How do I know if I qualify for the Vancity Member Health Benefits Program?

It’s easy. Just check off these four criteria:

  • You are a Vancity account holder
  • You and up to 10 employees are working a minimum of 20 hours per week
  • You’re willing to contribute at least 50% of the overall monthly premium per employee
  • All participants are enrolled in the BC Medical Services Plan and are Canadian residents
How soon can I start on the plan?

Customizing your plan and completing the application can take as little as 10 minutes. Once your application is received and approved, your policy will become effective the first day of the following month, or whenever you would like it to start thereafter.

What are the wait periods?

Wait periods are necessary to ensure the sustainability of the plan so all Members can share in quality benefits at a fair price. There is a 3-month wait period for the Dental 1 option and a 12-month wait period for major work under the Dental 2 option. You must be on the plan for at least 12 months before Income Support Coverage will be active.

What if I have more than 10 employees?

We can still work together! While the maximum number of employees at this point is 10, your business may still be able to get covered. Because the plan is voluntary, you may choose to cover a select few employees (up to 10) because some are part time or seasonal.

If you have more than 10 employees who would like to participate in the plan, just book an appointment with one of our specialists. They’ll work with you to find a solution to meet your needs. Book your appointment here: www.vancity.com/healthBenefitsplan.

How can I get more information on the plan and what it covers?

You can get more details on the plan and even start designing your plan and getting quotes online at www.vancity.com/healthBenefitsplan. Then book a call with one of our program specialists. They’ll work with you to build the right plan to meet your and your company’s needs.

How do I sign up?

We know you’re busy, and we’re constantly working to make the sign-up process as quick and simple as possible. Right now, the fastest way to get on the plan is to book an appointment with one of our specialists and in 5 minutes they’ll gather the necessary information from you over the phone or via email to complete your application. Book your appointment here: www.vancity.com/healthBenefitsplan.

What happens if my employee leaves?

It’s always sad to see someone go but it is easy to remove them from your plan. Just let us know directly or online through your benefits management portal and the employee will be removed at the end of the month. You can also send an email to vancityhealthbenefits@pac.bluecross.ca with their name, policy number, ID number and the reason why you are terminating their coverage and we will take it from there.

What is the cancellation process?

The policy includes a 3-month cancellation notice period for policy cancellation. To begin the process, please send an email to vancityhealthbenefits@pac.bluecross.ca. We are constantly working on improving the plan, so we will likely ask for your feedback as we help you through the cancellation.

What if my needs change and I want to increase/decrease my coverage?

We want your plan to work for you. So we designed it to be flexible, allowing you to change options annually (1 benefit step up or down annually). What’s a step? If you have EHC2, you can adjust to EHC1 or EHC3 so long as you have not made a change in the prior 12 months.

Is there an age limit to this plan?

We’re doing our best to cover entrepreneurs and freelancers of all ages. That’s why we have coverage that goes to 75 for most benefits. Specifically:

  • All Employee benefits for Health and Dental ends at age 75
  • Life and Accidental Death and Dismemberment coverage ends at age 75
  • Critical Illness coverage ends at age 70
  • Income Support coverage ends at age 65
What if I have a pre-existing condition?

This plan covers many pre-existing conditions. To determine plan eligibility, we do require you complete a small health summary questionnaire. If you do have a pre-existing condition, we can often find a plan that will meet your needs. Book an appointment with our specialists to start the conversation. You can book your appointment here: www.vancity.com/healthBenefitsplan.

Does the plan include travel insurance?

All Pacific Blue Cross Members, which you will be once you join the plan, save 10% on Pacific Blue Cross Travel Insurance plans. You and your team can buy travel insurance when you need it in just a few clicks with your account on the Pacific Blue Cross mobile app.

Why is Vancity offering a Member Health Benefits Program?

We recognize that the nature of work is changing; workforces and work environments look different today. By 2020, it’s projected that over 40% of the workforce in BC will be self-employed or employed in small businesses. Employees of companies big and small deserve innovative, reliable, comprehensive and flexible health coverage.

By welcoming our small business members into the Vancity Member Health Benefits Plan, we can provide much-needed coverage to today’s growing workforce, and continue to innovate and improve to meet the evolving needs of our small business and self-employed members.

Is this health benefits plan only available to Vancity members?

Yes. In order to purchase the plan, you must be a current Vancity member or become a member prior to signing the purchase agreement with Pacific Blue Cross.

If I am not a member can I still book an appointment to learn more about the plan?

Yes, absolutely. We are happy to talk to you about the plan and when you’re ready to sign up, you will be asked to become a Vancity member.

Do I need to have a business account with Vancity?

No, you can hold either a retail or business account with us to participate in this plan.

How is Vancity sharing the financial success of this plan with our members?

We’re investing 3% of the plan’s net profits directly into education, advocacy and communities that support small businesses and freelancers.

Is there a tax benefit to purchasing health benefits?

Often, yes. Self-employed and small business members may be able to write off the cost of health benefits as an expense. We recommend talking to a tax consultant for information on how health benefits may be able to help reduce your taxes through options such as Health Spending Accounts (HSAs).

How will Vancity small business members benefit by signing up for health benefits?

Reliable, comprehensive and affordable group health benefits for our small business and self-employed members ensure you and your employees can access the care you need when you need it.

Having health benefits reduces the financial burden of significant health events. Beyond the potential tax benefits, providing health benefits to your employees often helps attract and retain the best talent.

What happens if a member signs up for the plan and then ceases their Vancity membership?

Former Vancity members will remain in their plans until the end of the term. However, when their health benefits plan is up for renewal they’ll no longer be eligible to continue in the Vancity Member Health Benefits plan. At that point they’ll have the option to migrate to another Pacific Blue Cross health benefits plan or find an alternate provider.

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