Life Insurance - Basic

As an eligible member of the Health Association Nova Scotia benefits program, you receive Basic Life Insurance coverage for you and your eligible dependents.

 
Who is eligible for Basic Life Insurance coverage?

You, your spouse and your dependent children are eligible if you are an active employee and:

  • A permanent employee hired to work at least 40% of a regular work week, or
  • A term employee hired to work at least 40% of a regular work week for a guaranteed term of one year or more.

There is a three-month waiting period after the date you become eligible before you can enrol in the Basic Life plan.
 

How much Basic Life Insurance am I covered for?

In the event of your death before you retire or reach age 70, your beneficiary will receive two times your annual earnings, to a maximum of $1,000,000. Once you retire, you have the option to continue coverage. reduces by 20% each year. Your Basic Life Insurance coverage ends four years after your retirement, or at age 70, whichever happens first.

If you are age 65 or younger, the reduction in coverage happens upon your retirement.

Example:

If you retire between age 65 and 70, your coverage at retirement will reduce to the amount that you would have had if you had retired at age 65.

* If you are an employee, your life insurance is rounded to the next higher thousand dollars. If you are retired, your life insurance is rounded to the next higher hundred dollars. This reflects the reduced insured life insurance amounts (shown above).


Does my Basic Life Insurance cover my family?

Yes. Under the program, your spouse is insured for $10,000 and each eligible dependent child is insured for $5,000.

Spouse and dependent children are defined below:

  • Your spouse is someone to whom you are married legally or married by common law and have lived together for at least one year. This includes spouses of the same sex.
  • Your dependent children are those who are under 21, or under 26 if attending a full-time, accredited learning institute. A child who is incapable of employment due to a mental or physical condition that occurred before age 21 is considered a dependent child. The child must be primarily dependent upon you for maintenance and support.

You are automatically the beneficiary of any Basic Life Insurance for your spouse and dependent children.


When does my Basic Life coverage become effective?

Your coverage is effective after the three-month waiting period. For example, if you are hired on May 12, your coverage becomes effective on August 12.

 

When does my Basic Life Insurance coverage end?

Your Basic Life coverage ends when you are no longer eligible, retire, reach age 70, or if your employment is terminated, whichever comes first.

When this happens, you and/or your spouse have a "conversion privilege" which means you can convert your group policy to an individual one. When you convert to an individual plan, the group premium rates no longer apply. Your new premium will be based on your and/or your spouse’s age, gender and smoking status.

You must apply to convert your coverage within 31 days from termination. Ask your Benefits Administrator to provide you with a completed Sun Life Conversion Privilege Notification form.

Basic Life Insurance for your eligible dependent children cannot be converted.


When does my spouse's Life Insurance end?

Your spouse's coverage ends when you are no longer married, when you reach age 70, or when you retire and your coverage starts to reduce, whichever comes first. Your spouse has the option to convert to an individual plan.


When does coverage for my dependent children end?

Coverage for your dependent children ends when your child reaches age 21, age 26 if enrolled in school, when you reach age 70, or when you retire and your coverage starts to reduce, whichever comes first. The option to convert is not available for dependent children.


What happens to my Basic Life insurance during a leave of absence?

Your benefits may continue during an unpaid leave of absence if you pay the full premiums. The maximum period is 12 months; however, there is no time limit for maternity leave. Your coverage would continue to the end of the leave.

Ask your Benefits Administrator to complete the:

  • Application for Continuation of Benefits During an Approved Unpaid Leave of Absence, or
  • Application for Continuation of Benefits During an Unpaid Leave of Absence Due to an Injury or Sickness

Your coverage continues during a paid leave of absence and any cost sharing arrangements already in place will continue. You will automatically be reinstated on the expected return to work date shown on your form unless Group Benefits Solutions is notified otherwise.


What happens when I retire?

If you are retiring and wish to continue your Basic Life Insurance coverage, complete the Application for Continuation of Group Benefits - Retired Members form and return it to your Benefits Administrator.

To be eligible for Retirement benefits, you must have at least 10 years of service and receive a pension from the NSAHO Pension Plan or any other pension plan sponsored by a member organization.

Your coverage will begin to reduce by 20% each year, starting on the first day of the month after your retirement.

Your Basic Life Insurance coverage ends at age 70 or 4 years after your retirement, whichever occurs first.

 

Is there a Living Benefits Loan Program if I become terminally ill?

Yes. An employee who is terminally ill with a life expectancy of 24 months or less, may apply for a loan under the Sun Life Living Benefits Loan Program. Under this program, the employee may receive an advance of up to 50% of the employee’s basic life coverage, to a maximum of $100,000. 

If the employee is within 5 years of a scheduled reduction of Basic Life coverage (retirement) the advance the employee may receive cannot exceed 50% of the lowest reduced amount to a maximum of $100,000. If the employee is within 5 years of a termination of coverage (age 65 or older), they may not apply for a loan. 

This program does not apply to spouse or dependents and is subject to other restrictions, as advised by Sun Life.