Focus Updates for 2007

Here's a summary of the Focus Update newsletters we've sent you in 2007. It provides a quick overview of the legislative issues, administrative changes, product updates and other relevant news that may have affected your benefits plan.

Issue # and Date

   

Title

   

Topic

# 105 January Provincial dental fee increases for 200

Provincial dental fee increases for 2007. Included with this Focus Update is a separate communication that you can share with your plan members. It will help them understand how we reimburse them for dental services in Alberta.

 

# 106 January 2007 government benefits

Government benefits for 2007. Included are rates and maximums for Employment Insurance (EI), the Quebec Parental Insurance Plan (QPIP), and the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and Quebec Pension Plan (QPP).

 

# 107 February Legislation in 2006

A summary of some of the significant legislation in 2006 and its impact on group benefits plans.

 

# 108 February Ontario's Bill 151 good news for some ASO contract holders

Ontario's Bill 151 is good news for some ASO contract holders. It puts Funded and Unfunded ASO plans on equal footing from an Ontario Retail Sales Tax (ORST) perspective.

 

# 109 February While travelling, help is just a phone call away

Information on our coverage for out-of-province emergencies. Included is a communication on what plan members should do if and when an emergency happens.

 

# 110 February Save your access ID for added convenience

You'll soon have the option of saving your Plan Sponsor Services access ID.

 

# 111 March

Group Benefits Customer Care Centre - 2006 Contact Centre Award of Excellence Winner

 

Group Benefits Customer Care Centre wins award.
# 112 February Introducing our new electronic Health Statement

Our innovative electronic Health Statement is flexible, convenient, quicker and more accurate than completing a paper form. Attached are information on the new statement and two letters outlining how to complete it.

 

# 113 May Website enhancements provide speedy access to drug-related information and coverage

This Focus Update provides you with information on two new industry-leading features we've added to our Plan Member Services website.

 

# 114 May Claims practices for osteopathic services

Clarification of claims practices to ensure customers understand that coverage for osteopathic treatment depends partly on the designation of the practitioner.

 

# 115 May Improvements in our Customer Care Centre

A software upgrade will help to improve service to plan sponsors and plan members.

 

# 116 June Authentication enhancements set to launch

On July 8, 2007, additional enhancements to the online authentication process will launch on the Plan Sponsor Services website.

 

# 117 June Nova Scotia and B.C. to eliminate mandatory retirement

On March 29, 2007, Nova Scotia introduced Bill 163, An Act Respecting the Elimination of Mandatory Retirement. On March 29, 2007, Nova Scotia introduced Bill 163, An Act Respecting the Elimination of Mandatory Retirement.

 

# 118 June Our commitment to Web accessibility

Providing a market-leading plan member Web experience means not only offering comprehensive and innovative online services, it also means working hard to ensure those services are accessible to all our plan members.

 

# 119 June Introducing Extended Health Care Insurance for retirees

Our new Extended Health Care Insurance for Retirees provides a solution that works for both your employees and you.

 

# 120 June Enhancing the online plan member experience

We're adding exciting new features to our Plan Member Services website Home page during the week of July 16. 

 

# 121 July Quebec amends basic drug plan

Quebec has announced some changes to the parameters of the basic drug plan administered by the Régie de l'assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ).

 

# 122 July Two new Health & Wellness Companion offerings

Sun Life Financial has two offerings to help you better understand the health risks driving absence, disability, and medical costs: Health & Wellness Companion Sponsor Reports and the Wellness Assessment Incentive.

 

# 123 August

In this issue . . .

Our claims practice for practitioners eligible to prescribe drugs

 

Several years ago we updated our administrative practices and contract wording to reflect the expanded prescribing authority of practitioners other than doctors and dentists.

 

  Alberta pharmacists can now prescribe certain drugs

Effective April 1, 2007, pharmacists in Alberta have the authority to prescribe certain drugs, administer some injections, and play a bigger role in medication management.

 

  Update on Ontario's Bill 102

Since early 2006 we've been following Ontario initiatives aimed at improving its provincial drug system.

 

  Issues at heart of Cancer Care Ontario proposal felt right across Canada

Since May 2006 we've been following a Cancer Care Ontario proposal that would allow Ontario hospitals to sell and administer some cancer drugs [e.g. intravenous (IV) cancer drugs] on a patient-pay basis.

 

  New Quebec Drug Policy may affect group benefits plans

The Quebec Drug Policy focuses on: access to drugs; reasonable prices for therapies; optimum drug use; and maintaining a thriving pharmaceutical industry in the province.

 

  Saskatchewan Seniors' Drug Program

Under the Saskatchewan program, seniors will pay no more than $15 per prescription for drugs in the Saskatchewan Drug Formulary.

 

# 124 September Time to update eligibility records for over-age students

With school enrolment near, we need current records for over-age student dependents eligible to receive benefits.

 

# 125 November Ontario Ministry of Revenue issues a Retail Sales Tax Information Notice for ASO benefits plans 

The notice provides information on Funded and Unfunded benefits plans and addresses the changes announced in Ontario's Bill 151.

 

# 126 November Worldwide Assistance has changed its name to Europ Assistance

Recently Worldwide Assistance Services, Inc., our emergency travel assistance provider, changed its name to Europ Assistance USA, Inc.

 

# 127 December TELUS extends offer to purchase Emergis A joint announcement was made November 29, 2007, by TELUS and Emergis that they have entered into an offer to permit TELUS to purchase all outstanding common shares of Emergis by way of a takeover bid.

For more information on these Focus Updates, go to Focus Update 2007.