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Vacation Planning

November 7, 2013

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Its that time of year! The leaves have fallen, we’ve quickly changed into our parkas and mittens, and most importantly the thoughts of a winter vacation at a warm destination are filling our dreams….. Here are a few resources to make that dream a reality:

  • First things first, if you are an adventure traveller you are usually thinking about destinations that are not usually for the faint of heart!These are also likely destinations where the Canadian Government has issued travel warnings – best to check first at travel.gc.ca. Even if you aren’t thinking about trekking through North Africa, there could be a regional advisory for the country you are planning on visiting. Some Caribbean countries have regional advisories you might not be aware of, but usually they are along borders and away from the popular destinations.
  • You have the destination! Now what kind of traveller are you? If you’ve visited any of the popular tropical destinations, accessible via Winnipeg, you’ve likely stayed in an all-inclusive resort. Why not try a vacation rental this time around and live like a local? Sites like AirBnB and Trip Advisor Vacation Rentals manage listings of private homes around the world. Need a little more adventure? Try a tour with options ranging from 5 star lodges to camping out under the stars. Taking an organized tour with a reputable company is a sure way to immerse yourself in the culture of the country you are visiting. Browse through hundreds of opportunities with Adventure Centre, a Canadian tour broker that promotes only reputable tour companies. Many tour companies cater to families too!

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When is a Flex Option change possible?

August 20, 2013

Have you experienced a Life Event?

When you elect a Health and Dental option, you are locked in at that level until the next re-enrolment period, which is every 2 years. However, if you experience a Life Event during a plan year that affects your coverage needs, you may make changes to your benefit options without waiting until the next re-enrolment period.

Any of the following is considered a Life Event:RRC Aug Blog Pic

  • acquiring any dependent (spouse or child)
  • acquiring a spouse if you have child coverage only
  • acquiring any child (birth, adoption or step-child) if you have spouse coverage only
  • involuntary loss of similar coverage through your spouse’s group benefit program (for example, because of a change in your spouse’s employment status)
  • death of a spouse or child
  • your spouse or a child ceasing to qualify for coverage (for example, through divorce or your child’s attainment of a limiting age – see Dependent Coverage in your Flex Plan booklet)

What do you do if  you experience a Life Event?

If you experience a Life Event, contact Human Resource Services with your details no later than 31 days after the Life Event occurs. If you are electing to change your Flex Option and it is not reported within 31 days of the Life Event, the change will not take effect until the next re-enrolment date.

Additionally, any time you experience a Life Event resulting in a change to your family status, you should review your beneficiary designation.

For more information on your Flex Options, refer to your benefits booklet.

Do You Have Dependent Children?

July 30, 2013

Dependent Children Eligibility

If you have children who are unmarried, natural, adopted or a step child who is under the age of 22 and not working more than 30 hours a week unless a full-time student, 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.

A child is considered a full-time student if they have registered in an educational institution for 15 hours a week or more; sometime in the last 6 months. If your child is being paid to attend an educational institution, they are no longer deemed a dependent.

Dependent Children, age 22 to 25 – Don’t forget to reconfirm Student Status

It is important for employees with overage dependent children (over age 22) to remember to update their student status to ensure over-age student dependents continue to receive uninterrupted Health and Dental coverage for the duration of their formal education, or until age 25.

Watch for the student re-certification from Great-West Life each year!RRC July Blog Pic

Is your child covered while away at school?

The Out-Of-Country Emergency Care (OOC) provided through your Great-West Life plan only covers emergency medical situations while outside of Canada. An emergency is described as a sudden, unexpected injury or an acute episode of disease. Dependents attending school out-of-country will remain on your Health and Dental plan for the duration of their education, or until they reach age 25.

There are no pre-existing conditions on the OOC coverage; however, if the insured individual does have a medical issue, the condition must be stable and controlled for 3 months prior to their departure from Canada. If you are unsure, you should check with your doctor and Great-West Life.

So what does this mean for your child going out-of-country for school?

If your child is considered an eligible dependent, they will be covered for unexpected emergency medical while out-of-country. For a dependent who is not a student, no benefits will be paid for expenses incurred more than 90 days after the date of departure from Canada in the event of a medical emergency.

For a dependent who is attending school out-of-country, benefits will be extended if approval is given by the student’s provincial health plan. For more information on your provincial health plan, visit http://www.gov.mb.ca/health/mhsip/index.html.

Be aware that any routine or non-emergency services or expenses such as chiropractic care or prescription drugs incurred out-of-country will be reimbursed at the reasonable and customary amount charged in your home province of residence.

If you review your dependent’s coverage needs and require purchasing individual coverage, plans purchased in Canada for students abroad can be significantly less expensive compared to plans available through the school. Red River College employees have access to STRATA Benefits Consulting Inc.’s Emerge service which provides information and assistance in obtaining individual coverage. Contact an Emerge Specialist at emerge@stratagroup.ca or 1-866-787-2826 for more information.

Great-West Life Online Services

July 4, 2013

GreatWest Life GroupNet™ 

Access to the online site for your group Health and Dental benefits information has never been easier with Great‐West Life’s GroupNet™ for Plan Members.

Available 24/7, this user friendly site provides the following:

  • Online claim submission
  • Sign up for direct deposit claim payments
  • View and print your claim status and Explanation of Benefits (EOB) for the past 24 months. The EOB can be used to coordinate benefits with other insurance carriers.
  • Create and print a summary of your claim history by patient and/or benefit.
  • Complete and print personalized claim forms.
  • Access to Great-West Life’s Health & Wellness Site

Sign up now at www.greatwestlife.comCompTabletPhone             

GroupNet™ Mobile

Information when you’re on the go from your Benefits Solutions People. Great-West Life’s GroupNet Mobile app lets you take GroupNet™ for Plan Members with you. You can download GroupNet Mobile to Android, BlackBerry®, and iPhone.

Great-West’s GroupNet Mobile lets you:

  • Submit claims online through Member eClaims
  • Access personalized coverage information about benefits, claims and more – quickly and easily, any time
  • View card information including: member ID, Drug and Global Medical Assistance
  • Locate the nearest approved provider who has access to Provider eClaims, through a built-in GPS mapping tool

Member eClaims Submission

To use Member eClaims, you must be registered for GroupNet™ for Plan Members and signed up for Direct Deposit of claims payments.

How Member eClaims Works:

You will see the Submit Online Claims option once signed in to GroupNet™ for Plan Members. Claims can be submitted following these six easy steps:

1. Select Type of Claim
2. Select Provider when required
3. Select a Patient (yourself or family member)
4. Enter the Expense Details for the service received
5. Read and Agree to the ‘Terms and Conditions’ and the ‘Claim Summary and Consent’ sections
6. View or Print the Confirmation and Summary of your online claim

Once your claim has been adjudicated you will receive confirmation via an email notification or text message to your mobile phone.

Voluntary Benefits

April 29, 2013

StrataLogoThrough Red River College’s affiliation with STRATA Benefits Consulting, employees have access to a suite of voluntary products and services offered at discounted or preferred group rates.

Why does Red River College offer a voluntary benefit program?

We offer our employees a comprehensive benefits program and are committed to enhancing and aligning this program to meet the needs of our employees.

What does STRATA Select include?

STRATA Select includes the following voluntary options:

  • Pet Health Insurance
  • Preferred Vehicle Pricing
  • Vehicle Rental
  • Security Systems
  • Long Distance Calling
  • Mortgage Broker Services
  • Hotel Discounts
  • Medical Alert System
  • Group Home Insurance
  • Individual Health & Dental (For Retirees)
  • Hospital Cash
  • MyCare (Medical Access Plan)
  • Travel Insurance (includes Health and/or Trip Cancellation/Interruption Coverage)

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