UBCM Group Benefits Plan Newsletter  

February 2020

Just a reminder that you are able to make changes to your group benefits plan at any time. Please feel free to contact me if you want a review of your plan design. Being part of a bigger pool, the UBCM Group Benefits Plan allows you to offer better customized plans at a lower cost. Email me today!
International Women's Day  (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.  I think it is great that  around the world  there  is a focus on a more gender-balanced world. Worldwide, individuals and groups are making a concerted effort through their tangible actions. From grassroots raising awareness, to highly visible campaigns with impact, gender parity is being forged!
The theme for International Women's Day 2020 is, Generation Equality: Realizing Women's Rights. The theme is aligned with UN Women's new multigenerational campaign, Generation Equality, which marks the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.
An equal world is an enabled world-- #EachforEqual .
Some resources:

Collectively, each one of us can help create a gender equal world! 

If you have any comments or concerns, do not hesitate to email  me.
UBCM Group Benefits Newsletter
February 2020 
Reframing resolutions: What do you want to better this year? 
Did you have high hopes for your resolution at the beginning of January?  It's okay if things aren't going according to plan, it happens!   In fact, an  overwhelming 78% of resolutions will be abandoned by the middle of February . We're in your corner to provide you with the motivation and means to  hop back on the wagon  and crush your New Year's resolution. Maybe the resolution you picked wasn't right for you after all? Now is the time to think,  what do you want to better?

Read our latest blog below AND   take our fun-filled quiz   below to help choose!
 ▶     READ MORE


February was Heart Month 

February was Heart Month in Canada! Though you are receiving this newsletter at the end of February it's never too late to promote and raise awareness for heart-related illnesses and causes, while encouraging your employees to take action to improve upon their own personal heart health.

Here are some other great links you can read and share:

February Is Heart Month: 5 Reasons To Learn CPR

Did you know that most cardiac arrests happen in the home? When you learn CPR, you give yourself a gift that lasts a lifetime,  and can serve you in almost any situation. Here are five reasons you should learn this valuable skill!
MSP Premium Elimination effective January 1, 2020

Medical Services Plan (MSP) premiums have been eliminated. MSP enrolment is still mandatory for all BC residents. All MSP account holders must ensure their account information is kept up-to-date, including their contact information. You can tell your employees that they may also update their account information online at Managing Your MSP Account


How to terminate an MSP Group Plan

While MSP premiums are eliminated effective January 1, 2020, the BC Ministry of Health has indicated that the MSP Group Plans will remain active. The employer portal will continue to be the tool to manage members' accounts - unless the administrator chooses to cancel the plan.

If an employer or other group plan administrator wishes to cancel their plan, they must:
  1. Complete an MSP Group Plan Termination Form (HLTH 295) and submit it to Health Insurance BC. This form must be submitted within 30 days after it is signed, and specify a termination date that falls on the last day of a month at least 90 days in the future.
  2. Notify any third party service providers (insurers etc.) and other providers (e.g. MSP Direct) as appropriate, ensuring adequate notice is provided.
  3. Provide all group members with an End of Group Coverage Notice (HLTH 1904) at least 30 days prior to cancellation.
Group plan administrators must also ensure that residential/mailing addresses and family structure information (i.e. spouse and dependent details) are up-to-date in MSP records for all members. Members can update their own address information online at  Address Change BC   or, before the group plan terminates, administrators can submit any required changes through a  Group Change Request   (HLTH 170) or  MSP Direct   (if applicable).
When the termination of the plan is completed, MSP will move all members to self-administered accounts and employees will be responsible for maintaining their own information.  The employee will automatically be placed on a self-administered plan. Please click here for more information.
As a reminder, any personal information used in the administration of the group medical plan must be retained in accordance with your organization's retention policies and procedures. Under BC's Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, administrators must retain documents such as Employer Record Cards (ERCs) and completed MSP forms. At the expiry of the retention period, the records may be destroyed, subject to safe disposal requirements.  

Effective February 4, 2020, PharmaCare accepts Special Authority (SA) requests for Hepatitis C treatments submitted by nurse practitioners sufficiently experienced in treating Hepatitis C. Employees can find updated SA forms, criteria pages, and additional information on the PharmaCare Special Authority website


Employee Well-being: How Managers Inspire, Facilitate, and Support Employee Caring Activities

Live Event: Thursday, March 5, 2020 at 11:00 AM PT.   If you are you interested in learning about manager behaviours associated with employee well-being? 


Workers keen to see virtual care among benefits: survey

66% of working Canadians prefer a mobile app to manage and access their insurance benefits as opposed to paper mail, telephone or online services. 


Celebrate Dietitians Day on March 18, 2020 

March 18, 2020 will mark the eleventh year of celebrating Dietitians Day in Canada, always held the third Wednesday in March. It will shine the spotlight on the profession and remind us that dietitians are the trusted choice for reliable life-changing food and nutrition advice.

HealthLink BC offers many services including to BC residents and health professionals including registered dietitians providing information, education and counselling by offering telephone (by dialing 8-1-1 from your phone), email and web-based based food and nutrition services.
Other resources to check out:
  • Unlock food
     Here, you'll find information on nutrition, food and healthy eating as well as recipes, videos and interactive healthy eating tools. The content is written and reviewed by registered dietitians.
  • Visit the Dietitians of Canada website to find a private practice dietitian in your area.


Top 5 Fitness Apps for Beginners

  ▶    READ MORE

Contact us at:
Anna-Maria Wijesinghe   
                         Nathan Roeters
Manager, Member & Association Services          Account Executive
Union of BC Municipalities                                   Pacific Blue Cross
Phone: 604.270.8226 (ext. 111)                          Phone: 604.419.2412
Email: amwijesinghe@ubcm.ca                           Email:   nroeters@pac.bluecross.ca