Human Resources

Human Resources

Human Resources

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Employee Benefits Plan Transitioning to Manulife on July 1, 2020

This communication was distributed through email on May 20, 2020

I am writing to share important information about the transition of your employee benefits plan to Manulife on July 1.  Canada Life (formerly known as Great-West Life) currently provides your employee benefits.  In October 2019, we announced that Manulife was chosen through a competitive Request for Proposal (RFP) process to be the new benefits provider for the university.  Since then, detailed preparations have been underway in support of that transition. I can now confirm that the benefits plan will move from Canada Life to Manulife effective July 1, 2020.

This email provides some details about the move to Manulife and some actions you can take, if you choose, to prepare for the transition.   

What’s New?

A new secure online tool hosted by Manulife will be introduced to simplify the way you access, view and update your employee benefits. You can access the tool using the secured Manulife website.  You will be able to manage your benefit coverage, submit claims to Manulife for expenses incurred on or after July 1, 2020, and access any forms you may need. Manulife will also be your main point of contact for answering your benefit related questions. However, you can still contact the Queen’s Human Resources department for assistance.

Some plan highlights include:

  • The introduction of a pay direct drug card with a dispensing fee max of $10 per prescription and generic drug substitution*
  • Coverage for registered psychology services up to $1,000 per year
  • A 24% rate reduction in the premium you pay for longterm disability insurance
  • A 13% rate reduction in your basic life insurance premium
  • New optional employee paid benefits you can apply for include:
    • Spouse and child life insurance
    • Critical illness insurance

*The implementation of the generic drug substitution provisions of the new plan will not take effect until October 1, 2020. Go to the generic drug substitution overview for further details.

All other benefit coverages remain the same, including dental, semi-private hospitalization, and basic life insurance. For further details on coverages, go to current benefits coverage.

How can I verify my benefit information will be correct in Manulife’s system?

  • On Monday June 1, you will receive an email from Manulife notifying you that you can access the secure online tool so that you can review your benefits information. Instructions will be provided on how you can access the tool.
  • You will have a two-week validation window, until Friday June 12, 2020, to view your benefits, update your dependant information and the home address that we have on record. It’s important that your home address is correct in the Manulife system to ensure you receive your new Manulife benefit card in the mail.  The pre-populated information reflects what is currently in the Queen’s Human Resources system.  
  • You will have the opportunity to apply for new optional benefits during the June 1–June 12 period. You can also apply for these new optional benefits at any time after July 1.  New optional benefits would take effect after July 1, subject to Manulife’s approval of your application.
  • If you do not access the site during the validation window, your benefits will automatically transition to the new benefits provider on July 1 based on the information Queen’s currently has on file.

What happens after the validation window closes on June 12?

  • Your new Manulife benefits card will be mailed to your home address on record near the end of June.
  • Your next opportunity to access the secure online site will be July 1, 2020 when the updated program will be permanently launched with Manulife, allowing you to manage your benefits coverage, and make expense claims.

What other actions can I take to prepare for the transition?

  • Make any expense claims for expenses incurred up to June 30, 2020 to our current benefits provider Canada Life. These claims will not be accepted by Manulife.
  • Canada Life will accept electronic claims until June 30, 2020 though GroupNet for Plan Members.  After June 30, they will only accept paper-based claims.  Please note that:
    • All claims for the year ended December 31, 2019 must be submitted to Canada Life by June 30, 2020
    • Claims for the period from January 1, 2020 to June 30, 2020 must be submitted to Canada Life by September 30, 2020
  • Keep your eye out for an email from Manulife on Monday June 1. This email signals that the secure website is open for you to view and validate your information.  It will contain instructions to set up your profile with Manulife.

What happens if I take no action?

  • Your existing benefits will transition to Manulife based on the information that Queen’s currently has on file.  There will be no interruption in your benefits coverage.
  • Your new Manulife benefits card will be mailed to the home address that is currently on file with Queen’s.  You can start using your new Manulife benefits card on July 1, 2020.
  • You can also access your benefits card using the Manulife Mobile App or view and print the card from the Manulife website from July 1, 2020 onwards.

I encourage you to stay informed and look for further updates in early June including a schedule for virtual employee sessions lead by representatives from Manulife. 

For more information regarding the transition, including important dates please go to Benefits transition to Manulife. You can also send any questions regarding the above to

Steven Millan
Associate Vice-Principal, Human Resources
Queen’s University, Human Resources
Fleming Hall, Stewart-Pollock Wing
78 Fifth Field Company Lane
Kingston, ON K7L 3N6
T. (613) 533-3203