Talking About Financial Matters That Affect You and Your Organization
Employee Benefits: The Disruptors Have Arrived
Jul 17th, 2017
The disruptors have arrived, we just can’t see them. They're hiding in the shadows like some sort of outsider, yearning to be seen but afraid of the response. [Ok - maybe that 's a BIT dramatic...]
One of my favourite non-fiction authors is Walter Isaacson. His books are well researched and well written. Most of all they are great stories based on the life and times of some of the most famous...Read More
Selectpath 2017 Summer Reading List
Jul 11th, 2017
Why Smart People Make Big Money Mistakes and How to Correct Them – by Gary Belsky and Thomas Gilovich
This book looks less at the mechanics of personal finance and more at the behavior of the person. It outlines 7 of the most common traits that end up hurting our long-term goals. The authors break down normally complex financial and psychological concepts into easy-to-relate-to stories....Read More
Continuation of Benefits for Disabled Employees
Jun 28th, 2017
One of the questions most commonly asked by our clients is:
“How long do we have to continue benefits for an employee who is no longer actively at work due to illness or injury?”
Unfortunately, there is no definitive answer and each situation must be carefully examined on an individual case basis.
In this article, we have outlined the position of the Worker’s Compensation Boards,...Read More
Why Google wants its employees to meditate – and why you should too
Jun 23rd, 2017
Meditation hits the mainstream.
The stereotypical image of a Buddhist Monk or 1960’s hippie no longer apply.
Many of the world’s most successful people meditate daily, everyone from athletes to actors, sales people to systems analysts, and CEO’s to construction workers are in on the gig.
Fair enough you say – to each his or her own and if meditation is part of your daily routine – have...Read More
The Benefits Alliance Group
Jun 22nd, 2017
We are excited to officially announce that Selectpath is joining The Benefits Alliance Group as of July 1st, 2017. This organization is the premier network of benefits and pension advisory firms in Canada and stretches from coast to coast. By joining this organization, Selectpath is looking to add new capabilities such as bench-marking of programs and increasing advocacy with the insurers and...Read More
Coverage for Over-Age Student Dependents
Jun 22nd, 2017
Happy summer everyone! School is winding down and with warmer weather, vacations and summer jobs on the go, about the last thing on any student’s mind is their eligibility for benefits. For most programs through insurers in Canada, you don’t need to worry up to the age of 21, however after age 21 everything changes.
Do you have an over age dependent full-time student? You don’t want to...Read More
5 Tips For Being More Comfortable With Your Finances
Jun 14th, 2017
“10 stocks to own NOW!” “Give up lattes to get your budget in order.”
“The stocks/sectors/countries you MUST invest in!” “Who was the best mutual fund manager of the year?”
I offer you none of that: no stock picks, no predictions, no economic analysis.
I am not going to tell you to “buy this, sell that.” I can’t for the simple reason that I have no idea who you are, what...Read More
4 Key Benefits of Automating HR with Human Capital Management Tools
Jun 13th, 2017
Increasing Efficiency & Accuracy
Moving your data to a single platform which can then feed payroll, benefits, group retirement, and project management ensures compliance and drives efficiency. Managing multiple solutions with different data feeds and logins is terribly inefficient prone to error, not to mention lack of control over data ownership! Through secure web based technology, manage...Read More
Do you work better under stress? There's a name for that.
Jun 5th, 2017
In 1955, Cyril Parkinson wrote a humorous essay meant to critique the "efficiency" of public administration in Britain. The first sentence of that essay spawned a book (60 actually) and a whole new field of study for psychologists. That sentence was "work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion". That's an old-timey way of saying most of us make excuses to not do something...Read More
Selectpath Recognized As One Of Canada's Top 100 SME by Mediacorp Canada
May 10th, 2017
London, ON - Selectpath Benefits & Financial Inc. (Selectpath), announces that they have been recognized as one of Canada’s Top 100 Small and Medium Employers. Canada’s Top 100 Small & Medium Employers recognizes the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that offer the nation’s best workplaces and forward thinking human resources policies. The 2017 winners were announced at an awards...Read More
OHIP+ Children and Youth Pharmacare
May 5th, 2017
One of the centerpieces of the Ontario 2017 budget released last week, Thursday April 27th, is a new OHIP+ Children and Youth Pharma-care benefit. Please find below a summary and potential impact of this new program.
The budget includes the first provincial plan in Canada to cover prescription drugs for children and young people.
A few quick highlights:
- Effective January 1, 2018
Surprise! Your “No Fee” Investment Actually Has Fees
Apr 21st, 2017
It's January 2017. You get a thick envelope from your "financial institution". It's your year end statement. Those 18 pages that you look at for 3 seconds, just long enough to see if the number on the bottom of page 1 is bigger than last year.
What you may have missed was a new page, added waaay at the back, that tells you exactly how well your portfolio performed. Oh, and exactly how much...Read More
Preventing Human Resources Catastrophies
Mar 30th, 2017
Human resources policies and procedures encompass many different areas of your business and will be discussed as they relate to benefits in several coming posts. For now, let's look at two common areas where a lack of HR procedures can have a detrimental effect on the program, on-boarding and off-boarding.
On-boarding - In terms of a benefit program, when on-boarding an employee, good HR...Read More
Would You Pay Your Employees to be Healthy?
Mar 17th, 2017
Equality could be the death knell of Employee Benefits plans.
We may be turning a corner – or at the very least approaching a fork in the road where our options for sustainability do not include current models.
The impact of high cost drugs, and escalating health care costs in general is shifting the landscape for employers. While the shift is dramatic (relatively speaking) –...Read More
Mar 17th, 2017
I am admittedly a podcast junkie.
I spend a good chunk of work days in my car - and I'm not much of a music guy. So Podcasts are my go to distraction on everything from short jaunts around the city (I'll listen to a piece of a podcast on my 10 minute commute home) to hours long drives to see clients. I also run a lot and prefer a podcast or audio-book over music 99% of the time.
Outside of...Read More
Feb 21st, 2017
Medical Marijuana and your benefits
On January 30, 2017 the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission ruled that it was discriminatory to deny coverage for medical marijuana under a welfare trust plan. You can read the decision here. This decision is important, but there are some key elements that must be considered as follows,
- The plan did not limit eligibility to drugs with a drug ...
4 Employee Benefits Trends for 2017 (and a wish)
Jan 17th, 2017
Oh January how we welcome thee!
Time for New Year’s resolutions - the optimism that comes with a fresh start and of course – a list! [Note:by today’s date – something like 80% of New Year’s Resolutions have failed]
In the Employee Benefits world 2017 could be the biggest roller coaster we’ve been on in a long time. So without further ado – here’s my list of the top 4...Read More
I'll Take a Drug Plan with Travel Please!
Sep 6th, 2016
Recently I came across a prospective client who was utilizing a health spending account to provide reimbursement of their plan member Health and Dental claims. The allocation was a modest amount that was quickly utilized by a number of plan members. Through the discussion with the prospective client we chatted about the goal of the existing program and how the plan was performing. The...Read More
3 Benefits Landmines
Aug 21st, 2016
As with all administrative duties, the devil is in the detail. Over the last few months there has been a disturbing trend among clients around missing some of the day-to-day obligations of administering the benefits program. Here are three common landmines,
- Failure to enroll an eligible plan member within 31 days of eligibility. Since benefits can form part of the employment agreement...
4 Dont's - Sometimes You Have No Choice
May 2nd, 2016
When living in tough economic times, organizations must make difficult decisions about their workforce and compensation. Reducing wages and benefits is typically the last straw as organizations struggle to survive.
Few relish the decision to make cuts, but sometimes there are no other choices. So how the changes are made will have significant impact on how they are received. As with wages,...Read More
Pharmacogenetics and Benefits
Jan 15th, 2016
Pharmacogenetics is the study of inherited genetic differences in drug metabolic pathways which can affect responses to drugs, both in terms of therapeutic effect as well as adverse effects. Test results help identify which medications will be the most effective as well as which frequency it should be taken to maximize the metabolic process and minimize adverse side effects.
How is the test...Read More
What's Reasonable & Customary Mean?
Dec 12th, 2015
Most if not all group insurance plans contain some mention of reasonable and customary. This is an approach by providers to limit allowable costs for some services within a plan without providing a fixed hard cap. Reasonable and customary refers to the maximum allowable amount that a provider will reimburse on a particular service or item.
Few insurers post their reasonable and customary...Read More
Does It Really Matter If I'm Late?
Dec 4th, 2015
Most group insurance providers require that employees and eligible dependents enroll with the group insurance plan within 31 days of becoming eligible. The purpose of this limitation is to reduce advise risk within the plan from plan members who choose to enroll only when they have a need for services (and therefore claim much more than the average current member which drives up pricing for...Read More
Building the Solution
Oct 31st, 2015
: able to be used without being completely used up or destroyed
: involving methods that do not completely use up or destroy natural resources
: able to last or continue for a long time
© 2014 Merriam-Webster, Incorporated
As we move into 2016 one of the most common discussions with clients revolves around sustainability.
The workforce is the...Read More
6 Steps to Prepare for Your Benefits Renewal
Oct 25th, 2015
Ever get that feeling when something just does not feel right? Trust your intuition. Although you cannot control every factor that impacts the pricing of your benefit plan, you can protect yourself by following these simple steps in assessing your renewal.
Review the Data – Is the data being used accurate? Have you had a change in your workforce that is not reflected in the...Read More
Benefits.....Yah we got them.
Oct 12th, 2015
All too often we engage with a new client on their employee benefit plan strategy and upon some simple due diligence we find the existing plan operating in some level of obscurity. Obscurity in the sense that the plan members may not appreciate the investment being made by the plan sponsor organization. Obscurity in the sense that the plan members have little or no accountability to the...Read More
The Industry Must Change
Aug 19th, 2015
The employee benefits market is broken. It is broken because there is no reality check between what a provider takes in terms of risk and what the policyholder is prepared to pay. At any point in time, a policyholder could test the market and find half a dozen quotes with savings ranging from 8% to 40%. 40% you say? Absolutely, in all my years working in employee benefits I have never seen...Read More
Anatomy of a Group Insurance Death Spiral
Aug 18th, 2015
Group insurance in its simplest form is a promise of an employer to provide protection against unforeseen or unwanted financial loss due to illness or injury. In its most complicated form, group insurance is a part of wages which can be acquired or disposed of based on the net economic benefit seen by the participating party.
Over the last few months, I have had an opportunity to meet with...Read More