UBCM Group Benefits Plan Newsletter  

February 2021

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!

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Having studied and been in the human resources profession for over twenty-five years I have noticed that in the business culture and society in general, the image or metaphor of the heart is often associated with yielding, kindness-or perhaps even weakness. Yet, the heart is also strong and powerful, as well is the driving force of life!

I believe the ability to lead well is hindered when there is an unbalanced connection with the heart.  

For most people, it comes down to two motivators: for love or for money. Money can rent loyalty, but it can't buy it. Love wins out every time. People want to be loved and they want to belong --and the most potent rewards address both of those desires that can be done through a sincere congratulatory email, recognition on the next Zoom conference, or even a simple "thank you.".
We know how good it is to be the giver-of uplifting words, thoughtful support, or a small token of appreciation. Being the recipient can also be a humbling, moving experience.
Let's all take the challenge to lead with our hearts. 

Quotes for the month:

"People do not care how much you know until they know how much you care."
-John C. Maxwell
"As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others." 
-Bill Gates

If you have any comments or concerns, do not hesitate to email me. 
UBCM Group Benefits Newsletter
February 2021

February is Heart Month in Canada

February is Heart Month in Canada, the perfect opportunity to bring some awareness to the importance of heart health and what you can do to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Did you know that nearly 1.6 million Canadians are currently living with heart disease or stroke? It doesn't have to be that way, considering 80 per cent of premature heart disease and stroke cases are preventable, especially by making movement a part of your everyday!

Discover 5 simple ways to move for a healthy heart:


Service BC COVID-19 Support Response

"Get your COVID test results using your mobile BC Services Card.  One card, many services."
Did you know that you can set up a digital representation of your BC Services Card on your mobile device?  It will give you safe and easy access to many government online services, including COVID test results and immunization records on Health Gateway, StudentAid, B.C. billing and payment services, and personal income tax and benefit information.
It normally only takes 5 minutes to submit a request for a mobile card and you can do it from your phone, tablet, or laptop - no need to visit a counter.  Download the BC Services Card app in the App Store or on Google Play Store and follow the instructions.  Or for more information visit the BC Services Card website.

Identifying Prejudice and Racial Injustice

We should all be committed to driving an inclusive workplace for the benefit of our clients, employees and the communities in which we live and work. We are champions for change and support empowerment for all. We shoud all be proud to elevate our employees,- regardless of gender, age or race.

Please click on the tabs below for access to information you can share.

Turning Down the Pressure 

You can't feel high blood pressure but it could be putting you at risk of health problems, including heart attacks, strokes, and kidney failure. Share with employees on how to find why it's so important to treat your high blood pressure, how blood pressure medications work, and how to find treatments.


This means people needing help with their benefits for Medical Services Plan (MSP), Pharmacare and Fair Pharmacare can get the information or assistance they need, quicker and easier.


In response to the increase in people needing support, there was a recent announcement that EI regulations will be amended to temporarily waive the waiting period for EI claimants who establish a new claim between January 31, 2021 and September 25, 2021. 

This temporary change will allow people who are applying for benefits to be paid for their first week of unemployment. It will also help ease their heightened financial stress at a time of great uncertainty.


Search for services available across the Province and in your community or check out the following phone, in-person, online, and chat or email services and resources to get started. 

While some of the services and resources provide general help and support, others are specific to mental health issues, addictions and substance use, or body image and eating disorders. Read the descriptions below to learn more.


Big Question For Canadian Employers In 2021: Can They Require Employees To Be Vaccinated? 

Canada announced that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines met Health Canada's requirements on December 9, 2020, and December 23, 2020, respectively; additional vaccine approvals may soon be announced.  
With this progress, 2021 brings new questions for Canadian employers; the most challenging of all is whether, in the unprecedented circumstance of a global pandemic, they can require their employees to be vaccinated.  


Contact us at:
Anna-Maria Wijesinghe   
                    Annie Ni
Manager, Member & Association Services         Account Executive
Union of BC Municipalities                                  Pacific Blue Cross
Phone: 604.270.8226 (ext. 111)                          Phone: 604.419.2434
Email: amwijesinghe@ubcm.ca                          Email:  ani@pac.bluecross.ca