This is the Friday GAB. A weekly roundup of all the things happening in and around the employee benefits industry.
Let's get at it!
Rarely a week goes by without some kind of M&A news. This week is no different with AGA Benefit Solutions acquiring Aptus Benefits and Major Group acquiring BCI Benefits Coordinators.
Cloud Advisors announced a relaunch of their platform that opens it up to the public. They now have open marketplace to access for employer across Canada. Employers can now peruse the marketplace at no change and purchase employee benefit products. You can read all about there update here.
There are a few product updates. On Oct 1, GroupSource is changing optional life/ad&d insurance and AD&D provider to Empire Life. This is a pretty low impact insurer change.
RBC and PocketPills have teamed up to offer 100% coverage for medications until Feb 28, 2023. You can read the fine print here. If you do market this to your RBC clients and plan members PLEASE communicate well and often and read the fine print! And then communicate well and often again as you approach the end date. Without strong communication, and perhaps even with it, I predict many plan members being very angry that they are paying for their drugs "all of a sudden." Need help with communication? Read this.
Last, not official yet but as predicted the news outlets are reporting a $650 bridge payment for the national dental program this year. For the love of the Queen, please don't start cancelling dental plans to try to shift to this. Today it's only for kids under 12. Tomorrow for seniors who likely aren't working anyway. We're a long ways away from it being available for all people (without access to benefits). Plus it's only for FAMILY income of $90,000 or less. That's about half of Canadian households and it will leave employers responsible to track family income. Maybe the insurers will build some kind of carve out plan when this goes live for all people. Anyhoo, read about the Bridge Payment info that was leaked here.
And that is the Friday GAB