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HANS Benefits Renewal, April 1, 2018 – Plan Design Changes 

The HANS Group Benefits Solutions Service and the Provincial Group Benefits Advisory Committee (a committee of healthcare employers and unions) work together to ensure our benefits plans meet the needs of Nova Scotian HealthCare Workers and remain financially sustainable well into the future (competitive and sustainable rates). One of the ways we work towards these goals is to complete an annual financial review of our benefits offerings. This allows us to determine whether an increase or decrease in rate is required for the next fiscal year.
The results of this year’s review revealed that premium changes were required for Health, Travel, Dental, Optional Life, and Optional Accidental Death and Dismemberment. The largest required increased was for the Health Plan. This is because plan member health claims have continued to rise since last year’s renewal, primarily in two key areas: drug coverage and paramedical coverage.
The premium changes were implemented effective April 1, 2018. In addition, the following plan design changes came into effect to help reduce the required Health rate increase:
  • There is a $10 co-pay for all paramedical visits excluding practitioners who provide counselling therapy (psychologists, counselling therapists and social workers). The co-pay is applicable to both Active Employees and Retirees.  
  • There is an additional co-pay of $5.00 along with the dispensing fee for prescription drugs (applicable to Active Employees only).
  • There is an additional co-pay of $5.00 along with the dispensing fee for prescription drugs, which will increase to $7.00 (applicable to Retirees only).
The Group Benefits Solutions Service and the Provincial Group Benefits Advisory Committee are working on strategies to help reduce costs in the future. While some factors are beyond our control, there are things that we all can do to help manage costs.  

The following information sheet was developed to provide our plan members with more detail on how much premium you pay each year, how your claims dollars are spent, and the cost drivers impacting our rates. It also describes what we are doing to keep costs down as well as offers tips on how plan members can reduce the impact of out-of-pocket expenses for drugs and help reduce the future costs of benefits.    

Please select the information sheet that reflects the cost sharing arrangement that you have with your employer.

To review Retiree benefit renewal information, please visit the Retiree Benefits page of our website.

Health Plan Members Can Submit All Claims Online

Health Association Nova Scotia Health Plan members can submit all claims online, including receipts! Check out the attached Bulletin for information on submitting claims online and uploading receipts

Note: Plan members must be registered on the Manulife Plan Member Secure Site to access all online options. The attached Bulletin also includes directions to register. 

Other recent new features include:

  • Pharmacy Savings Search – Now plan members can learn where they can get their prescriptions for less. Select from the Quick Links menu.
  • Online claims enhancements – Now includes an easier way for plan members to submit coordination of benefits claims.  Orthodontic claims have been added to the list of claims that can be submitted online.   Select from the Quick Links menu.
  • Available balances – Plan members can see how much paramedical coverage they have left and how long they have to use their coverage.  Click on “My Benefits” on the top menu.
  • Find Registered Professionals – In addition to having access to this search on the Plan Member Site, you can now access the Manulife provider directory directly from you smartphone. 
  • Electronic version of your Benefits Card - In addition to being able to view and print a temporary card from the Plan Member Site, you also have access to a mobile benefits card on your smartphone with the mobile app.