Are you aware?

 

The information contained in the following items was accurate when edited.

Since the rates and conditions may be modified over the years, and furthermore since the Retirement and Benefits plans are different for each individual, depending on the retirement date and the options chosen, we recommend that you verify with the appropriate provider what applies in your case.

 

 

  1. Retirement Date and Health Care Coverage
  2. Public Prescription Drug Insurance Plan at Age 65
  3. Information on your Benefits
  4. Income Taxes and Provincial Drug Plan
  5. Reimbursement for Medical Supplies/Services not covered by RAMQ
  6. Vision Care Reimbursement
  7. Brand Name or Generic?
  8. Annual Statement
  9. Moving Outside of Quebec
  10. Transition Benefit
  11. Proof of Identification - Bell Discount
  12. Changes in your Coordinates
  13. Surviving Spouses and BPG

 

 

1-   Retirement Date and Health Care Coverage

We would like to remind you that the conditions for health care protection differ depending on when you took (or take) your retirement.

Significant changes to health care coverage came into effect on the following dates:

  • Before July 1, 2000
  • Between July 1, 2000 and December 31, 2011
  • Between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2016
  • After January 1, 2017, no benefits will be granted by the company

 

In addition, coverage (medical, optical and dental care) and termination dates vary depending on the date of retirement.

Examples:

  • If you retired before January 1, 2012, your coverage will remain active until the moment of your death.
  • If you retired between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2016, optical care and dental care are no longer covered and your coverage ends when you turn 65.
  • If you retired after January 1, 2017, no health plan will be available. You will have to register for the RAMQ (Régie de l’Assurance Maladie du Québec, or Quebec Health Insurance Board).

Since retirees have taken their pensions on different dates, it is everyone's responsibility to know their coverage.

 

2-   Public Prescription Drug Insurance Plan

 

 REMINDER

The conditions of health care protection differ depending on when you took (or take) your retirement.

The following text is intended for retirees who retired before December 31, 2011. Retirees who left (or will leave) between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2016, will have to join the RAMQ for drug coverage since their protection will end when they turn 65 years old.

 

Drug expenses at age 65

Every year, we receive many questions about the drug coverage offered by Manulife (Emergis) and the RAMQ Plan, when we turn 65.

Here are the important points to remember:

  • At age 65, the vast majority of Bell retirees must join the RAMQ Drug Plan because the company's health plan is a complementary private plan.
  • At the pharmacy, the RAMQ becomes the first payer while the Company's Health Care Program becomes the 2nd payer, for example for the part of the expenses not reimbursed by the public plan. (as long as you have a balance in your plan).
  • You must pay the annual RAMQ drug plan premium by completing Schedule K of your tax return.

 

Here are more detailed explanations:

 

If you (the pensioner) are under age 65 and your spouse is 65 years of age or older

Your spouse has automatically been covered by the RAMQ drug plan since she/he was 65, unless:

  • you have chosen to purchase equivalent drug coverage under the Company's Retirees' Medical Expense Reimbursement Plan and you are paying the required premium; or
  • your spouse has provided a certificate of protection under another plan.

 

When you (the pensioner) turn 65

You and your eligible dependents are automatically covered under the RAMQ's drug plan.

However, you have 31 days from the date of your 65th birthday to decide to take out equivalent drug coverage under the Medical Expense Reimbursement Plan (the decision is yours).

If you choose to keep RAMQ coverage, your dependents will automatically be covered by this plan. It should be noted that:

  • It does not affect the rest of the coverage provided by the Company's Medical Expense Reimbursement Plan (medical and dental care). You will also continue, if applicable, to pay the premiums for dependents covered under Plan B (for retirees since July 1, 2000).

 

How does it work?

 

Registration

Six (6) months before your 65th birthday, the RAMQ will send you a notice confirming your registration.

The annual premium

The amount of the annual premium is determined according to your income and your personal or family situation. To calculate it, when you file your tax return, you must complete Schedule K of the Revenu Québec return. Unless you are covered by private insurance equivalent to the Public Plan (through your spouse, for example), you must pay your annual premium by completing Schedule K of your tax return (even if you do not use any drugs).

 

The contribution to the purchase of medicines: the deductible, co-insurance and the maximum monthly contribution

Every month, when someone buys covered drugs, they pay the first part of the cost. This is the deductible.

Once the deductible is paid, the person assumes only a portion (that is, a percentage) of the cost of the covered drugs. This is called co-insurance.

There is a maximum amount that a person can pay per month for covered drugs. This is the maximum monthly contribution. This amount includes deductibles and co-insurance.

Here are the RAMQ costs as of July 1, 2015 (these costs are revised annually on July 1)

 

-For those over 65, no Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS)

When filing the annual income tax return (Schedule K)

The annual bonus: between $ 0 and 640

 

-At the drugstore

The monthly deductible: $ 18.00

Coinsurance: 34%

The maximum contribution: $ 85.75 / month - $ 1029.00 / year

 

Note:

 Manulife will reimburse you 90% * or 80% ** of the deductible and co-insurance, as long as you have a balance in your Health Care Plan ($ 50,000 * or $ 75,000 **)

* if retired before 1 July 2000

** if retired between July 1, 2000 and December 31, 2016

 

For more information please contact:

- The Benefits Administrator: 1-888-400-0661

- Health Care Program (Manulife Financial): 1-800-268-6195

- RAMQ drug insurance: 514-864-3411 (Montreal), 418-646-4636 (Quebec), 1-800-561-9749 (elsewhere in Quebec, toll-free) or visit:

http://www.ramq.gouv.qc.ca/en/citizens/prescription-drug-insurance/Pages/prescription-drug-insurance.aspx

 

 

 

  • 3- Information on your Benefits

The new Bell Benefits website is now online. It has been revamped and sports a whole new look. More user-friendly, the new home page provides quick access to plan provisions, reimbursement forms and the Manulife site.

Changes to the website do not change your coverage in any way.

You continue to access the site using your current username and password and from the same address: https://www.benefits-avantages.hroffice.com/

 

  • 4- Provincial Tax and Drug Insurance at age 65

If you are 65 years of age and over, you must be registered with the Québec Drug Insurance Plan. Please remember that our plan with Bell is a COMPLEMENTARY private plan.

Therefore, unless you have private insurance equivalent to the government plan, e.g. through your spouse, etc., you must pay your annual premium.

The premium is collected each year by Revenu Québec when filing the tax return.

The amount to be paid is based on the person's net family income. The maximum amount of the premium is adjusted on July 1st of each year. Those who pay the public plan premium must complete Schedule K of their income tax return.

For more information please consult the RAMQ website on the following link: http://www.ramq.gouv.qc.ca/en/citizens/prescription-drug-insurance/Pages/annual-premium.aspx

or by calling 514-864-3411 (Montréal), 418-646-4636 (Québec) or 1-800-561-9749 (Elsewhere in Québec).

 

 

 

Many pensioners do not realize that they are entitled to be reimbursed for medical supplies and services that are not covered by the Quebec Health Insurance Plan (RAMQ).

Here are a few examples of reimbursable medical supplies and services:

  • Initial purchase of braces, canes, crutches, surgical corsets, trusses, and other minor equipment and appliances
  • Purchase of incontinence pads, diapers and other supplies medically required due to severe illness, disease or injury
  • Initial purchase of a glucometer when prescribed by a physician
  • Purchase of up to 4 pairs of elastic stockings per year when medically necessary
  • Purchase of one wig per lifetime when prescribed due to chemotherapy

The foregoing list is a brief summary. Also there may be differences between the different plans (retired before July 2000, Plan A and Plan B, retired after July 1st, 2000).

If you have questions on your admissibility to medical supplies and services, as well as on the documents required to justify your claims, we recommend that you contact Manulife at 1-800-749-5953.

 

If you retired before July 2000:

The Vision Care Reimbursement Plan reimburses for eye exams and the purchase of prescription eye glasses or contact lenses to a maximum of $75 every 24 months.

 

If you retired after July 2000 but before January 1st, 2012:

Plan A does not provide for any reimbursement.

 

Plan B reimburses 100% of admissible vision care expenses, up to a maximum of $150 per insured person per 24 months.

 

If you retired between January 1st 2012 and December 31st 2016:

Vision care is not covered.

 

If you retire after January 1st 2017:

Insurance benefits are not provided by the Company.

 

 

For as long as a medication maintains its original patent, Manulife will reimburse you for this medication.

When a generic medication becomes available, only the cost of generic medication will be reimbursed UNLESS your physician indicates that the brand name (originally patented) medication is necessary.  Obtain the procedure to follow from Manulife (1-800-749-5953)  for such cases.

It is recommended that generic medication be used when they are available. This medication will be less costly, and you will avoid reimbursement problems.

 

 

8-   Annual statement of benefits at retirement

 

In January of each year, since 2005, the Benefits Group has sent you a statement listing the pension and other benefits to which you are entitled as Bell retiree, beneficiary or survivor of a former employee.

Your statement is based on data from your personal file. It is important to check the information in the document and if there is any discrepancy, contact the Benefits Administrator.

The last section of the document provides a list of contacts.

We recommend that you keep the document for future reference.

 

9-  If you move from Québec to another province

There is a period, which could be up to 3 months, where you probably will not be covered for some medical care. Before moving, it is therefore essential to inform the RAMQ and the health services of the province where you are moving to know the effect on your medical coverage.

If you leave Quebec permanently to establish yourself elsewhere in Canada or in another country, you cease to be covered by the Quebec health insurance plan. You must take certain steps before leaving Québec and upon arrival in your province or host country.

 

Settling elsewhere in Canada

If you settle elsewhere in Canada, you must report your departure to the Régie and return your health insurance card.

You cease to be covered by the Quebec health insurance plan on the 1st day of the 3rd month following the date of your arrival. If you decide to settle in another Canadian province while you are staying, without returning to Québec, you cease to be covered on the 1st day of the 3rd month following the date on which you decided to settle in that province .

Between the date of your arrival and the date on which you cease to be covered by the Québec health insurance plan, you benefit from services covered outside Québec.

 

Settling outside Canada

If you are settling outside Canada, you must report your departure to the Régie and return your health insurance card. You cease to be covered by the Quebec health insurance plan from the day of your departure.

If you decide to settle in another country while you are there, and do not return to Quebec, you cease to be covered from the day you decide to settle in that country.

Please consult the RAMQ website for more information: http://www.ramq.gouv.qc.ca/en/life-events/taking-up-residence-outside-quebec/Pages/health-insurance.aspx

 

 

 

10-Transition Benefit

IMPORTANT:  The Transition Benefit is applicable only to the pensioners who retired prior to July 1st, 2000.

The Transition Benefit is a death benefit payable upon your death and the benefit amount depends on your retirement date. The beneficiary for the Transition Benefit is automatically your spouse, with priority given to your common-law spouse/same sex partner. If you don't have a spouse the benefit is paid to your dependent children.  Other financially dependent individuals could be eligible under certain circumstances. Otherwise, no benefit is paid.

The first $10 000 is tax free, but anything over this amount is taxable in the hands of the beneficiary if applicable.

Refer to your latest Benefits at Retirement Statement that Bell sends you at the beginning of each year for the amount your beneficiary is entitled to receive in your particular case.  For further information call the Bell Benefits Administrator at 1-888-400-0661.

 

 

 

 

11- Proof of Identification - Bell Discount

Bell no longer issues pensioner identification cards.

Bell suggests that pensioners who wish to obtain hotel or car rental discounts, use the blue BCE Assure/Emergis card (the one used at the pharmacy), if you are asked for proof of identification.

 

12- Changes in your Coordinates

Please note that there is no exchange of information between the Bell Benefits Administrator (1-888-400-0661) and the BPG. You must communicate with both organizations to inform them of changes in your coordinates or of a death.

For the members of the BPG Montreal Chapter

  • By Internet:
    Complete the change of address form under the CONTACT UStab
     
  • By e-mail:  [email protected]
  • By mail:
    BPG Montréal
    CP 99076 CP du Tremblay
    Longueuil, Québec  J4N 0A5

  • By telephone:  514-382-9969

 

13- Surviving Spouses and BPG

Surviving spouses of BPG members may retain membership in the Bell Pensioners Group and continue to receive our newsletters as well as attend BPG meetings.

Simply Email us at [email protected] or call the BPG line at 514-382-9969 for details.

 

 

 

 



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