It is renewal season for all Johnsons’ Medoc and Prestige policy holders. Both Medoc and Prestige Travel eliminated premiums for several months but continued to provide coverage. By now you should have received information which describes the resumption of premiums. The coming ‘policy year’ will be a shortened 8-month ‘policy year’ running from January 1, 2021 to August 31, 2021. The policy year beginning September 1, 2021 is planned to be a return to the standard 12-month policy year.
Remember that both travel programs provide a policy year’s coverage for any number of trips up to the maximum days in that plan. You cannot treat these plans as single trip plans and just purchase coverage for the months you will travel.
Both Medoc and Prestige Travel provide up to $5 million of emergency medical coverage and include medical coverage for COVID-19 incidents. Other insurance companies, some working with airlines, offer COVID coverage but be aware that they have much lower maximums.
It is important to know that both Medoc and Prestige include trip cancellation and interruption for most reasons but there is an exclusion for COVID-19. You have medical coverage if you get COVID while travelling, but do not have trip cancellation, trip interruption or trip delay coverage before or during your trip if the claim is directly or indirectly related to COVID-19. However, many airlines, hotels and package trips have much more favorable policies about cancelling vacations and refunding deposits at the last minute than they had pre-COVID-19.
NEW CONDITIONS FOR BCRTA MEMBERS
BCRTA has worked with Johnson Insurance to reduce the usual restrictions on re-enrolling should you choose not to travel for a period of time.
If you wish to cancel your travel coverage because you are not traveling outside of BC in the coming days, here is what you need to know:
Medoc – You have until March 5, 2021 to cancel or to submit your health option questionnaire to receive reduced rates. If you cancel, and then decide that it is safe to travel again, you can rejoin at any time without paying back premiums.
Prestige – You may cancel the Travel portion of your Prestige coverage and continue with EHC benefits. Previously, if you cancelled Prestige Travel you were not eligible to rejoin for 2 years. Johnson has eased this requirement for this year only. If you wish to cancel Prestige Travel you can rejoin at any time however you will be subject to a one-time 90-day stability clause when you rejoin.
- This 90-day period would apply to any trip that is taken during the first 90 days of coverage after rejoining the plan. For any trip taken during the first 90 days of that policy, only medical conditions that were stable in the 90 days prior to departure would be covered.
- Once those 90 days pass, coverage reverts to the sudden and unforeseen wording for any trips taken later in the year, or for any renewal in the future as long as you remain in the plan.
- There are no other application requirements.
Suggestion: plan ahead and re-enroll in Prestige at least 90 days before your trip begins so that the 90-day stability clause period has expired, and you are covered by the sudden and unforeseen language.
BCRTA continues to work with our partner Johnson Insurance to provide reliable and appropriate coverage options for our members. For those of us who are not insurance professionals, all the terminology can get a bit overwhelming. That’s why our MEDOC and Prestige programs are supported by “Best Friend Advice” by knowledgeable service providers.
To clarify any questions you have, we encourage you to contact the BC office of Johnson Insurance:
Chair, Pensions and Benefits Committee
Johnson Representative Lisa Hansen shares an update on insurance offerings for BCRTA Members from Johnson. (Note: Image below is from past conference)
Each year the insurance providers review the claims history and premiums of our Prestige EHC and Travel Plan to maintain sustainability for the plan. This is also a time to confirm that our members’ claims are addressed promptly and completely. Based on our claims history, we negotiate rates with our insurance providers with a view to maintain a high service level at the best rates possible. BCRTA and the Plan Administrator, Johnson Inc. have completed the annual renewal process for the Prestige plan renewing on September 1, 2019. We found that in the past year claims from members were covered. We also found that there has also been a sharp increase in claim amounts, including several very significant claims. Below is a summary of the changes that may be of interest to you.
We continue to see growth in our Johnson EHC with Prestige Plan and now have over 1,700 members enrolled. This growth is welcome because it helps spread the risk when our plan faces large claims. This past year there were three very large claims and the good news is that these claims were all paid. However, it is reasonable to assume that we will continue to see large claims and so to protect the plan into the future the premiums have increased about $20 per member per month.
As a result of requests from BCRTA members we have made the following enhancements to the Prestige program this year:
- Vaccines ($100 per calendar year)
- Updated language was introduced into the clauses addressing the exclusion for emotional and mental disorders. This takes a more modern approach to covering such conditions. Mental and emotional disorders would require a subsequent consultation and a diagnosis in order to be covered and would also need to meet the plan’s stability requirements, when applicable.
The changes above are in addition to the enhancements that were negotiated for the Prestige program last year:
- Any number of trips within Canada, outside of your province or territory of residence, can be of an unlimited duration under the Base Plan
- Trip cancellation/Trip Interruption benefits for trips within your province or territory of residence
- Increased Replacement of Lost Documents benefit – up to $500 (previously $200)
- Added Flight Accident [$100,000] & Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) [$25,000] benefits
- Added Non-Medical Emergency Evacuation – up to $5,000
- Increased travel maximum – $5,000,000 per person per year (previously $2,000,000 lifetime maximum)
- Increased Trip Cancellation benefit – $8,000 per person per trip (previously $6,000 per person per trip)
- Added Baggage & Personal Effects coverage – $1,500 person/$3,000 family
- Increased Vehicle Return benefit – up to $5,000 (previously $2,500)
RATE CHANGES EFFECTIVE SEPTEMBER 1
All plans are negotiated on an annual basis. We are working to keep premium rates as low as possible while continuing to provide comprehensive coverage that provides the best value for our members. As a result of the negotiations, there will be increases to the Prestige Travel with Extended Health Care plan. There is no increase for single or couple members of the Johnson Dental Plan and a 1.2% increase for members who are on the Johnson EHC-only plan.
Rates for Johnson EHC and Prestige Travel
|Current Rates||Rates effective Sept. 2019|
Our sincere appreciation goes to the members who provide ideas and feedback on how to improve our plan. The significant improvements we have made to the plan over the past several years are credit to your involvement. We encourage you to visit the BCRTA website www.bcrta.ca, and attend your local branch meetings to see your ideas in action. These are your plans, designed specifically for the needs of retired teachers.
For complete details on BCRTA’s insurance offerings, see bcrta.johnson.ca or contact Johnson Inc at 1.844.303.5428.
With a Johnson scholarship behind you, you have everything in front of you. Since 1998, the Johnson scholarship program has awarded over $1,000,000 in scholarships and academic grants to students across Canada.
The 2018 Johnson Scholarship Program is open and applications are available.
Who May Apply
To apply, applicants must be:
- a resident of a province or territory of Canada;
- completing high school in 2018; and,
- enrolled full-time for the fall 2018 academic term at a recognized Canadian post-secondary institution or Cegep (if living in the province of Quebec).
Applicants must also fall into one of the following categories:
- have a home or auto policy through Johnson;
- be a member/employee of a Johnson recognized group*;
- have a parent/guardian or grandparent who has a home or auto policy through Johnson;
- have a parent/guardian or grandparent who is a member/employee of a Johnson recognized group*, and has a home or auto policy or group benefit plan through Johnson;
- have a parent/guardian or grandparent who is a member/employee of a Johnson recognized group*, but does not have a home or auto policy or group benefit plan through Johnson; or
- be a child/grandchild of a Johnson employee.
Online Application Form
Applications shall be submitted on the completion of the applicant’s graduating year of high school.
Completed application forms must be submitted by August 31, 2018 and must include an official high school transcript of your final year marks.
Please see the online application form to obtain full requirements and submission instructions.
Johnson will award 50 scholarships each valued at $1,000 to students attending a post-secondary educational institution in Canada in the fall of 2018.
Selection and Announcement of Winners
An independent selection committee is retained to review and evaluate all applications and identify the successful candidates for 2018. Please note that the decision of the selection committee is final and not subject to appeal. Selection of successful applicants will be completed by October 31, 2018.
For More Information
If you require further information, please call toll free 1-866-544-2673 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
*A Johnson “recognized group” means an employer group, professional association, alumni association, union or other group that has an insurance program agreement currently in force with Johnson.
BC Retired Teachers’ Association
550 West 6th Avenue, Suite 100
Vancouver, BC V5Z 4P2
Toll Free 1.877.683.2243