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Health Care Contribution Information
January 27, 2010 - 11:00am EST
Hello Everyone:

With the introduction of the new Health Care Contribution (HCC), there have been a number of questions from employees. The following provides a summary of the process in hopes to assist with employee concerns and questions.

For employees actively at work, the HCC is taken in the prior month for the current month (i.e. contribution is taken in February for March coverage). The deduction is taken in the second full week of the month.

The HCC monthly deduction amounts are as follows:
Employee/Retiree Pre-Age 65 $30
Employee/Retiree Post-Age 65 $15
TPT's enrolled in HC $15
Surviving Spouses $15
Orphan Dependents $15

Employees residing in Ontario and Quebec are subject to the applicable sales tax, 8% and 9% respectively.

The HCC is required while health care is in force.

The HCC does not fluctuate when benefit coverage changes (i.e. layoff - dental ends, HCC does not change).

Full time employees working TPT who have exhausted full time benefits (TPT benefits only) will pay $15.

Employees who are inactive or do not have a pay for the week the HCC deduction is taken will be moved to the Direct Billing system and will receive a Billing Notice from Benefits Link. Employees must pay the invoice by returning the bottom portion of the bill notice with a cheque in the return envelope provided. When the employee’s status changes from inactive to active, they will be removed from direct billing and added to the payroll file.

If the payment is not received by Benefits Link by the due date indicated on the bill, a second reminder Billing Notice will be sent. If the payment is not received by the due date on the reminder notice, health care coverage will be terminated (60 days from initial notice) and the employee will receive a notice to this effect.

If an employee receives a Billing Notice showing an amount owing equal to more than one month of HCC deductions, before calling Benefits Link to investigate the bill amount, they should check their paystub to see if the amount was indeed deducted from payroll. If their paystub does not have a deduction showing, they should go ahead and pay the invoice as required.

Note: Employees can only be in one system - either payroll or direct billing. If an employee missed a week of work with no employment status change they should be directed to notify Benefits Link that they are active and wish to have the HCC taken from payroll. We are currently working on a resolution to this issue as we understand that it can be confusing to employees who are actively at work.

The initial Billing Notice will include a Pre-Authorized Debit (PAD) form if the employee wishes to have the deduction taken directly from his/her bank account. This option is offered as a convenience to employees who will be absent for a long period of time and do not want to send in monthly cheques. Employees can call Benefits Link at any time to request a Pre-Authorized Debit (PAD) form.

For new hire employees, health care (medical/prescription drug) begins the 1st of the 4th month at which time the HCC (deductions as stated above) will be taken.

At this time there is no option or process to opt out of health care coverage.

When the employee retires, the HCC will automatically be taken from their monthly pension. Retirees HCC are taken in the month for the current month (January 1 deduction is for the month of January).

HCC questions should be directed to Benefits Link at 1-877-854-5465.

Thank you,
Sue Thompson (HR)
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Last Updated: January 27, 2010 11:06:46 AM