Empire Life announces changes to group contract

On February 26, 2014, Empire Life announced changes to group contract.  The updates reflect changes on how Empire Life describe certain benefit provisions.  They periodically review their contract wording to ensure it reflects their current claims administrative practices and provides clear descriptions of their plan provisions.

Empire Life also included a number of new and enhanced benefit features to the Accidental Death and Dismemberment Benefit (AD&D), Weekly Indemnity Benefit (Short Term Disability) and Travel Emergency Assistance Program.

Changes at a Glance (applicable if these benefits are covered under your Empire Life plan)

General Provisions

New clarifying language

“Resident” and “Employee” definitions

Accidental Death & Dismemberment Benefit (AD&D)

New features at no additional cost

Repatriation – Family Transportation – Employee Rehabilitation – Spousal Occupation Training – Child Post-Secondary Education – Home Alteration and Vehicle Modification

New clarifying language

Definition for “Substance Abuse” – criminal offence – insurrection and war – the operation of a Motorized Vehicle while impaired

Extended Health Benefit

Drug Coverage

New clarifying language

Drug eligibility – special authorization process – over-the-counter drug coverage – sexual dysfunction drugs – anti-smoking drugs – drugs used for cosmetic purposes – drugs requiring hospital or medical professional monitoring

Travel Emergency Assistance Program

Enhancements to existing features

No more “per emergency” maximums (combined lifetime maximum of $5,000,000) – except for meals and accommodation which is increasing from $150 to $200 per day

New clarifying language

Enhanced definitions for “Medical Care” and “Emergency” – new “Stable” clause – timing to contact Travel Emergency Program Administrator – coverage under a government health insurance plan – pregnancy eligibility – mandatory repatriation – dangerous sports or activities

Weekly Indemnity Benefit (Short Term Disability)

New Feature at no additional cost

Plans that have first day Hospitalization coverage will also be eligible for Outpatient Surgery coverage

New clarifying language

Receiving and complying with treatment for disabilities resulting from Substance Abuse – incarceration

Long Term Disability Benefit (LTD)

New clarifying language

Definitions for “Medical Care”, “Substance Abuse” and “Total Disability/Totally Disabled” – employee responsibilities – rehabilitation – pre-existing conditions – termination of LTD Benefits – cosmetic treatment – incarceration

Important Dates

  • Contract changes to be effective June 1, 2014
  • The updated Employee Benefits Booklet will be available on June 1, 2014 on the Plan Member and Plan Administrator websites at www.empire.ca

For further assistance please contact Phyllis Leger at (506) 801-9243, pleger@fs-gc.ca or Joël Drolet at (506) 801-9242, jdrolet@fs-gc.ca.  You can also visit Empire Life’s website www.empire.ca.

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