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Life, Health & Dental, Disability Benefits

Life, Health & Dental, Disability Benefits

The United Church’s group benefits plans are intended to supplement benefits available under provincial plans. To be eligible for these benefits, you must be a resident of Canada insured under their provincial plan.
Participation in the group benefits plans is mandatory and a condition of employment for all employees of The United Church of Canada working full-time or part-time, 14 or more hours per week (on average) in aggregate across all employments. Ministry personnel are eligible for coverage on the date of hire with no waiting period. For lay employees, eligibility begins either on date of hire or the first of the fourth month following the date of hire at their employer’s discretion.
Life insurance, Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D), Dependent Life and Long-Term Disability (LTD) are insured benefits with Canada Life.
Health and Dental and Restorative Care Program (RCP) are self insured benefits. RCP claims are adjudicated by LifeWorks; the Health and Dental plan is administered and adjudicated by Green Shield Canada.

Here is where you can find all the information relating to the Group Benefit Changes that will come into effect on January 1, 2022. Please check back periodically as resources will be added as they become available, and the FAQ, updated, as more questions are submitted.

The Benefits for Active Members: Summary of Coverage can be found on the Document Library page, under Benefits Administration. 

Fact Sheet: Augmenting the Active Member Health and Dental Plan: Information to consider if you are looking to augment the Active member health and dental plan.

GS 114 Active Member Group Benefits Plans 2022 - Premiums and Plan Changes: The proposal that was approved by the General Council Executive at their September 25 meeting.

Benefits Plan Comparison Chart: A two page chart comparing only the changes between the current Core, and Optional benefits, and the new Active Plan (effective Jan. 1, 2022).  

FAQ - Group Benefits Plan Changes: A second version of the FAQ published on November 24, 2021. The additions in the document are in red.

Benefits Plan Video: A short video highlighting the changes to the new Active Plan.

Communications:

October 2020 letter from Nora Sanders, former General Secretary.

October 2021 letter from Rev. Michael Blair, General Secretary.

If you have any questions about these changes, please contact Benefits@united-church.ca. Due to current workloads, the Benefits Team will only be accepting questions by email at this time.

Active members under the age of 65 are covered for Life Insurance and AD&D, each at a rate equal to the member’s salary. Each eligible dependent is covered for $5,000 of life insurance. At the age of 65, these benefits end and members become covered for the Retired Life Insurance (RTL) benefit of $3,000. Within 60 days of coverage reduction, the difference between salary and RTL can be converted to an individual policy with Canada Life, without evidence of insurability. To utilize the conversion privilege, you must contact a licensed broker and submit an application form within 31 days of the benefit reduction date. Contact the Benefit Centre for more information.

If you wish to improve your benefits coverage, you may choose and pay for additional coverage. Premiums* for optional life coverage will depend on the amount of additional life insurance selected, your age, and whether or not you are a smoker. The following types of optional coverage are available:

  • optional life insurance
  • optional spousal life insurance
  • optional accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D), single and family

*Premiums are reviewed annually and are subject to change. Contact the United Church Benefits Centre for current rates.

The Health and Dental Benefits plan is self-insured. Green Shield Canada provides Administrative Services Only (ASO) by adjudicating and reimbursing the claims on behalf of The United Church Plan.

An ASO plan is one in which the plan sponsor is financially responsible for providing benefits to its employees/members. Plan sponsor, The United Church of Canada, chooses a plan design and assumes the risk of paying these claims.

Under the health and dental plan, the employers pay for core coverage (Active Plan). You may choose to pay for additional optional coverage (optional life insurance, optional AD&D, etc.). To learn more about the plan details and optional coverage, please see the Summary of Coverage Booklets in the document library

Disability insurance protects employees against loss of income due to illness or injury.

Restorative Care Plan (RCP)

Restorative Care Plan (RCP) is a form of short-term disability. Ministry personnel in pastoral charges, lay employees in pastoral charges, and staff in the General Council or Regional Council offices who are actively working and are members of the United Church group benefits plan are eligible for this benefit.

If your absence from work due to illness or injury is certified by medical record and approved by the adjudicator (initially and ongoing), you are entitled to receive full salary paid by your pastoral charge or employer (plus housing allowance, if applicable, or use of the manse, if applicable) for a 6-month period. This is considered to be taxable income.

Your pastoral charge or employer is reimbursed 85% of your salary (plus housing allowance, if applicable) through this program.

Be sure to watch this helpful video which outlines the Restorative Care Plan.

To learn about support for leaves longer than two weeks due to an illness or injury, please consult the Restorative Care Plan Roadmap in the document library.

If your absence continues beyond the six months covered by the restorative care plan, your claims adjudicator and the Disability Analyst at the General Council Office will assist you in applying for long-term disability benefits.

Long Term Disability (LTD)

Long Term Disability (LTD) is an insured benefit with Canada Life. It provides financial assistance when a covered plan member is still unable to work after 6 months of Restorative Care Plan (RCP). For the first 24 months of LTD benefit, covered plan members must be considered by the adjudicator unable to work in their own occupation. After this 24-month period, LTD benefit will continue only if you are considered by the adjudicator as being unable to perform any occupation for which you may be trained or qualified.

The LTD benefit is 60% of your monthly pre-disability pensionable earnings, to a maximum of $5,000 per month. Payments are made by the adjudicator directly to the insured member upon Canada Life’s approval. LTD payments are tax-free because you pay the full premium for this coverage, so do not report the amount you receive on your tax return.

If you qualify for and receive LTD income payments from the plan, the coverage you have under the group benefits plans and the pension plan as of the last day worked continues until you are no longer disabled, or reach the age of 65, at no cost to you. After age 65, coverage is reduced as it would be if you were not disabled.

For administration questions related to your health and dental, life insurance, or accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) benefits (for example, change of address, new dependant), please contact the United Church Benefits Centre.

Life Insurance Claim

Your beneficiary or executor can obtain a life insurance claim form by contacting the United Church Benefits Centre. Claim cheques will be sent directly to the beneficiary/estate. A claim must be made within six months of date of death.

Drug and Dentist Claims

Step 1. Green Shield ID Card

You can use the ID Card to pay for drugs at the pharmacy and for the dentist or other paramedical practitioners (if they are registered with Green Shield), as it simplifies payment.

If it is not possible to use the ID Card at your pharmacy or dentist, you will need to submit a Claim Submission Form to Green Shield, to the address indicated on the form or online at gsceverywhere.ca. Log in to your account and go to Your Claims, then select Submit a Claim.

Step 2. Claim Submission Form

The Claim Submission Form, including a pre-authorized debit form, is available on the Green Shield website. If you choose to submit your claim form by mail, it is prudent in all cases to make copies of all receipts sent to Green Shield Canada.

  • Make photocopies of all receipts and attach the originals to the form. In provinces that require the originals to be submitted to the provincial drug plan, copies are acceptable. Scanned receipts and online claim forms are also accepted
  • Include a doctor’s letter when required.
  • Sign the form.

A claim has to be submitted within 12 months from the date of service.

For any questions about specific coverage, for the status of any health or dental claim, or for predetermination of benefits, contact Green Shield directly at:

   Green Shield Canada
   Phone: 1-888-711-1119
   Website: www.greenshield.ca

Step 3. Coordination of Health and Dental Benefits

If you have additional coverage through your spouse/partner’s membership in a health and dental plan, benefits can be coordinated. This means that the church’s plan will be your first payer for a benefit, and any eligible amounts that are left over can be claimed through the other plan you are covered under. The reimbursement from plan coordination will never exceed 100% of allowable expenses.

To coordinate claims, you need to submit the “explanation of benefit” that you receive from the first payer (in your case, from Green Shield), a claim form, and the receipts for the expense to the second plan. Your spouse/partner can do the same, submitting an “explanation of benefit” with receipts to Green Shield.

Eligible children’s expenses should be first submitted to the plan of the parent with the earliest birth date (month/day) in the year.

We recommend that you always make copies of receipts prior to sending them to the insurer.

Accidental Death and Dismemberment

For claims related to AD&D, please contact the United Church Benefits Centre.

Employer Indemnity, Restorative Care Plan (RCP), or Long-Term Disability (LTD) Claims

For claims related to Employer Indemnity, Restorative Care Plan, or Long-Term Disability, please contact the Disability Analyst in the Benefits Centre by calling 1-855-647-8222.

Is there a change in your life that could change your group insurance needs or choices? Consult the documents below to guide you in this matter, or contact the United Church Benefits Centre.

For inquiries about the status of a claim other than health or dental, please contact the United Church Benefits Centre. Please ensure you have your employee number ready when calling.

The United Church Benefits Centre
Toll-Free Phone: 1-855-647-8222
E-mail: benefits@united-church.ca

Please forward written inquiries and completed forms to:

The United Church of Canada
The Benefits Centre
3250 Bloor St. West, Suite 200
Toronto, ON M8X 2Y4

For health and dental claims or detailed coverage inquiries, please contact the Green Shield Canada Customer Service Centre:

Green Shield Canada
Phone: 1-888-711-1119
Website: www.greenshield.ca

For payrolls administered by ADP, confirm insurance information is correct. Check payroll reports to confirm deducted amounts are correct. Report updates and corrections to ADP through the treasurer or payroll administrator’s monthly call. See ADP Payroll Support for further information.

Summary of Coverage

An overview of the benefits plan of the United Church has been designed to answer the most common questions a plan member may have. The booklets below are only a summary of the plan. Please contact us if you have further questions about your coverage.

Restorative Care Plan:

To learn about support for leaves longer than two weeks due to an illness or injury, please consult the Restorative Care Plan Roadmap in the document library.
Go to Restorative Care Plan Roadmap →

Didn’t find what you were looking for? Here are some other Member resources.

Pension Plans

Learn about the benefits, accountability, and initiatives of The Pension Plan of The United Church of Canada.
Pension Plans →

Group Benefits

Learn about health, dental, and life insurance benefits as well as various programs available to members.
Group Benefits →

Retirement

Learn about the Group Benefits for Pensioners Plan and other resources available to retired members of The United Church of Canada.
Retirement →

Document Library

Get access to all Member forms and resources.
Document Library →

We’re here if you need us

Get answers to your pension or benefits questions and find out how to get in touch with us.

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