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Benefits plan moving to Manulife on July 1

Queen’s employees will have updated benefits including a pay-direct drug card when the university transitions to Manulife on July 1.

Queen’s employees and retirees will soon have an updated benefits plan through Manulife that will come with several enhancements to coverage, including a pay-direct card they can use when they buy prescription drugs. This plan will be implemented on July 1.

“Queen’s values the health and wellbeing of its employees, which is especially pertinent in these unprecedented times” says Donna Janiec, Vice-Principal (Finance and Administration). “And as previously announced, we are thrilled to now provide these plan enhancements, which were the top priorities of our employees.”

Manulife will replace Canada Life (formerly known as Great West Life) as the university’s group benefits carrier and provide employees and retirees with benefits including dental, health, basic and optional life insurance, and long-term disability insurance.

In addition to the pay-direct card, Queen’s employees will now have increased support for mental health, as the updated plan will provide coverage for registered psychological services. Employees will also be able to apply for new optional coverages, including critical illness and life insurance for themselves and their family members.

Employees will also see a reduction in some of the premium rates that they personally pay for life and long-term disability insurance. The long-term disability rates will decrease by twenty-four per cent and life insurance rates will decrease by thirteen per cent.

“The enhancements to our plan, such as the pay-direct drug card and support for mental health, address some of the areas identified by our employees when the university-wide benefits plan review was initiated. Human Resources is excited to implement these changes, and we have been working with Manulife to ensure that the transition will be as seamless as possible,” says Steve Millan, Associate Vice-Principal (Human Resources).

Making a smooth transition

Human Resources will be taking steps over the coming weeks to educate Queen’s employees and retirees about the new plan. Manulife and HR will be holding live virtual information sessions during which people can ask questions about the new plan, including how to apply for new optional benefits.

Queen’s employees and retirees can also expect to have easier access to their benefits accounts through the Manulife web interface and mobile app, which is available for both iOS and Android devices. Through the Manulife website or using the Manulife mobile app, benefits holders can submit claims, view the status of claims, and use an electronic version of their pay-direct drug card that can be displayed on their mobile devices.

Choosing the new plan and provider

The updates to the plan and the change in the benefits provider are the result of a years-long process that began in 2016. The university asked all benefit-eligible employees for feedback on their employee benefits as part of the plan review process. This included potential areas for improvement. The university worked with the Multi-Employee Group Employee Benefits Committee (MEGEBC) to explore possible changes to the design of the current benefit plan. The committee was comprised of participants from university employee groups. After a competitive request for proposals process, Manulife was announced as the new provider in October 2019.

Learn more about the changes to the benefits plan on the Human Resources website.