Rules and protocol vary from provider to provider, which often leads to confusion when there is a maternity, leave-of-absence or reinstatement, but below are some general guidelines.
Terminations: The date an employee is no longer active, (via termination or layoff) they are considered terminated from the benefit plan.
If the termination date was missed, the longest the insurance carrier will backdate a termination is typically 60-days. Anything longer, the company is responsible to pay these premiums.
If an employee terminates and is rehired, they can be reinstated on the benefit plan with no waiting period applied within 31-days to three months from the effective date of their termination. (This time line can vary by contract) If the employee is away longer than three months and is re-hired, then the employee is required to complete a new enrolment form, serve the waiting period and be treated as a new hire. Please note that employer always has the right to waive the waiting period so the employee becomes effective their date of re-hire.
If an employee is temporarily laid off or on a leave of absence, insurance may be continued for the following maximum periods, provided premium continues to be paid. (Note varies per contract).
- Life Insurance can be continued up to six months from the date of termination
- Long Term Disability may be continued up to 1-month from the date of termination. There is no continuation of the disability benefit due to lay off.
- Short Term Disability may be continued up to 1-month from the date of termination.
- All other benefits may be continued for up to 6-months from date of termination.
Maternity/Paternity leaves are restricted by existing provincial government guidelines; however, in general, the employer has three choices:
- Continue all coverage for duration of leave (premiums must continue to be paid)
- Continue all benefit coverage, except disability (premiums must continue to be paid)
- Extend no coverage
In all cases, the employer’s actions must be consistent applying the same decisions equally to all employees within the same classification as described in the benefit details of the contract
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