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GroupInsuranceMemo

To: Members Insured in the NLTA Group Insurance Plan
From: Maureen Doyle-Gillingham, Chairperson, NLTA Group Insurance Managers
Re: Information from NLTA Group Insurance Managers
Date: April 2, 2019

 

Dear Colleagues:

Group Insurance Managers would like to advise members of some important information regarding Group Insurance premiums for the 2019-20 fiscal year. Managers have been reviewing surpluses in the Group Insurance Fund that have accumulated over the last number of years. Surpluses occur from time to time when the annual claims and expenses (including taxes and insurance expenses) are less than annual premiums paid. This year, Managers have chosen to implement a premium holiday for the month of April for both Health and Dental insurance. The premium holiday is directly linked to accumulation of Health and Dental surpluses that have occurred over time. What this means is there will be no deductions for Health or Dental coverage from your cheques for the month of April. Those teachers who have monthly group insurance deductions coming directly from their bank account will see a reduction equivalent to the benefit received by active and pensioned teachers.

Managers are also going through the annual Group Insurance renewal, which determines the premium rates for the coming fiscal year (2019-20). The process, as indicated above, involves matching premiums with anticipated claims and expenses. The industry and NLTA program trend for both Health and Dental is that claims continue to rise. Health care costs in particular have risen as a result of more specialized, expensive but often highly effective drugs being prescribed. Some prescription medications cost upwards of $22,000 per prescription or over $100,000 annually. While this is consistent with trends across Canada, your Group Insurance Managers continually work with our plan administrator to assess the cost pressures on our plan and explore options in the hopes of reducing the consistent increases we are seeing annually. For additional information on health and dental trends please check out the following articles Health-care cost inflation to trend downward in Canada in 2019: report, or Market View Trend Survey.

This year’s Group Insurance renewal indicated required member monthly premium increases in Health ($6.70 for single coverage, $10.68 for family coverage) and Dental ($1.84 for single coverage, $3.70 for family coverage). However, Managers would also like to inform members that, in addition to the premium holiday noted above, the rate stabilization fund will be used to postpone the effective date of the actual renewal rates this year until July as opposed to May. There will be more information available on the renewal process in the coming months. Managers would also like to inform members that there will be no premium increases in any other programs for the 2019-20 fiscal year. This means that the premiums for Basic Life, Accidental Death and Dismemberment, Long Term Disability, and Critical Illness, as well as Voluntary Life, Voluntary Accidental Death and Dismemberment and Voluntary Critical Illness will not be changing this coming year, in fact the Basic Life will have a very slight decrease.

The good news is that premium increases for this year will be offset through the Health and Dental Insurance premium holiday and the use of the rate stabilization fund. Group Insurance Managers are very conscious of the increasing cost of our Health coverage, but also recognize that our program has been deliberately designed to ensure our members get access to lifesaving and life enabling Health Insurance protection.