Information Page

Additional Information
Why we designed the Olympic Plan
Exclusively offered by Northern Financial Group
After accumulating over 30 years of experience in the group benefits industry it became apparent there existed an opportunity to design an “off-the-shelf” solution for group benefits plans. Built on the pillars of affordability, transparency and efficient use of time – the Olympic Benefits Plan was born. The Plan is built to give small to large businesses a comprehensive plan with group health benefits starting @ $25/month and dental starting at $19/month.

    Request a group benefits quote here.

    Who pays for the group benefits? Employee or Employer?

    In some industries it is common to see the employer pay all of group health benefits but for smaller businesses this is hardly the case. Typically small to medium sized businesses will share the cost with their employees. This accomplishes two things:

    1. Reduces costs to the business and significantly reduces the cost for the employee relative to them obtaining individual health benefits outside of the group
    2. Controls renewal premiums by sharing cost across employee and employer

    How do I know if an employee is classified as single or family?

    Any employee with dependent(s) is classified as a family. Families also include couples that are considered common-law.

    Dependent is defined as:

    1. younger than 22 years-old and living at home
    2. younger than 25 years-old and attending school full-time

    Can we upgrade our Plan if we decide we want more coverage?

    Plans can be upgraded on renewal dates if approved by the underwriter. Eligibility is determined on a case-by-case basis.

    Some of my employees have coverage through their spouse. Are they required to be on the Plan?

    If an employee has coverage through their spouse they are eligible to waive Health and Dental. The employee still must take Life insurance and AD&D.

    Can new hires be put on the Plan and do they require medicals?

    As long as the employees hire date is AFTER the start date of the plan and the employee is enrolled within 30 days of being eligible, there are NO MEDICALS for new hires.

    Under the dental coverage, what do “scaling” units refer to?

    Scaling units are 15min intervals. Ie 6 units = 1.5hrs or 90min.

    What is “coinsurance”?

    Is the portion the insurance company pays – therefore 100% coinsurance would be completely covered by the insurance company.

    Do singles get the same paramedical maximums as families?

    Yes, health care options are per certificate (single or family). Dental care is per person, so everyone under a family receives maximums under dental care options.

    How much are drug dispensing fees?

    Fees depend on where you go to buy your drugs. A report outlining in detail the average dispensing fees in Ontario was compiled for 2016 and is located here:

    Under the dental coverage, what is 9-month recall?

    The Olympic Benefit Plan is designed to keep renewals low. It accomplishes this by pooling claims and restricting common areas of benefit abuse. Dental cleaning is an area of typical abuse and therefore visits for cleaning are restricted to 9-Month intervals.

    If we select optional benefits for one or two people, do we need to do the same for all of them?

    You cannot take add-ons for one (1) or two (2) people. Everyone would need to be included in the overall plan design. What we have seen companies do is offer different coverage to different groups in the organization. For example, directors may receive one plan while managers receive another. The caveat here is each organizational group must have at least three (3) people in it to be eligible.

    Is there a minimum time of employment required before a person is eligible – or is that completely up to us?

    Any current full-time employees must be included in the plan if they hold their position at plan initiation. New employees onboarded after plan initiation can be put on a probation period, length of your choice.

    If a covered employee quits, how long does the coverage last – or is that up to us also, as long as we keep paying their premium?

    Termination of benefits occurs immediately when they quit/removed

    We have a student working 25-30 hours a week. Would a family coverage plan extend to his mom, whom he still lives with?

    Coverage doesn’t extend to his mother. Only spouse and/or dependents are extended benefit coverage.

    For example, if we choose a Silver Extended Health, can we choose a Gold Dental? (Or do both coverages need to be in the same category?)

    Health and Dental coverage does not have to be in the same category (Silver/Bronze is acceptable) .
    Please keep in mind that GOLD is only available for companies with current coverage but you can upgrade to GOLD at your second renewal.

    Group Benefits
    If you currently have a Plan or not, be informed!
    Whether you are reviewing your current Plan or looking to set up a new Plan, Northern Financial Group can help. Asking the right questions and understanding how the industry works can help you save money and ensure you get the Plan that’s right for your business.

      Request a group benefits quote here.

      What's important when deciding on a Group Benefits Plan?

      The main things to consider are:

      1. Cost
      2. Coverage
      3. Alternative Options
      4. Expected usage
      5. Future Premiums

      It’s important to remember that you should judge Plans relative to other options. This means comparing apples to apples and understanding how Plans determine premiums. You want to position the business to receive affordable coverage relative to other options and keep it that way!

      What's a typical Plan design for a business our size?

      This is subjective – your Plan is designed to suit your needs. There are a few items you should have an idea about:

      • Insurance – are you going to offer Long-term disability and/or critical illness?
      • Health Coverage – what level of drug, chiropractic/therapist, eye care etc. do you want to provide?
      • Dental Coverage – what level of dental coverage to you want to provide?

      Still not sure? Please see our Olympic Benefit Plan for more details on coverage options and pricing.

      Who pays for the group benefits? Employee or Employer?

      In some industries it is common to see the employer pay all of group health benefits but for smaller businesses this is hardly the case. Typically small to medium sized businesses will share the cost with their employees. This accomplishes two things:

      1. Reduces costs to the business and significantly reduces the cost for the employee relative to them obtaining individual health benefits outside of the group
      2. Controls renewal premiums by sharing cost across employee and employer

      I think my rates are too high or too expensive to offer employees, how can Northern Financial Group help?

      Every case is unique and being in business for over 30 year, we’ve seen it all.

      That being said, in most cases:

      • Current plan may not be pooled
      • Not providing employee benefits meeting the needs of your employees
      • Reluctant to revisit plans annually or at all! This can lead to increasing premiums going unnoticed or plan design becoming dated
      • Missing key information/reports from your insurance company to make informed decisions

      Northern Financial group can help design your new benefits plan or find you identical coverage at lower premiums.

      Why do my premiums keep increasing?

      There are several reasons your Plan premiums are increasing. Common reasons are:

      • Your usage is high (high loss ratio)
      • Your Plan isn’t pooled (no sharing of risk)

      Group Benefit Plans, like auto insurance does increase if your usage increases.

      Why do businesses provide Group Benefits?

      The most common reason is that Group Benefits is an affordable option to help retain high-performing employees. It is also a cost-effective alternative to each employee individually insuring themselves.

      Other common reasons:

      • Tax benefits associated with Group Benefits Plan
      • Competitors offer Plans
      • Financial peace-of-mind and security for you and your employees

      What's a "Loss Ratio"?

      Loss ratio is the difference between your paid claims and paid premiums (month rates). If your loss ratio is high your premiums will increase, similar to submitting many auto-insurance claims.

      What does "go to market" mean?

      “Going to market” is an industry term where your coverage and information is shared with underwriters and they competitively bid on your case.

      What information do I need to share to get a quote?

      Under our Olympic Benefits Plan, the pricing brochure is very transparent but to issue a firm quote we require:

      1. How many employees
        • How many employees are classified as single or family
      2. What type of coverage
        • Gold/Silver/Bronze
      3. If you currently have a Plan
        • More information is required if you currently have a Plan

      Northern Financial Group requires similar information to “go to market” if the Olympic Plan doesn’t suit your needs.

      What is an AOR letter?

      An AOR is common if you’ve been shopping for rates. It’s a document that allows a specific Broker to request a bid from an underwriter. Requiring this document prevents the underwriter from bidding several times on the same case through different Brokers.

      Individual Health Benefits
      Not eligible for a group Plan? No problem!
      Northern Financial Group has worked with Green Shield to offer Individual Health Benefits, please visit our Individual Health Insurance page for more information.

        Ready to find an Individual Plan that works for you! Click here.

        What does a typical Individual Benefits Plan cost?

        Cost varies depending on coverage but we typically see $250-$350 for Plans that provide comprehensive coverage

        Do I classify as ZONE or LINK

        Most individuals should be looking under ZONE. 

        If you’ve left a group benefits plan in the past 90 days, you qualify for Link.

        Is the Green Shield coverage per person or per family?

        Green Shield plans are PER PERSON in the family.

        Do you only offer coverage through Green Shield?

        Northern Financial Group is a full-service broker, if you cannot find something that suits your needs with Green Shield we can request quotes from other underwriters.

        Group Investments
        RRSP and Pensions
        Looking to set up a group investment plan or currently a part of a group plan? Northern Financial Group can help you design a plan that suits your business needs.

          To request more information, click here.

          What is employer contribution matching?

          If you’re lucky enough to be employed by an employer that offers contribution matching you should evaluate how the plan works. Typically, the employer will allow individuals to invest a percentage of their annual gross income. The company will then match a portion or the full percentage of your contribution.

          Effectively employer contribution matching is added compensation for your employment with that company.

          Should I invest individually or in the company group plan?

          Depends. Most groups get preferential rates relative to an individual client. This depends on the amount assets you have to invest. Think of it as buying in bulk, the more assets you have the lower fees (cheaper) it is to invest. You should also find out if your employer offers contribution matching.

          What's a Registered Pension Plan (RPP)?

          registered pension plan (RPP) is an arrangement by an employer or a union to provide pensions to retired employees in the form of periodic payments. The Income Tax Act provides deductions in respect of both employee and employer contributions.

          I've recently left an employer and received a letter regarding my investments. It says I have 90-days to make a decision, what should I do?

          Every situation is different. If you’ve received this notice and you’re seeking advice please contact us.

          What's a Group Registered Retirement Savings Plan (Group RRSP)?

          Group Registered Retirement Savings Plan (Group RRSP) is a collection of individual RRSPs offered to employees by their sponsoring employer. Contributions are taken from the employee’s pre-tax pay through payroll deductions, reducing their tax burden immediately. Contributions are then deposited into their RRSP as specified.

          What's a Deferred Profit Sharing Plan (DPSP)?

          A Deferred Profit Sharing Plan (DPSP) is an employer-sponsored profit sharing plan registered as a trust with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

          Individual Investments
          Secure your financial future
          Dreams remain only dreams without a solid plan for retirement income.  If you’re in the early stages of retirement planning, there are some important questions and options you should consider.  If you’re nearing a retirement or already retired and embarking on a new career or new experiences, you want to make sure your investment plan can be sustained throughout your retirement years.

          Northern Financial Group can help you achieve many of your retirement goals through working together to create a solid plan to achieve your dreams.

            To request more information, click here.

            Where's the best place to invest my money?

            When deciding on how to invest your money you should consider

            • Saving/retirement/investment goals
            • Current financial situation
            • Risk tolerance
            • Dependent’s financial needs
            • Time horizon

            How do I find out what fees I'm paying?

            Recent industry regulation has changed the way advisors and portfolio managers disclose their fees. However, there are still ways for fees to be hidden. You should see your fees on your quarterly/semi annual statement. If you have any questions regarding the fees you pay on your investments please contact us.

            What is an RRSP?

            A Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP), or equivalently simply Retirement Savings Plan (RSP), is a type of Canadian account for holding savings and investment assets. RRSPs have various tax advantages compared to investing outside of tax-preferred accounts.

            What is a TFSA?

            TFSA allows you to set money aside in eligible investments and watch those savings grow tax-free throughout your lifetime. Interest, dividends, and capital gains earned in a TFSA are tax-free for life. Your TFSA savings can be withdrawn from your account at any time, for any reason, and all withdrawals are tax-free.

            What are robo-advisors?

            Roboadvisors are a class of financial advisor that provide financial advice or portfolio management online with minimal human intervention. They provide digital financial advice based on mathematical rules or algorithms.

            What is an ETF?

            An ETF, or exchange-traded fund, is a marketable security that tracks an index, a commodity, bonds, or a basket of assets like an index fund. Unlike mutual funds, an ETF trades like a common stock on a stock exchange.

            Critical Illness, Long-term Disability and Life Insurace
            Protect your family and your wealth
            Critical Illness insurance helps you pay for costs associated with life altering illnesses.  If you become sick with an illness covered by your CI policy and survive the waiting period, you receive a lump sum of money.

              To request more information, click here.

              How does Critical Illness work?

              Critical Illness insurance pays out a lump sum of tax-free money as soon as a person is diagnosed and survives the waiting period, usually 30 days.

              I already have Life, Disability and Medical coverage, why do I need this?

              Life insurance is essentially “death” insurance; the beneficiary receives the proceeds of the life insurance policy after a policyholder dies.  Disability insurance pays out an amount of money on a monthly bases to a disabled person while they are disabled from their job for a specific period time, i.e. $2,000 a month to age 65 etc.  Critical Illness insurance does not replace your medical insurance, but instead, it helps survivors manage the costs associated with recovery.  It can provide you with options that would otherwise not be available to you.