seminar selling? Pros and cons experienced? and any tips?

Has the market cooled down or are we still seeing unsustainable quotes and deals? Are certain brokers still receiving preferential treatment? Client emails Insurer directly on a matter that should have gone through the consultant (i.e. delaying the renewal or requesting experience) and the Insurer answers the client directly. Is this a major faux pas?

Any suggestions for clients who cannot decide if they want to proceed?

How is the Manulife HR downloads service working for your clients?

Conflict of interest

Feedback on differences in carrier Trillium integration.

Is there any substance to League Benefits – seems to be a HCSA vehicle, but just got substantial investment backing – any thoughts/concerns?

why do more small groups, under 25 for example, not want STD in their benefit plans.

drug pooling limits/charges

Are many employers looking for health coaching?

Did anyone else attend the Sanofi Canada Healthcare Survey last week? Interested to hear other people’s takeaways.

What are the other provincial equivalents to Trillium and how do they work?

I’m considering a group benefits designation and further education through Advocis? Recommendations? Are others Advocis members?

For those that work with an MGA are you finding that the breakdown in relationships with TPAs to be a ‘deal breaker’…will this change how/who you quote with?

New drug to be aware of: Truvada. Used in both the treatment and prevention of HIV. Anecdotally we have heard of people using this as a lifestyle drug and it is being covered by carriers. It costs ~$1,200/month.

With the regulation changes to the Insurance Act, is there anything more then “disclosed confidential commercial information” or “disclosed plan design/benefit information” within a group insurance policy?

How do people feel about adding managed formularies and drug maximums to plans to avoid high cost drugs hitting their client’s experience?

What big changes do you see in group plans and has anyone had a luck adding legal coverage to the plans?

What are providers doing to try and help mitigate the cost and exposure of specialty and biologic drugs to benefit plans?

I was supposed to drop you a note to suggest attendees bring a pro and a con to drug caps but seeing the low response (8 registered) we might want to wait for another day. Other than that, I don’t have a question right now.

An accounting firm has 13 partners (I assume equity) who all have $15,000 cost plus as part of their compensation plan. Would this not be a shareholder benefit (spicy sports) and could an HSA make this a proper set up?

Going forward arrangements for the Ajax group

LTD beyond age 65-how are these requests being handled?

Do you think smaller advisor firms will be able to survive over the distant future.

Has anyone else noticed with various renewals carriers are increasing the large cap claims limit to $12.5k and $15k when it was $10k only last year? The large cap pooling charges are going up drastically as well……..are the wagons circling?

What type of TLR’s do you find out there for small groups – 5-20 employees? Do you spreadsheet quotes for these small groups? Do you calculate a “value ratio” in choosing which provider to show? Do you “pad” rates given by insurers for virgin groups to help with first renewal? sorry for the laundry list of questions……

Some insurers seem to be increasing pooling levels, in addition to increasing pooling charges. Would like to discuss peoples’ thoughts on higher pooling attachment levels.

What are your thoughts on Insurance Companies selling group insurance direct to clients? Has anyone heard of a particular company going down this road?

How quickly are advisors requesting AOR’s? At what stage in the meeting process.

What’s better – get an agent of review letter to obtain complete information from the current carrier? Or ask the client to source everything you need to conduct your review?

Any suggestions for a small group client who has gone down to just the owner besides an individually plan or something like a Health Spending Account?

is pooling working ? for small groups, forget stop loss going to fully pooled rates.

Stop loss differences between carriers.

How much do commissions influence broker recommendations on wellness type services?

Member to mitigate renewal rate increases, would employers be more inclined to put a maximum on drug coverage, or agree to raise the stop loss limit.

Are you okay with carriers amending contracts mid-year, with no notice, no updated police and booklets?

What are you doing to advise your clients/prospects of the implications on their business of the impending ORPP?

HCSA – can employee classes be set up with different amounts of HCSA; what draws CRA attention?

Does anyone have thoughts on Blue Cross’ decision to offer Travel coverage as “Excess only” ?

extension of benefits for terminated EE? What is the maximum you can get from different insurance companies?

What value added services are you adding for your clients, and do they care?

What methods do you use to stay in touch with your clients throughout the year?

Has anyone had the opportunity to have a client’s various data banks analyzed though integration to get am understanding of what their true costs are of an event; i.e. Absence, STD/LTD claims, Drugs and EHC, Workers Comp, etc. Looking at the overall of a claimant that is on a specialty drug etc.

I’m chairing 🙂 What are advisors doing when they know that the rates carriers are coming back with aren’t sustainable or renewable? Would you load rates or, sell them and hope for the best?

Has any one had any experience with the Johnson Group (TPA) purchased by RSA? Has anyone worked with Equitable Life and there new flex program for small group. If so what has your experience been and what has the renewal looked like?

What counter-offers do you have when you are sent a Renewal ?

What legislative amendments were made to the Insurance Act of Ontario?

What are the pros and cons of moving from insured EHC & Dental to a HSA? If you have done this in the past, what has your actual experience been like?

Does anyone know the process when money is raised for research of an illness (cancer, M.S., etc) what happens between the research and the drugs being issued. Are good findings sold to big pharma? do they enter into an agreement?

Do you know which if any carriers/drug card providers are able to identify and separate biologic drugs from other drugs in their formularies? Can any of the drugs be specifically excluded?

Approved for CPP- how it’s offset with Group LTD and how it’s treated for tax purposes by the carrier.

Are the consulting houses going after the smaller companies?

What Target Loss Ratios are you finding on groups of 10-50?

We are looking for benefits for independent contractors in trucking industry….do you know of any providers willing to quote on cross border trucking?

outside of cgib events, what events do you attend to network and get CE credits?

Is anyone aware of another Payroll provider/PEO) (probably in the US) other than Trinet who manages Canadian payroll and benefits for US companies?

Which EAP provider offers a framework for wellness programs for plan sponsors to easy adapt and maintain?

Have people had good or bad claims experience with RBC?

RBC Insurance: 1) Has anyone experienced commercial banking reps soliciting/pressuring clients to meet with the RBC direct benefits team (contrary to bank act)? 2) Has anyone hears rumours the RBC group insurance block is up for sale?

How to handle a new HR Director who keeps everything close to the vest and doesn’t return emails or calls in a timely fashion. Suggestions as what to do.

Both upstream and downstream of claim time, the SME advisor is called on to help with funding and access to individual health interventions- largely symptom-mitigating drugs. Is there presently a need, appetite, or reliable path for advisors to facilitate evidence-based health promotion as a way to address the causes of catastrophes in both plan member health and plan costs in the long-term? In other words, if she really wants to, what can the SME Advisor do to intervene before the shit hits the fan? How many success stories can we come up with, where something an SME advisor did *upstream* (on a group level) was shown *with evidence* to help an individual member change from barreling down the road toward a preventable, catastrophic, life-changing event toward a healthier, assumedly happier and more productive direction before it’s too late? If yes, what are the common themes for successes and how might SME advisors collectively get better at making them meaningful for SME leaders? Apologies for verbosity.

Have any of your clients or potential prospects inquired about US employee benefits in any way? In the event you came across a US employee requirement, do you have a resource in the cross-border US market, or want one?

Remedies for maxed out drug plans, what if Trillium won’t cover strategies for claims with No coverage ?

Green Shield 2015 health report and impact of parameds on cost. If you haven’t seen it you should

what is your persistency with groups. as an insurer, our persistency is 95% so broker persistency must be excellent as well. this seems to be at odds with falling close ratios.

What are the key points that I should be discussing when presenting a renewal, besides the obvious? I find that even with a small increase, the client always wants to go to market, even if they just made the switch one year ago.

What can Group Reps do better for you? What are the misses currently?

what do you offer the C-Suite class of executives in a group? to catch their attention, or to be the differentiator?

Are insurers willing to adjust definition of earnings for group Long Term Disability policies due to unique compensation arrangements?

Do you think that the progression of technology in our industry will lead us to a place where clients would be able to run their own marketings; similar to the way they can shop for car insurance now?

Has anyone started marketing plans which comply with the proposed ORPP?

What innovative plan designs are advisors seeing in the market? What prospecting methods other than referrals are working?

What do you look for when selecting a HCSA carrier?

Does anyone have any experience with Employee Wellness Solutions Network based out of London. They provide various wellness solutions?

Why are the Insurance Companies trying to heavily increase the Pooled rates ?

We have been having challenges finding experienced support staff. Has anybody found an effective way of finding support staff?

Does anyone have any experience with the CFIB’s (Canadian Federation of Independent Business) PrimaSure administrated by Nexim Canada underwritten by Sun Life?

Do you think the pooling charge increases we are seeing will level off, or continue to increase?

Are you providing feedback to insurers about problems being faced around messed up renewals (e.g. Manu Health vs drug and how it relates to stop loss – GWL and the weighting issue where 1 month equals one year)

Drug Management

Whats an employer to do when an employee is off work, disability/pregnancy etc., and will not pay their ltd premium?

How often are employers downgrading their plan design in order to save on budget?

Why do you Brokers not provide spreadsheets when requested from Insurer? (blanking out the competitors is ok)

Recently a client told me the Canada Labour Code restricts you from removing benefits from anyone who was injured at work even after a fixed time. Has anyone experienced this for federally regulated companies?

Use of Cost Plus and ASO or HSA’s in conjunction with base plans. How prevalent and which is preferred for groups of 20-50 lives?

Do you have non-mandatory plans? For example, franchises where the plan is available to various locations but not mandatory? How do you manage these types of groups? Is there someone you use for these association type plans?

We have just started working in group business. Any tips on finding prospects, attracting new business and getting in the door?

Situation: An existing business is going to be purchased in a couple of months. New owner is only purchasing the “assets” of the old business and does not consider the benefits plan to be an asset…he doesn’t want any potential liability coming out of the plan. So, the owner wants to start up a benefits plan. Question 1: What liabilities does the new owner have to be afraid of from the existing plan? Question 2: Will the Carriers write this up as a brand new benefits plan or will they insist on receiving Experience and Rate History?

Sun Advantage – changing their renewal periods/claim periods? Are others noticing this?

What is the number 1 request you hear from your clients?

Anybody noticing a change in carrier TLR’s when they get a quote?

Is EP3 pooling really any benefit to our clients?

as an insurer, I see most specs come in with no or minimum life/ltd coverage. how can I change this, is this not a disservice to the employers?

Some carriers cutting back on using MGAs?

Are people already taking action in response to ORPP?

Does anyone have any experience placing pooled benefits with CIGNA? Any comments on implementation & overall service experience?

What does “Wellness” mean to you and your clients?

Letter of Authority versus Agent of Record – pros and cons

What happens at claim time if an employee is discovered to not have satisfied the “minimum hours” criteria for eligibility.

What recommendations do you provide with regard to the continuation of benefits for an employee off on disability leave?

What experience do other brokers have introducing restrictive drug formularies? How have you managed the employee communication? What sort of challenges did you experience? Where you able to assess the impact upon drug claims? If so what sort of impact did you see?

With most employees now having completed all their Teeth Care, Dentists are turning to periodontics much more. Do you think that we can persuade Insurance Companies to put a maximum on periodontics?

What are plan sponsors doing to try and mitigate a member taking a high cost/biologic drug?

Can we get the LTD carriers to release their claim decline percentages? Both pre definition change and post definition change

What commission level do most people take on 35-50 life groups?

What TPAs are brokers working with and why? What size range of group is typically brokered? What has been the experience with stop loss? How small will they quote ASO?

The Zoomer Tv show on March 4 had a serious discussion with many experts on National Pharmacare. Of the top 11 countries in the free world with healthcare, Canada is the only one not covering drugs. It may be just around the corner according to the panel.

What suggestions does anyone have to increase the usage of the EAP programs? If anyone has clients that utilize the EAP what are they doing to encourage usage? Regardless of what employers do is it only in certain industries that employees will use the EAP anyway?

Group Critical Illness and Optional Group Critical Illness – what are insurance carriers offering out there for small to mid-size groups?

Accessing EHC claims data for small groups

What are some of the seminars and summits that you are attending other then CGIB?

What percentage of business is direct with Insurance Companies. Many carriers say zero however we know better

Has anyone had any experience with Mortgage Syndicates ? Thank you, Laurence

What is the group seeing with respect to stop-loss rates on renewals?

Which insurance companies have the best pooled (health & dental) plans and why? How do they protect the pool from attracting high claiming groups? Do they have different pools depending on incurred loss ratios?

Marketing techniques people have found success with- ie. cold calls, advertisements, etc.

Low stop loss amounts ($5,000 and below). How many carriers are offering them?

What are the most important pieces of information a carrier can provide to you relative to your client’s drug/paramedical usage so that you can provide your clients with both the issues and potential solutions?

how can we as a group get to the point with insurance companies that we don’t have to ask every time for scraps of information that should be logically readily sourced?

how do you sell against the Chamber Plan, without access to experience, can you get many quotes?

I see from the current agenda a question about the Mental Health Standard so that is something that I brought up to the breakfast group about a year ago so would be interested in gauging where advisors are now with respect to this.

Anybody else feel as if Encon has lost their way with respect to treatment of advisor’s, service levels and technology? While Encon is deep sixing themselves, anyone have any positive experiences with the Equitable Life flex product?

why have plans not included dental implants as a standard benefit

LTD coverage past age 65. What are the pros and cons?

What payroll companies are your clients using, and do they benefit integration with them?

Which insurance companies have the best pooled (health & dental) plans and why? How do they protect the pool from attracting high claiming groups? Do they have different pools depending on incurred loss ratios?

Carryover question from June meeting: What is it that Markham members want from their breakfast meetings? How do we keep it sustainable? Maureen’s additional question: Are we interested in more education from vendors and product info or not? Maybe 5 minute vendor updates each meeting or a spotlight on a select vendor at each meeting? Possibly just give vendors the green light to talk a little more specifically about their solutions in response to specific questions?

How long do small to medium employers continue benefits for a disabled employee? Is there a best practices way to terminate them?

Has anyone in the past done seminar selling? Pros and cons experienced? and any tips?

Has the market cooled down or are we still seeing unsustainable quotes and deals? Are certain brokers still receiving preferential treatment? Client emails Insurer directly on a matter that should have gone through the consultant (i.e. delaying the renewal or requesting experience) and the Insurer answers the client directly. Is this a major faux pas?

Any suggestions for clients who cannot decide if they want to proceed?

How is the Manulife HR downloads service working for your clients?

Conflict of interest

Feedback on differences in carrier Trillium integration.

Is there any substance to League Benefits – seems to be a HCSA vehicle, but just got substantial investment backing – any thoughts/concerns?

why do more small groups, under 25 for example, not want STD in their benefit plans.

drug pooling limits/charges

Are many employers looking for health coaching?

Marketing techniques people have found success with- ie. cold calls, advertisements, etc.

What are clients doing about the Mental Health Standard?

how can we as a group get to the point with insurance companies that we don’t have to ask every time for scraps of information that should be logically readily sourced?

How often are we taking small group employers to market? Every 3 years or less?

LTD coverage past age 65. What are the pros and cons?

Has anyone had any dealings with Real Estate Syndicates, and if so can you share any information – either good or bad.

In what scenarios are you turning to individual health products as a solution? 1/2 life groups, contractors, employees above the plan termination age… any others?

Has anyone heard of or applied for insurance which would cover truck drivers who go to the US everyday? Specifically, insurance which would cover in the absence of the group plan covering the stability period?

Trillium coordination

the trends we are seeing in both paramedical practitioners and dental claims.

Has anyone heard anything regarding Manulife’s Renewals being non negotiable if a group is running over a certain Loss Ratio?

shop or not; whats in the clients best interest.

Updates on Wellness programs and providers.

Medical Marijuana is allowed through HSA’s, etc., but not yet approved under a Group Insurance Plan; why not?

Working with a TPA

Is the ORPP now on “hold”?

Why do you think many plan sponsors are avoiding the potential drug exposure that exists. ie, not doing anything until something happens?

For non-taxable LTD benefits – Employees pay for the LTD premium but when the employee is off on maternity leave and the employer is paying premiums during the maternity leave what happens if there is a LTD claim???? taxable or non-taxable benefit???

I recently heard Benefit Partners is looking into forming an association plan where they return 5% of the premium back to the association. Are we in the benefit industry prohibited from rebating like the life insurance industry?

Are you considering and more-so promoting the idea of plan caps or benefit maximums on both ASO and insured plans?

When you negotiate a renewal with a carrier, typically what sort of turnaround time are you seeing, and are you finding carriers reasonably flexible, or pretty rigid – especially citing Pooled costs as rationale.

With a recent change in the city of Ottawa group plan carrier a lot of members have lost certain coverage’s. Could this effect companies from not changing due to the fact they do not want the head aches that may come up?

Are more sponsors limiting the Group LTD coverage to a 2 year benefit period? On average what trends are being used on EHB and Dental?

Do you think Manulife will use Vitality as a group product?

Do many carriers offer stand alone HCSA’s and if so are your clients opting for that option over traditional plans? What are the set up fee’s?

Beneplan Co-operative is now using “The Reformulary” which is a tiered drug classifier placing drugs into either preferred or non preferred. There seems to be some significant savings overall. Would this seem to be a viable alternative to what most insurers are currently using? It seems Co-operators Life is using this approach with good results, anyone else with any thoughts?

Do the upcoming changes in the Insurance Act that deal with privacy in group mean that we will no longer be able to get experience on groups after July?

what ASO providers do you use? What is the minimum number of lives?

How are payroll deductions for Mat Leaves usually handled?

The Co-operators are still offering the hands on touch for delivery of Issue material but I know some advisors are just asking the kits to be couriered to them so – wondering if this is the way of the world for the companies/future? Hands on touch going away or is it more of an advisor’s personal preference?

When you have a virgin client; what is the main driver for them getting benefits? Is it that they themselves need coverage, is it employee retention, or something else?

Third party sources for annual health and dental inflation figures. Does anyone have a good source of information that can be used to cross-reference the figures provided by the insurer?

What are advisors doing if anything to prepare for ORPP?

What solutions/products have you used for individuals looking for Disability Insurance that have just recently become self-employed/incorporated e.g. they do not have a business tax return as evidence of earnings.

For a LAP claim on a small group, how much and what kind of specific information about the claim are we entitled to? Recurring verses non-recurring, type of drug or DIN, amount of claim per cert, etc, etc?

Who is recommending employer paid LTD to their clients (ie. taxable benefit at time of claim)? Who is recommending employee paid (non-taxable at time of claim)?

Do overrides & bonus’ really matter? Have some insurers shocked that I do ask about them and other insurers hand them out for no reason. Who’s telling the truth and who is lying?

Disability Management for Mental Health cases

Are you seeing LAP stop loss fees increasing with specific carriers and/or under specific situations?

Who do your clients go to when they have an H/R issue that requires more in depth knowledge than they have in house, or require legal assistance with an H/R issue?

How noticeable is the swing from TALK to TEXT and EMAIL as the administrative control of clients switches to the next generation? Has it caused you to alter your sales approach?

Do you get many requests for travel top up over group or individual max days?

I am seeing a rise of HR services as add-ons/upsells/value add type services to small orgs – is there any uptake on these?

when you market a small group, say under 25 lives, with stop loss claims, are you getting any insurers quoting? would you be interested in having an insurer ‘buy out’ an Ltd claimant/

What are small group Employers looking for in a benefit program. Also, what trends are we seeing in the funding arrangement, fully insured or experience rated?

Does anyone actually use Desjardins as an Insurer? Noticed that the pooling limit is being raised to 30K for groups above 125 lives…Who is the Insurer in those cases with stop loss levels that high??

When transferring coverage from one carrier to another, are you transferring claims data – cost of reports and issues encountered? Are you asking carriers to grandfather specialty drugs?

Does anyone have new information on the Human resource download product by Manulife?

Discussion around PPNs. Insurance companies ( I.e. Equitable, GWL, GSC,) re now mandating PPNs for the expensive Special Auth drugs most of them mandate to Health Forward, Sun has McKesson etc. Open discussion on Peoples perceptions, experiences and thoughts around these mandated PPNS and whom it benefits.

What are advisors looking for in a partnership with a carrier?

Independent contractors – go deeper into whether they should be on an Employee benefit plan and does this change their IC status?

What are people doing now re: ORPP ?

What are your 2016 sales goals?

on a current renewal the incurred claims vs the paid claims was higher by 32% for EHC yet the dental incurred claims vs paid claims was 8%. Why would the EHC incurred claims be so high?

What conversations are you having with your clients around the risk of high cost/biologic drugs claims and the financial exposure it represents and what solutions are you presenting?

I read recently in a Manu benefits booklet (produced in ’05) that the following is not covered: “drugs, biologicals and related preparations which are intended to be administered in hospital on an in-patient or out-patient basis and not intended for a patient’s use at home” I’ve been told as a cost saving strategy some hospitals are requesting patients to get these drugs from pharmacies close to hospitals that stock these drugs. They are then to bring it to the hospital for injection. Do most carriers have this exclusion? Has anyone had to deal with this actually happening?

Health Insurance Conversion – What insurers are paying commissions, and are you involved in the process of converting health insurance from a group plan to an individual plan? Is this being promoted?

As the big three lose market share, has anyone seen any indications they may start purchasing TPA’s?

Do you think RMT should be eliminated from the list of eligible expenses?

Discuss wellness initiates people are working with beyond EAP programs

Renewals – what are other brokers doing? Are they using strictly what they get from the insurance company? Are they selecting pages from the insurance company and inserting them in their own renewals? Are they using 100% of their own content? If it’s your own content, is the renewal document prepared in Word or Excel?

do you reduce your commission when you move a group to an MGA? which insurance company provides the best service rep service, and how do they do it?

Has anyone used PopRX – a free app that delivers your prescription medications with just a picture on your phone fast, easy? and do people know about the Ontario Workplace Health Coalition presentation Feb 10 by Sun Life on their preliminary findings of the ‘Wellness’ ROI study?

How many Advisors would consider using a different TPA/Carrier if that TPA/Carrier did not recognize Agent of Record letters once the business was placed with them?

“Examples of average revenue for firms of different sizes who mainly do group business?”

National Pharmacare – do you see this becoming a reality now that we have a new PM leading our country?

Do you see benefit in having payroll available to your small group clients for a fraction of cost? Does anyone have clients using Maximum Benefits Payroll or know anything about it? What about RWAMS offering for payroll?

How will insurers treat the new “independent employee” employee category?

What if anything are people doing to track their groups renewal rates, and if you are tracking them is there anything in the industry to compare them to or use as a benchmark?

When moving to a new carrier, do you provide the employees with a summary of the variances between the policies? Any tips or suggestions re: employee communication?

It seems like a large number of brokers are transferring their group business to MGA’s. For the people who have done this what has your experience been? What are the pros and cons of this course of action? Why did you do it?

If meeting are CGIB breakfast meetings are losing attendance what do we, as attendees, believe the issues that stand in the way of our peers attending? What are the most valuable experiences/topics you have participated in through CGIB breakfasts? Ideas going forward?

What recourse does a broker have when an insurance company will not adjust a renewal due to LAP claims?

Do you set new client sales goals for 2016? If so how many cases do you hope to write.

What new products, changes or ideas are on the group benefit horizon for 2016? What are you looking forward too?

Closing a sale- Clients always say they are too busy when trying to push the sale of a new product through, even after they decide they want it, and end up taking months to close. Advice on closing the sale quicker?

Has anyone had an experience with Best Doctors Global? Has anyone had a claim paid out?

Can insurers sell new business for mid/large cases without a first year rate guarantee? Are incumbent carriers going to be more resourceful in defending marketings?

Has anyone seen any new group products/plan designs on the market?

executive compensation using group(ed) vehicles

Do the average reports (marketing, renewal, etc.) provide good value for clients or just perceived value?

Is there an insurer out there who really manages disability claims to your and your client’s satisfaction or is there an alternative provider out there who meets and exceeds the service levels they market?

First meeting. Looking forward to introducing myself and the services of First Health Care and how we can add value added services for your clients.

for your ASO accounts who ask for a severance extension of benefits, do you typically see Stop Loss removed in the offer from the insurer?

What do you think is the most important message that you can share with your life and health clients in 2016.

How will a technology company called LEAGUE benefits with their Uber like delivery of paramedical and other health services impact our business?

Providing a newsletter to clients is a great idea. Are there individuals or firms that offer a group insurance newsletter service?

Do you see a National Pharmacare programme potentially being introduced in the next 3-5 years?

Do you limit ASO only to certain size groups? If so, why? Bonus question: what topic would you like to see covered in a CE session?

Dealing with increased Claims Experience Credibility for small Groups.
.

Some brokers are recommending placing drug caps on all their group plans they service, say at $5,000. I’m not sure if this is a great service to the employee…..thoughts?

Are you seeing a demand for hybrid plans in the small group market? I.E. an insured plan with HSA or ASO component

Do you get many requests from employees for health insurance for visitors from out of Canada

Seasonal workers…what are the advantages and disadvantages of continuing to pay for benefits through the “off-season”?

Claims experience – which carriers are providing for 10 and under accounts? The Co-operators has stopped due to privacy reasons (no details and no premiums and claims). In addition, the cases are pooled at renewal (claims experience is not utilized).

Do you ask for referrals? If so, on every group? How do you go about asking for referrals; in person/on the phone/email?

premium cost sharing, contractual or not?

does anyone know of dental plans that include implants?

how do you see group insurance brokers roles changing in the up coming years.

Do you help companies organize biometric screening or health topic lunch n learns?

Selling of group business? What is the going rate? Is there a market out there that is willing to sell their practice? What conditions etc.?)

How do you feel about insurers sending your group clients to a no commission broker?

n response to potentially rapidly rising drug costs are brokers pro-actively (now) or re-actively (after a bad renewal) making changes to the drug benefit? And What changes are they making? adding drug caps, at what level? Or restricting the drug formulary and how? Or ???

Can anyone recommend a good place to find details outlining what sort of finders fees can be shared with non-licensed sources?

Ever been appointed AOR or done a marketing on another CGIB members business? Would you decline or ask questions if faced with one?

What issues are brokers facing with clients when trying to add an EHC to an already existing plan?

I’m sure I have a question – but I’ve got a blank right now

wellbeing

What is the main reason advisors are using MGA’s?

Pooling ccharges

Where will Santa live when the North Pole melts?

Are you seeing much interest in LTD coverage past age 65? Is anyone other than RBC offering this coverage?

Review what is really meant by adding wording to an existing contract covering “Prior Authorization of Drugs” on GWL contracts…and the Sun Life pitch offering “free” Drug Cards for clients willing to allow the same change to their contracts.

What are some tactics to avoid businesses from just using us for quotes then taking the quotes to their broker or another one?

How do you feel about insurers making changes to plans without modifying the policy and booklets? mid year without waiting on renewal? without proper notice? etc. Are you challenging them on these changes?

Not really a question but a follow-up to this past week’s December topic that Dave spoke about, where are we now and where will we be next year, trends, etc. If time allowed, could be a good discussion opportunity for those that were there who have had time to think about it some more and those that weren’t, to offer their opinions.

What should employers do in Quebec to minimize the effects of RAMQ?

In light of the significant rise in healthcare utilization and stop loss pooling has anyone voluntarily spoken to any of their clients about commission reductions

irrationally priced drugs and extreme pricing actions by pharma companies – and what the industry can and should do to stabilize this issue

I just received a renewal for a 500 life case with a $15,000 stop loss with very low pooled claims (13,000) with a pooling charge of 24.68% from GWL. Has anyone seen anything close to this?

info on accidental dental coverage? limit, co-insurance etc

Is anyone aware of carriers that are able to assist employee’s with Govn’t drug program applications?

What have brokers experience been with embedded EAP programs offered by suppliers such as Manulife and Encon?. Is there any evidence of positive impact on the organizations claims experience or operations? How much real support is being provided beyond all the information in the web? Do you sell EAP programs separately? If so what is the relative cost for a group of 50 employees and how do you compete against the perceived notion of free?

Do you have a resource in the US market when opportunities come up through existing clients and prospects? Would you like an introduction to someone that works growing referral business for Canadian agents?

Voluntary Benefits: An emerging trend in Canada.

What would you do if a broker took one of your groups to market but failed to fully disclose (known) details so as to get a better quote?

I had one Client say ” I’ve had as many calls from Group Benefit Insurance companies as I’ve had duct cleaning companies. What’s with you people? Was her comment reasonable?

What does everyone think about Manulife’s Drug Watch Program?

What individual health and dental products are you selling these days……..specifically for someone that is coming out of a group benefit plan.

The Scenario: A truck driver is in the U.S. and has a stroke in his motel room. It is in his 1st 3 months of employment therefore not covered by the benefit plan. WSIB says, “not work related, not our problem” What is available to employers to fill this gap when hiring new ee’s? How much does OHIP pay towards OOC claims?

Other than Manulife is there a carrier who will take on a group of three with 2 opt outs for health and dental due to spousal coverage and one with single coverage.

Can you sell pooled renewals for groups under 10 lives, no experience or TLR given.

Manulife DrugWatch and Desjardins version of DrugWatch. 1) If they both start to mimic public plans on a go forward basis, what’s their value? Why not just divert everyone to Trillium? 2) If actuaries now make the final decision about what gets covered by a drug plan, how can we ensure that people with chronic disease aren’t disadvantaged?

What type of follow-up do you have with your groups between renewals? Just as needed, for issues that arise? Do you regularly remind about notice of salary increases, late applicants, etc.?

How many people are still recommendation traditional insured group insurance programs….versus recommendation alternatives such as health care spending, or Wellknit type programs?

We recently read an article that discussed advising group plans interested in cost containment to begin looking at the elimination of paramed type services, rather than imposing drug caps given the escalating drug costs. Would appreciate comments as to what you are experiencing.

How do you handle compassionate owners that feel sorry for certain employees that are close to retirement and want to continue benefits but don’t want to set up a “Close to Retirement” Class?

What networking events do you attend? Are they for connecting with other brokers? Or, are they for connecting with potential clients? If you don’t network, why not?

Accuracy, or lack thereof of proposals coming from the insurers

ASO

increase in CPP and new Ontario Pension plan? Have employers reached their contribution limit? Will benefit plans be effected?

Manulife forced contract changes re:drugs?

What type of follow-up do you have with your groups between renewals? Just as needed, for issues that arise? Do you regularly remind about notice of salary increases, late applicants, etc.?

How do you handle compassionate owners that feel sorry for certain employees that are close to retirement and want to continue benefits but don’t want to set up a “Close to Retirement” Class?

What networking events do you attend? Are they for connecting with other brokers? Or, are they for connecting with potential clients? If you don’t network, why not?

If brokers are not working with the traditional crown scale what sort of commission mark up is being utilized? Is any one working on a fixed fee basis? How are clients being invoiced? What if any fee disclosure are brokers providing beyond general disclosure that commission income is earned?

Has anyone had any contact or dealings with Assumption Life? Curious to hear about your experience. Thoughts on their program?

What issues are brokers currently facing with having clients agree to add additional EHC type producst to existing benefit plans.

Carrier mobile apps – who has the best ones and why?

If brokers are not working with the traditional crown scale what sort of commission mark up is being utilized? Is any one working on a fixed fee basis? How are clients being invoiced? What if any fee disclosure are brokers providing beyond general disclosure that commission income is earned?

More about the ORPP.

Though drugs are the hot topic these days, many clients still experience high spends on the discretionary benefits such as dental or paramedical. How effective are the strategies you advise to help reduce costs in those areas? How often do you do employee education?

Do you look at the cost of OOC and Pooling charges in addition to the TLR when creating a spreadsheet?

And that is just the questions the past few months.

Do you really want to end up missing the answers?

NO

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