Frequently Asked Questions

Online benefit enrollment tool

If you don’t enroll, your coverage will remain unchanged, any unused flex dollars will be directed to your HCSA and your payroll deductions will adjust to 2021 premiums.

That depends on what you choose and who you cover. Both price tags and flex dollars are changing this year. You’ll find complete information on the Manulife Web site.  

 

We understand that life events can often be stressful times, which is why we give you 60 days to make any necessary changes. If you don’t register the change and make your benefits plan changes, you’ll need to wait until the next Annual Enrollment period and make the changes then.

Yes. As long as you do it before the end of the enrollment period.

If you have questions about your benefits, call Manulife at 1-800-268-6195, Monday to Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (Eastern). 

Quebec Taxable Benefit FAQs

As a rule, under tax law, all benefits derived from employment, whether it is an allowance or the provision of a benefit is taxable unless it is expressly excluded from the calculation of the employee’s income. So a taxable benefit is an employee benefit that must be taxed based on its value.

Canada and Quebec have similar rules regarding taxable benefit although they can sometime differ. As such employer paid medical and dental care is considered a taxable benefit in Quebec but not under the federal rules. This particular Quebec Taxable Benefit for health and dental (hereinafter “QCTB”) may apply to a flexible health plan.

If you are hired after the start of the plan year (1/1/20xx) your taxable benefits amount would be prorated by the remaining pay periods after your hire date. This amount will appear on your RL-1 or through a communicated letter providing by the HP Benefits Centre.

Not necessarily, however if you are a Quebec resident and are eligible to a private plan, you must join that plan and provide coverage for your spouse and children. You could also choose to join your spouses’ plan as dependent. In Quebec, everyone must be covered by prescription drug insurance and only those persons who are not eligible for a private plan may register for the Public Prescription Drug Insurance Plan.

Duplicate tax slip request can be made by emailing Canada  Payroll [Links to canada.payroll@hp.com].

Taxable benefit amount will be prorated based on the pay periods that you have enjoyed coverage. Retirees may be issued taxable benefit tax slips when certain retiree coverage remains employer paid during retirement.

Depending on the particulars of your situation, you may still have a taxable benefit reported even if no remuneration is paid.

When on LTD, premiums are waived from the insurer and benefits will be non-taxable if premiums are employee paid; however flex credits cannot be used to cover the cost of LTD premiums.

Your taxable benefit amount is based on the estimated cost of your benefits, minus what you pay for them – your payroll deductions.

The estimated cost of your benefits is made up of:

  • Average claims cost per person in the option you choose;
  • Administration expenses; and
  • Tax.

For illustration purposes, if the average claims costs including expenses and taxes are $5,000 and the payroll deduction is $1,500, then the taxable benefit is $3,500. The amount of income tax paid on the $3,500 would be based on the individual’s marginal income tax rate.

The taxable benefit amount is reported for the period from January 1 through December 31, each year.

That depends on whether or not you work in Quebec.

  1. If you work and live in Quebec: You will find the amounts reported on your pay advice and on your Releve 1 of the following year to be included when filing your income taxes.
  2. If you work in Ontario and live in Quebec: You will receive a letter by mail with the total Taxable Benefit amount reported for Medical and Dental. This should be included when filing your income taxes.

Your Quebec Taxable Benefit amount is based on the value of the employer paid premium related to your coverage in the manner provided for by sections 37.0.1.1 and the following of the Quebec Taxation Act, CQLR c I-3.

If you move in/out of Quebec mid-year, your taxable benefit will be calculated based on the pay periods while living or working in Quebec based on the applicable Quebec rules.

If you have a qualified life event mid-year, your taxable benefit amount will be prorated based on the remaining pay periods the change to your coverage was made. This will only apply to changes in option or category for medical and or dental.

If you opt out of medical and or dental prior to the start of the new plan year you may not have a QCTB reported at the end of the year. Please refer to the Quebec Taxable Benefit table to determine the rates.

If you end your employment or are terminated, the Quebec Taxable Benefit reported for that plan year is prorated by the number of pay period you were employed. This amount will appear on your RL-1.

The Quebec Taxable Benefit applies where Quebec taxation rules apply that is mainly where an employee reports for work at an establishment located in Quebec. The fact that someone is living in Ontario will not exempt the employer from applying Quebec Taxable Benefit rules. The person living in Ontario may be entitled to an adjustment on his tax report but it is the employee’s responsibility to enquire about it.

New employees

As a new employee, you can choose option 3 now – you don’t have to wait two years. If you are a new employee or if you’re making changes due to a life event, you can choose whichever Medical Option and Dental Option you want. It’s only at Annual Enrollment that what we call the “staircase rule” comes into effect. This rule means you can move up or down only one Medical or Dental Option during Annual Enrollment.

Health care coverage

Most pharmacists have access to the major insurance companies’ online payment systems, so you likely can give both cards and receive maximum reimbursement at the point of sale. When it’s a smaller pharmacy, there may be a problem. If so, you can always send in paper claims with your receipts.

A dispensing fee is the amount that a pharmacist charges to fill your prescription. It also includes the cost of maintaining a database of your prescriptions to ensure that there are no adverse drug interactions, the time it takes to advise you on how to take your medication, as well as additional services such as home delivery, e-mail reminders or late-hour opening. These dispensing fees may range from $4 per prescription right up to $16. The HP Canada Co. plan will provide reimbursement of dispensing fees up to $8, so it’s wise to shop around. If you need the premium services, you may be willing to pay the higher cost. If not, you may want to find a lower-cost pharmacy.

Probably. Generic drugs have the same medicinal ingredients as brand name drugs and must meet the same manufacturing standards. The only difference is some of the binding agents … and the price. Our plan contains a formulary, which includes generic drugs. The formulary includes approximately 85% of the drugs most commonly prescribed in Canada. Furthermore, it’s changing all the time as new drugs come onto the market. By using your drug card, your pharmacist can automatically access that database to ensure that you’ve got the most up-to-date information. As for your prescription, note that you can still order the brand name drug, but you’ll be responsible for the difference in cost between the brand name and formulary drug.

If your medication is considered a maintenance drug – a medication for a continuing therapy – you can purchase up to a three-month supply at one time. You may refill your prescription after two-thirds of the time has elapsed since you filled your last prescription.

If your medication is considered an acute drug – a medication for an acute illness – you can purchase only a one-month supply at one time.

If your share of eligible prescription drug expenses reaches your out-of-pocket maximum in any year, the plan will begin paying 100% of further eligible expenses up to the annual out-of-pocket maximum until the end of that year. Only Medical Options 3 and 4 include an out-of-pocket maximum, as shown in the table below.

Medical Coverage Single Family
Option 1 Not applicable Not applicable
Option 2 – 75% $770 $1,100
Option 3 – 90% $385 $550

Yes, in option 3.

Coverage includes travel vaccines as well as preventative vaccines such as shingles or HPV.

The Manulife Specialty Drug Program was created to both improve a healthy outcome and help you and HP Canada Co. save money. It will provide you with a nurse case manager who will discuss how to take your medication, potential reactions with other drugs you may be taking and information on side effects, and will arrange for the purchase of your specialty drug from a Manulife-approved supplier. These drugs can be found on Manulife’s mobile app as well as on the Manulife Web site. Go to “Forms”, then “Plan Member Brochures” and you’ll find it on the “Prior Authorization List”. Your doctor or pharmacist can also tell you if your prescription drug is likely to be on the list.

Specialty drugs are used to treat complex chronic and life-threatening conditions, often require special storage, handling and administration, and involve a significant degree of patient education, monitoring and management. That’s where the nurse case manager comes in. If you have been prescribed a specialty drug, you’ll need to complete and submit a prior authorization form. Go to “Forms”, then “Plan Member Brochures” and you’ll find it on the “Prior Authorization List”. Once your form is received by Manulife, a nurse case manager will contact you by phone to introduce you to the program. You and the nurse will discuss the various options available to you, how to take your medication, potential reactions with other drugs you may be taking and information on side effects. The nurse case manager will connect you to additional supports that may be available to you. Further, your nurse case manager will arrange for the purchase of your specialty drug from a Manulife-approved supplier.

Don’t worry. There’s no inconvenience here. You can have your specialty medication shipped to your home, your infusion clinic or your doctor’s office. That’s right – easier, cheaper and more convenient.

You can print a duplicate card directly from the Manulife Web site. Log on using your Plan Contract Number (5273 for health and dental and 5277 for your HCSA), your Plan Member/Certificate Number and your Password. Look under “Plan Documents” and click on “Benefit Card”. Click on the benefit card and a PDF will open with your information.

No. Your Manulife benefit card is not like a credit card. Your benefit card allows your pharmacist to find out if the drug is eligible for coverage under the HP Canada Co. plan. If eligible, the pharmacist can receive payment of the covered amount directly from Manulife. This means that you would be responsible for only your share of your drug costs.

Vision coverage was never meant to cover the entire cost of your prescription eyewear – it was meant to offset some of the costs of basic prescription glasses. We recognize that some people prefer more expensive frames or high index lenses; that’s their choice, but they will be responsible for the additional cost.

Reasonable and customary means that Manulife will provide reimbursement for what it knows to be the typically charged cost for a particular service. Manulife monitors the cost of different medical and dental services across the country and is also aware of regional differences. If you were not reimbursed for the full 75%, it’s very likely that your massage therapist is charging above market rates. You may want to check with other massage therapists, or you may want to bring it to your own therapist’s attention. It’s up to you who you choose as your therapist, but you will only be reimbursed up to the reasonable and customary amount.

All paramedical practitioners must be licensed by the appropriate licensing body of the province in which they are practising. To confirm that your practitioner is licensed, you can check with the appropriate licensing or regulatory body in your province to ensure that your paramedical practitioner is a member in good standing and would therefore be considered for reimbursement by Manulife.

Alternatively, you can contact Manulife at 1-800-268-6195, Monday to Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (Eastern Time). You will need your Group Plan Number (5273), your Plan Member/Certificate Number and your Password.

A formulary is a list of commonly prescribed drugs that are eligible for higher levels of reimbursement within the HP Canada Co. plan. This list includes approximately 85% of the drugs that are most commonly prescribed in Canada-generic drugs and brand name drugs that are as effective as other drugs in the market but available at a lower cost.

The reimbursement levels depend on whether your prescribed drug is on the formulary and the medical option you choose. Those employees enrolled in option 2 have 75% reimbursement on formulary drugs and 50% reimbursement on non-formulary drugs. Those in option 3 have 90% reimbursement on formulary drugs and 60% on non-formulary drugs.

Talk to your doctor about drugs on the formulary that may be just as effective as the non-formulary drug you may be using.

Health Care Spending Account

When you complete your claim form, note the box at the bottom of Section 1, where it says to “Check here to use your Health Care Spending Account (HCSA) to reimburse any unpaid portion of this claim”. You’ll also need to insert the HCSA Contract Number (5277) in the box on the left.

Yes. If there is a balance in your HCSA when you leave HP Canada Co., that balance will be forfeited. However, you will have 90 days from the date you leave in which to submit any outstanding claims, but only claims incurred before your last day at work.

In order to be tax effective, the total annual amount to be deposited into an HCSA must be set in advance of the plan year, during the annual enrollment period. Further, you can’t direct your own money to the account – the Canada Revenue Agency allows only employer contributions to be directed to an HCSA.

Nevertheless, if you experience a life event, such as a marriage/divorce or birth/adoption of a child, you may make changes to your coverage to respond to your changing needs. If you find that you have some unused flex dollars once you’ve re-enrolled, you may allocate these unused flex dollars to your HCSA.

The Canada Revenue Agency determines what can and can’t be reimbursed from a Health Care Spending Account, and while this information is available on the agency’s Web site, it might be quicker to call Manulife for the answer. They can be reached at 1-800-268-6195.

You may have had leftover flex dollars when you enrolled. 

Long-term disability coverage

By paying for your long-term disability (LTD) top-up with payroll deductions rather than flex dollars, you are ensuring that any top-up LTD benefits you receive will be tax free.

Life insurance

Using payroll deductions is more tax effective. If the benefit is paid using flex credits, the price tags would become a taxable benefit.

Retirement and Savings Program

All about your Retirements and Savings Program

If you are hired after the start of the plan year (1/1/20xx) your Taxable Benefits amount would be prorated by the remaining pay periods after your hire date. This amount will appear on your RL-1 or through a communicated letter providing by the HP Benefits Centre.

You can set up a Spousal RRSP account on the Sun Life Web site.  Select "My Financial Centre > Requests > Enrol". Then select “Spousal Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSPS)”, and complete all of the required steps. The percentage you are asked to enter is the percentage of your total per pay contribution that you wish to contribute to the RRSPS. For example, if your normal per pay employee RRSP contribution amount is $100.00, and you enter 50%, then $50.00 will be directed to your RRSP, and $50.00 will be directed to the spousal RRSP.

After you complete the demographic data for your spouse, they will receive a Welcome Letter from Sun Life that will advise the spouse they need to submit a hard copy enrollment form. The spouse will also receive information to setup their own access to the Sun Life site, and their Spousal RRSP account. The employee does not have access to the Spousal RRSP account when they log into the Sun Life site.

To set up, or create an RRSP account, access the Sun Life Web site.  Select "My Financial Centre > Requests > Enrol".

The Pension Committee regularly monitors the investment options offered under the Retirement and Savings Program administered by Sun Life Financial.  From time to time, the Pension Committee may determine that a fund should be discontinued from the line-up available through Sun Life Financial for any number of reasons.  In general, before a fund is removed from the line-up, there will be a period of time during which the fund is closely monitored to determine whether the issues or concerns with the fund can be resolved.  A fund will only be discontinued if there are sufficient reasons that warrant its removal such as concerns over a change within the fund manager’s organizational structure, a change in the investment personnel, a change with the investment process or any other factor which may lead to a strong likelihood that the future performance of the fund will be negatively impacted over the long term.

Members have access to a set list of investment options through the HP Canada Co. Retirement and Savings Program and TFSA at Sun Life Financial. This is common practice. In the last few years, there has been a trend in the marketplace to reduce the number of options available to a more manageable number. This is to help ensure that sufficient information and education can be provided on each investment option so that the average plan member can make informed investment decisions.

The Pension Committee has selected a fund line-up, which they deem as most appropriate and suitable for the diverse needs of the general membership. Having the same options for your TFSA keeps things simple. The Pension Committee monitors these funds on an ongoing basis to ensure that they continue to remain suitable and that there continues to be a sufficient range of options for the general membership to build a diversified portfolio.

The current fund line-up includes representation from the most popular types of investments available, including fixed income funds and equity funds from Canada and abroad. A series of target date funds, which rebalance its asset mix as the member approaches retirement, is also available for members who wish to take a less active role in managing their investment portfolio. The fund selection available addresses a variety of investment styles without over-complicating the decisions that plan members need to make.

There can be two reasons for this happening.

  1. If an employee has not set up an RRSP account with Sun Life, their contributions will be directed to a DCPP account.
  2. If an employee works, not lives, in Quebec, the first 5% of their contributions must be directed to a DCPP account.

To change your investment choices, access the Sun Life site, select the account for which you wish to change your investments, and then select “Change my investments” in the “Common actions” section.

Starting January 1, 2021, you can change your RRSP contribution percentage on the Sun Life Web site. Once you’ve logged on, look for “My Financial Centre > Requests > Contributions”. 

The value of your DC pension depends largely on how your investments perform. With a DC program, there are no guarantees that your returns will always be positive. However, you can help to minimize the investment risk of a DC program by ensuring that your investments are appropriately diversified based on your risk tolerance. It is strongly recommended that you consult with a qualified financial advisor and/or make use of the tools available to you through Sun Life Financial to help you match your investment strategy to your risk tolerance and retirement income needs.

Government programs also protect certain accounts in the event that a financial institution should fail. For example, if you hold Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs) in your DC account, the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC) insures eligible assets up to $100,000. In the event that Sun Life fails, Assuris protects funds held in a Guaranteed Investment Account (similar to a bank’s GIC, but for insurance companies). Certain limits apply. Neither CDIC nor Assuris cover DC investments in mutual funds or money market funds.

You don’t get a tax credit for your contributions to the Group RRSP because you never paid tax in the first place. Your RRSP contributions are deducted before tax is calculated and deducted from your pay.

HP has engaged a third-party consultant to help with the selection of the investment options. Once it is determined which types of investment options are to be offered, funds that fulfill the mandate’s requirements are reviewed. Factors considered in the selection of the investment options include the stability of the organization and investment team, along with the consistency and transparency of the investment process. Although past performance is considered, this is not necessarily an indication of future performance. Therefore, the selection of investment options focuses on the fund managers’ potential to provide long-term future outperformance relative to the funds’ respective benchmarks.

HP Canada Co. helps its employees save for retirement by offering the Retirement and Savings Program through Sun Life Financial. A Pension Committee is in place to monitor the operations of the HP Canada Co. Retirement and Savings Program, including a regular review of the investment line-up to ensure it continues to be appropriate for the plan members. In addition to monitoring the investment options, the Pension Committee is also responsible for the selection and monitoring of the plan record keeper (Sun Life Financial).

As a plan sponsor, the Pension Committee, on behalf of HP, has a duty to make decisions with respect to the overall needs of the general membership.

Starting January 1, 2021, you can change your RRSP contribution room on the Sun Life Web site.  Once you’ve logged on, look for “My Financial Center > Requests > Contributions”.

Yes, you will still receive the matching contributions into your defined contribution pension plan account.

If you’re 65 and still at work

Your accident insurance (or AD&D) remains in place until you retire or turn 70 (whichever comes first).

Your long-term disability (LTD) coverage ends six months before your 65th birthday. LTD premium deductions to your pay also end at that time. You are still eligible for short-term disability should the need arise.

Your basic life insurance coverage will be reduced by 50% at 12 midnight on your 65th birthday, to a minimum of $12,500. Any optional coverage you may have will remain unchanged.

At age 70 (or when you retire), your coverage will end. That includes your basic, optional and spousal coverage. Nevertheless, you can convert your coverage through HP Canada Co.’s life insurance carrier without having to provide proof of your good health.