Human Resources

Human Resources

Benefits

Health Care Spending Account Claim Submission Requirements

December 18, 2019

Claim Submission Deadline

If you have claims from the 2019 benefit year that you have not yet claimed against your HCSA balance, there is a 90 day claims run-off period to submit them. 2019 claims must be received by Great-West Life prior to March 31st, 2020 to be claimed against your 2019 HCSA dollars.

What does the Health Care Spending Account (HCSA) cover?

The HCSA can be used to cover a range of benefits not normally covered under other types of group benefits plans or by provincial medical plans.

You are covered for 100% of eligible expenses that you incur while you and your dependents are covered, up to the total amount of dollars in your HCSA.

The Income Tax Act governs the types of expenses that can be reimbursed under the HCSA. This includes medical or dental services provided by a:

  • Licensed medical practitioner;
  • Dentist; or
  • Public or licensed private hospital.

Please visit www.canada.ca and search on medical expenses for a complete list.

Who does my HCSA cover?

You and your dependents, including your spouse and children, are eligible under the HCSA. The HCSA also offers two more ways a dependent can qualify:

  • if your child is no longer eligible for group benefits because of student age restrictions, he or she can qualify under the HCSA;
  • if there is another person for whom you are entitled to claim a medical expense tax credit under the Income Tax Act, that person is eligible under the HCSA.

This means that a dependent who doesn’t qualify under a regular group plan, may qualify under the HCSA.

When does my HCSA refresh?

On January 1st, 2020 your HCSA will refresh based on the Flex Option you have chosen and part-time/full-time status where applicable. Please visit www.greatwestlife.com to review your claims history and obtain your HCSA statement including balance.

What happens if I have excess claims from 2019?

Under the HCSA, you can carry forward claims up to 12 months from the date of service. This means if you had more 2019 expenses than you had 2019 HCSA dollars, you can carry forward those claims for reimbursement against your 2020 HCSA balance.

Supporting Your Wellness

The Homewood Health Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) is a professional, confidential, and proactive service to support you in all aspects of your life.

Your EFAP can help with a variety of situations such as stress, anxiety, life change and transitions, relationship concerns, etc. Your full suite of EFAP services includes counselling, Life Smart Coaching and Online resources.

For practical tips for Holiday Stress and Anxiety Prevention, please Click here.

To review all the Homewood Health EFAP resources available to you and to get contact information Click here.

Planning a winter vacation?

November 25, 2019

If you’re planning on traveling outside your province of residence this winter, it is important to know and understand your Out-of-Country Emergency Travel Health Coverage.

What to do during an out-of-country medical emergency

  1. Call Global Medical Assistance (GMA) as soon as possible, during or immediately following a medical situation, for medical assistance. Their worldwide communications network operates 24 hours a day. The GMA toll-free numbers are located on the back of your benefits card. If you need assistance during a medical emergency while traveling, call the number listed below:
    • From Canada or the U.S.: 1-855-222-4051
    • From Mexico: 0-1-800-522-0029
    • Dominican Republic: 1-800-203-9530
    • Universal countries: 1-800-9006-7555
    • Cuba: 1-204-946-2946 (call direct)
    • All other countries: 1-204-946-2577 (call direct or collect)
    • For tips before travelling and a list of all emergency assistance phone numbers (including a Universal countries listing), visit the Great-West Life website.
  1. Be prepared to provide the following information:
    • The name of the person covered
    • The group and contract number; and
    • A description of the problem

What is my out-of-country medical emergency coverage?

Eligible Red River College employees and their eligible dependents have 100% Emergency Travel Health Coverage. Provincial healthcare plan coverage must also be in place for this to apply.

How long am I covered for while traveling?

You are eligible for out-of-country medical emergency coverage for trips up to 90 days. As the Provincial healthcare plan includes travel length limitations, you may want to consider requesting a coverage extension for your provincial healthcare coverage if you are planning on travelling for an extended period of time.

What am I covered for while travelling?

Out-of-country medical emergency coverage includes coverage for medical emergencies, which are defined as “a sudden, unexpected injury or acute episode of disease” which cannot be reasonably anticipated based on your health in the few weeks leading up to your departure. In some cases, Great-West Life may request medical records for up to three months prior to your departure as evidence that the medical emergency was not anticipated.

Coverage does not include trip cancellation, trip interruption or loss or damage of baggage and you will not be covered if you are travelling against medical advice.

How can I purchase additional travel coverage?

If you would like to purchase additional travel coverage, contact our benefits consultant, HUB International for assistance with Travel Insurance. HUB can be reached toll free at 1-866-756-3281 or by emailing emerge@hubinternational.com.

Vacation Check List

  • Leave details of your insurance coverage and copies of other important documents with a contact person at home.
  • Talk to your doctor to address any concerns about travelling with a medical condition.
  • Check the Travel Advise and Advisories page on the Government of Canada’s website for destination specific travel information. The Government of Canada suggests you check the Travel Advice and Advisories page while you are planning your trip and again shortly before you leave.
  • Pack all of your important documents, including:
    • Your Great-West Life Benefits Card (either your Benefits Card with travel assistance contact numbers or your Travel Emergency Medical Card)
    • Your provincial health card
    • A valid passport
    • Medications; and
      • Be sure to bring sufficient quantities with you, keep it in the original container, pack it with you in your carry-on luggage and you may want to carry a copy of your prescription(s) with you.
    • Other important documents
      • Some countries may require confirmation of medical insurance from travelers. Check the Government of Canada’s Travel Advise and Advisories website for destination entry requirements. If you require proof of insurance and your provincial health insurance card is not sufficient, you can contact Great-West Life at 1-800-957-9777 to request a letter.

Supporting Your Wellness

The Homewood Health Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) is a professional, confidential, and proactive service to support you in all aspects of your life.

Your EFAP can help with a variety of situations such as stress, anxiety, life change and transitions, relationship concerns, etc. Your full suite of EFAP services includes counselling, Life Smart Coaching and Online resources.

Review the Homewood Health EFAP resources available to you and to get contact information.

Dental Pre-Authorizations

March 25, 2019

If the total cost of a course of dental treatment is expected to exceed $500, it is suggested that a treatment plan be submitted to Great-West Life prior to commencement of treatment. Great-West Life will review the treatment plan and determine the amount of eligible expenses. Ask your dentist to submit a treatment plan (also referred to as a pre-determination) to Great-West Life to determine your coverage amount. A dental pre-determination of benefits is only valid for 90 days. Read More →

New EFAP Provider

March 18, 2019

Effective March 1, 2019, Red River College is pleased to launch a new Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP). Read More →

Coordination of Benefits

November 19, 2018

Coordination of Benefits, or COB, is a benefit claim procedure developed by the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA) for individuals covered under two or more Health and/or Dental Plans. Read More →

DrugHub for Plan Members

October 25, 2018

Great-West Life has launched their new GroupNet™ providing you with access to streamlined content that makes accessing benefits information easier than ever! Read More →

NEW! GroupNet™ for Plan Members

September 25, 2018

Great-West Life has launched their new GroupNet™ providing you with access to streamlined content that makes accessing benefits information easier than ever! Read More →

Do You Have Dependent Children?

August 27, 2018

If you have unmarried, natural, adopted or step children, under the age of 22 and not working more than 30 hours a week, unless they are full-time students, they are eligible for coverage through your group benefits plan with Great-West Life. If your child is age 22 or over, they must be a full-time student to maintain coverage until age 25. Read More →