Group Health
& Benefits Plan

GHP = A Group Health and benefits Plan tailored to the needs of the Saskatchewan veterinary profession

Background

We asked our experienced insurance advisors Don Cole and Ken Dornan to research and develop a group health benefits plan that would be beneficial to all of our 1170+ veterinarians and veterinary technologists. The SVMA office staff has worked with our advisors and Saskatchewan Blue Cross to refine and develop a plan that will be of value to all of our members – DVM, RVT, practising, non-practising, in-clinic or independent.

Did you know:

  • Practices with smaller staff numbers have higher rates, and premiums can jump substantially as a result of claims by plan users.
  • 144 SVMA members are in independent practice and 84 of our members are retired or for some other reason non- practising. Individual packages are the most expensive of all types of coverage.

Group Health Plan (GHP) Highlights

Purchasing Power

The buying power of our GHP allows for lower administration costs than most plans offered in the marketplace. Cost/benefit comparisons using the same or similar plan designs were made using real data taken from veterinary clinics with existing group benefit plans. Comparative annual savings for these veterinary clinics ranged between 2% and 39%.

Benefit Options

The GHP was designed specifically for the Saskatchewan veterinary profession. The plan encompasses all the best benefits available in other group plan formats – life insurance, critical illness, short and long term disability, extended health, dental care and vision care. As a practice owner, there are also attractive ancillary benefits available for you and your employees.

Rate Stability

Large pooled groups like ours are able to sustain high and low claiming periods, which leads to rate stability over time. Your benefits will be renewed the same time every year, beginning on July 1, 2019.

Voluntary Enrolment

Enrolment in the GHP is voluntary for all SVMA members. For clinic owners who choose to provide benefits for their employees, all of their employees who work 20+ hours per week must be enrolled in the GHP.

Conversion Program

Any plan participants (members or employees of members) who terminate their membership and coverage in the GHP are able to transition to an individual health and dental plan from Saskatchewan Blue Cross regardless of their health. This means that whether you retire or end employment for any reason, you are entitled to purchase an individual health and dental plan from Saskatchewan Blue Cross without having to provide medical evidence if applying within 31 days of your termination of GHP coverage.

A Local Company

Saskatchewan Blue Cross is local to the province. All inquiries about claims, benefits and eligibility will be responded to locally, accurately and in a timely manner. The Saskatchewan Blue Cross Contact Centre is located in Saskatoon.

Eligibility - Now and Later

New SVMA members are eligible for plan benefits as soon as they are licensed, and have a 31-day window of blanket coverage for pre-existing conditions, calculated from the date of licensure.

For future knowledge: Members who aren’t interested right now because you currently have coverage and don’t want a second plan will still be eligible for blanket coverage of pre-existing conditions if your circumstances change later (leaving current job, retirement). If you want opt in for the GHP at that time, you can enroll with blanket coverage for pre-existing conditions for 31 days from the day your other coverage ends.

To enrol, here's what we need from you:

  • For practices, please contact our GHP advisors Ken or Don to discuss and confirm the specifics of your plan design (your choices of plan options, etc). They will then have paperwork drawn up and will send it to you to be completed by your clinic staff.
  • If you are interested in enrolling as an individual member, just send in an individual enrolment form and a pre-authorized debit form to set up monthly payments on your policy. Enrollments received up to a few days prior to the end of one month (ie March) will be covered as of the first day of the following month (ie April).

Questions? Email the SVMA office for complete details of benefits and current rates. Contact Ken (306) 261-6965 or Don (306) 270-6446 or call us anytime at the SVMA office.

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