What are your goals for 2019

Blog | Group Insurance

Sales goals, service goals, project goals and so many more goals that businesses often create this time of year. Are we doing better than last year? We’ve been part of many conversations with our clients about their goals for their business. We love talking to entrepreneurs about what motivates them in their business to do a great job. Often the best employers talk about their staff. They want to grow their staff. They want to see their staff hit sales goals, provide the best service to clients and they always don’t want to see them leave for another job.

Retaining great employees is always something on the minds of entrepreneurs. Having a health insurance plan may just be part of a package that retains those employees you need to be successful.

Looking at a health insurance plan for your employees can be a daunting task. We know that the cost of this plan has to be something that both you and your employees can afford. We work hard to keep premiums low and ensure that your company is inline with your industry offerings in your area.

Lets start the conversation towards health insurance in 2019

Get a quote

Chamber – Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

Blog | EAP | Small Business

It can be difficult to separate personal challenges from your day-to-day work life. The Arive® Employee Assistance Program – included in some benefits packages – gives you access to qualified professionals who can help you handle situations impacting your emotional and mental health and wellness including:

  • Anxiety, stress, and depression
  • Work-related challenges
  • Dependency concerns
  • Family and marital issues
  • Eldercare concerns
  • Nutritional advice

This service is completely confidential. When you call, you’ll speak to an Intake Specialist who will talk with you to understand your needs. You’re guaranteed an appointment with a health professional within five days with additional appointments being scheduled based on your needs.

One simple call can make all the difference.

Watch this short video to learn more:


Scared to Start

Blog | Small Business

Often someone who starts a business is employed.  Having come up with a great new idea, seeing an opportunity or just looking to change pace of their current life.  Many times the decision to leave the organization you are part of can be a difficult decision to make.   Your company probably offers great health benefits and leaving that might be the last concern you have.

Let us make it a little easier…

The Chamber Plan offers coverage starting with 1 person firms!  Our plans also offer Single person, Single Parent, Couple and Family Rates so you only pay for the coverage that best fits your family.



Lets Talk Drugs

Drugs | Uncategorized

80% of the claims made in most employee benefits are for prescription drugs.  Prescription drugs play an important part in good health care of plan members and their families,   Here are some simple and easy things to do to make sure you are saving yourself some money and maintaining good health.

  1. Ask your doctor for longer supplies 
    1. Many prescriptions can be dispensed for up to 90 days and the dispensing fee’s can equal up to 30% of the cost associated with a companies drug claims…so keeping dispensing fee’s lower can help keeping those fee’s down
  2. Shop around
    1. Ask your pharmacy what their dispensing fee is.  Dispensing fee’s do vary from pharmacy to pharmacy and due to regulation around mark up on drugs are one of the few ways a pharmacy can
  3. Discount Programs?
    1. You can see if your prescription is covered with RxHelp or Innovicares. RxHelp and Innovicares offer discount programs to participating drugs.
  4. Is it on the formulary?
    1. If your plan uses a formulary drugs that are part of the formulary are usually the best medication to be using to treat a condition.  If your drug is not part of the formulary having a conversation with your doctor is a great place to start!
  5. Take your drugs as prescribed
    1. Your health is important, if you pay for a prescription make sure you take it.  Medications not taken as prescribed by your doctor are a cost to you and your plan with no health benefit.  Your plan is all about the health benefit it provides to their plan members.  If you purchase a prescription but don’t take it appropriately the benefit of the cost is lost.

My-Benefits Website Update

Blog | Drugs | Group Insurance

For Members of the Chamber Plan, Maximum Benefits or Johnston Group’s ContinYou or Retiree Plans the website has had a fresh new update!

It’s a high quality responsive design that works well on computer, tablets and phones, (There’s an app too don’t forget though for Android and iOS)

The Dashboard offers a quick overview of claims with a submit claims button right there! no searching!

Remember you can now submit any claims where your service provider isn’t setup to accept your Chamber, Maximum Benefit, ContinYou or Reiree Plan card.

Already using CLICK HERE TO LOGIN 

Not using My-Benefits but have the Chamber Plan, Maximum Benefits, ContinYou or Johnston Group Retiree Plan CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Explore Economics East – Derek Nicholson firm believer in benefits of chamber insurance plan

Blog | Group Insurance

Derek Nicholson is a firm believer in the value of insurance and loves working with his wife and son to offer the Chamber of Commerce Group
Insurance Plan to chamber members and their employees. He knows better than most how quickly life can change.

On October 29, 1978, Derek was a young mechanic spending a day off, working on the roof of his mobile home taking down an aerial. In an instant
he was on the ground after 7,200 volts of electricity passed through his body. He never lost consciousness throughout the ordeal.
Lucky to be alive, he spent months in hospital and underwent a number of surgeries. There were months of rehab. His hands were surgically reconstructed
but he no longer had enough use to continue as a mechanic so a career change was in order. His road back into the workforce
began with a call from then Eastern Graphic Publisher Jim MacNeill offering him a job selling advertising.  After a year, he found himself drawn
back to the automotive industry, this time as a salesman for Batt & MacRae in eastern PEI.

Then he was hit by another jolt – this time economic. His employer went bankrupt. A former employee from Batt & MacRae, who had already gone into the insurance business, suggested
it might be a good fit for Derek too.  That was over 20 years ago. Today Derek represents Sun Life Financial, working out of a home office in Lower Montague with his wife, Beth, and son, Chris.

“One of the key components to the success of our family business has been the ongoing support provided by Beth,” he said. “That enabled me
to be away from home as she manned the phones and raised three incredibly talented children.”

He is also the authorized agent for the Chambers of Commerce Group Insurance Plan for the Eastern PEI
Chamber of Commerce as well as both the Kensington and Greater Summerside Chambers.

The national plan, which has more than 30,000 member firms across Canada is available to any chamber member. In fact, Derek is actually
generating money for the three chambers he works with every day, since the local chamber receives an administration fee.

“One of my first clients when I got into the insurance business was a small firm looking for health benefits for its
employees,” he noted. “There wasn’t really much available at an affordable price.”
In fact, that was one of the main reasons the chamber plan was developed. One of the main attractions of the plan is the flexibility it offers.
It can be tailored to meet the needs of employers and employees when it comes to life insurance, health and dental coverage.
As well, he said plans can be custom made for any size firm, with the latest addition offering coverage to a single owner with no employees. There is 24
hour a day coverage and family members of employees are also covered. There is also a retiree plan for business owners in the process of easing
out of the day-to-day operation of the business that can be offered until age 80. The coverage includes travel insurance should they decide to travel
south for part of the year.

Derek explained he wants all chamber members to feel they are getting value out of the plan, adding he works with clients to modify their coverage




More information about the Explore Economics East Project of Eastern PEI Chamber of Commerce CLICK HERE

Explore Eastern PEI – Morley Annear Ltd

Blog | Group Insurance

Explore Eastern PEI a Magazine published by The Eastern Graphic in partnership with the Eastern PEI Chamber of Commerce featured Morley Annear LTD a trucking company in Eastern PEI that finds the Chamber Plan to be a great fit for their employees!

On any given day trucks bearing the Morley Annear Limited logo roll down the highways of eastern Canada and the United States seaboard delivering everything from lobster to furniture.
For Scott Annear, the truckers behind the wheel and the staff that supports them back at the company’s Brudenell terminal are not just employees
– they are like family. That is the way it has always been since his father hired his first employee and it is a philosophy his own son, Thomas
(who is assistant manager) has also embraced. When the company terminal burned down in 2010, Thomas recalled in a newspaper story the first words his grandfather said were: “We
have to make sure everybody has a place to work tomorrow morning. My grandfather was more concerned with his employees than himself.”
The company did indeed come back bigger and better than ever. Its current office opened in 2011 and the company continues to grow, with a major upgrade of its software system in 2012 and a fleet expansion in 2012. In addition to its fleet of over 25 trucks delivering general freight or perishable goods in temperature controlled reefer cars, they also have dump trucks for the construction industry and a snow removal service during the winter months.

Scott wants to make sure all his employees have the best protection possible, so the group insurance plan the Eastern PEI Chamber of Commerce is able to offer its members through its
affiliation with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce is a natural fit.  Hilary Spencer, Morley Annear’s office manager, says coverage is offered on a voluntary basis to employees who
have been with the company at least three months. The vast majority of the company’s workforce of close to 50 are enrolled in the plan. There is one exception – any drivers heading to
the United States must have the coverage since the user pay health system south of the border can see health care bills rise quickly.

“It gives both the drivers and the company peace of mind,” she said. In addition to covering employees both on and off the job, coverage is extended to spouses and children up
to 25 if they are a full-time student. The benefits include life insurance, dental, vision and other medical services. The premiums are cost shared equally between the employee and the
company. Hilary said Morley Annear Ltd. has used other medical plans in the past, but found the premiums tended to escalate over time while the coverage would often decrease.

Chris Nicholson has heard this story often. He and his father, Derek, operate Nicholson Group Inc. and are the authorized agents to offer the Canadian Chamber of Commerce plan
to member companies in the eastern chamber.  He explained the chamber group insurance plan has never had a premium increase of more than 3.8 per cent over the last five years. By contrast,
Chris said many other plans have routinely seen annual increases of 10 per cent or more. Many other plans also require a significant workforce before they will consider coverage, while the
chamber plan offers coverage to a firm of any size. “They have just come out with a guaranteed issue plan that offers coverage for a business owner who does not have any employees and no medical questions are required,” Chris said. “The coverage can be tailored to suit the company and it can grow as the company grows.” Hilary likes the fact any questions can be answered with a simple call to Derek or Chris and “you don’t have to be on hold for an hour to some office in Toronto.” The company has also found having the coverage does help attract and retain good employees.

“We are a relatively small company and without the chamber plan, I don’t think we would be able to offer the same level of coverage we have now at an affordable price for both the company
and employees.”



Employee Assistance Program

Group Insurance | Office Health

Improve Morale with an Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

What if there was a way to help your employees deal with serious issues before they escalate into problems that keep them from work, or even turn into a disability claim?

Making an employee assistance program available to your employees can help to:

  • Reduce and manage employee absenteeism
  • Reduce healthcare and disability costs
  • Increase employee morale
  • Increase productivity and job performance
  • Reduce employee turnover and associated expenses

An EAP can create savings for you and provide your employees support when life’s challenges make it difficult to concentrate on work.

An Employee Assistance Program provides confidential, one-on-one counselling with a designated psychosocial professional for employees dealing with personal issues that include:

  • Job-related Issues
  • Eldercare Problems
  • Dependency Concerns
  • Marital & Family Issues
  • Other Personal Challenges

Private telephone consultation is also available for:

  • Financial & Legal Advice
  • Nutritional Counseling
  • Childcare Problems

Sitting is the new smoking

Blog | Office Health

You’ve probably heard the phrase “sitting is the new smoking”. Study after study has shown the more you sit, the poorer your health, no matter how fit you are.

We live in a society where we go from the car to our chair at work, to the dinner table, to parked on the couch in front of the television at home. All that time we spend sitting is linked to increased risks of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and death.

Your body was designed to move and sitting for an extended period of time causes your body to shut down at the metabolic level. A standing body uses energy differently than a sitting one: it burns calories at a different rate, stores them in different ways, and even our brains function differently.

The good news is standing, and movement in general, can reverse the effects of sitting. If you were to stand at work, you would burn approximately an extra 50 calories an hour. If you stood for three hours a day for five days a week over the course of a year, that’s about 30,000 extra calories, or around 8 pounds of fat.

Obviously, it’s not practical for everyone to stand up while they work. So what can we do? Here are some ideas:

• Take hourly breaks. Every hour, get up and move. Walk through the workplace to the furthest bathroom, printer, water cooler, colleague’s desk.

• Stretch or move in place. Don’t have anywhere to go? Touch your toes, walk or march in place for a few minutes, or do some stretching.

• Walk at lunch. Use half to eat, half to walk. Round up a few colleagues and make it a weekly date.

• Ditch the car. When possible, walk, bike, run to work or when doing errands. Park far away from your destination and walk part of the way. Or get off the bus several stops early.

• Stand when you talk. If you can, try standing up to talk on the phone. When you’re at home, or if you’re on a cell phone, walk around while chatting