Benefits Plan Members

The purpose of this information on this page is to outline the benefits for which you are eligible as an employee of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada and its affiliated organizations.

Plan Member Q&A


What is YMPE and how does it relate to the new benefits plan and eligibility?


YMPE stands for Yearly Maximum Pensionable Earnings and is set annually by Canada Revenue Agency. This is the limit of earnings on which contributions can be made to the Canada Pension Plan each year. GSI uses YMPE as a way to determine eligibility for the ELCIC pension and benefits plans. This marker was chosen as it is updated annually and set independently of GSI. Our policies require that employees earn at least 25% of YMPE for plan membership. This minimum threshold will remain the same when the redesign takes effect.


How does housing allowance fit into the eligibility calculation?


GSI uses “Salary Basis” as a defined term to establish eligibility. Salary Basis includes base salary and housing allowance. We realize that clergy have the option to deduct the value of their residence from income to calculate income tax and Canada Pension Plan contributions.  This is unrelated to the ELCIC pension and benefits plans eligibility formula. GSI’s policies do not use taxable income for eligibility.  

ELCIC Group Benefits Plan

GSI supports plan members in leading healthy lives and achieving financial security.

This is accomplished by providing comprehensive extended health, dental and travel benefits, as well as a generous life and disability insurance program and an employee and family assistance plan (counselling and support services).

Group benefits are important not only for the financial assistance they offer, but also for the security and peace of mind they provide for you and your family should unforeseen needs arise. It is your responsibility to understand the benefits and to put them to the best possible use.

Health Benefits Design changes for January 1, 2021

The GSI Board is introducing Modular Health Benefits as part of the ELCIC Group Benefits Plan. Here is a summary of the design for each module. More information on specific coverage is in each section below.

Benefits Chart Blue Green Teal

Benefits Chart BGT with Comparison to current plan

Note that current health and dental benefits will remain the same until these changes take effect in 2021.

Policies of Note

Enrollment Policy Changes

ELCIC Group Benefits Plan – Administrative Changes for 2021

The GSI Board has reviewed the Benefits Plan for equity both between Rostered (R) and Non-Rostered (NR) employees and between members either under or over age 65. These changes are effective January 1, 2021.

Reference New Provision Previous Plan Provision
Health + Dental All employees meeting eligibility will be required to enroll in a health + dental module. Employees meeting eligibility with spouses also having a work benefits plan were allowed to waive their health + dental coverage.
all benefits

NR vs R

All employees will be required to meet and maintain minimum earnings of 25% of YMPE* (no hours test) Non-Rostered employees also had to meet an hours test of 20 hours per week to qualify for benefits
Travel All active plan members will have the travel benefit (included in each module) Member aged 65+ did not have the travel benefit

*YMPE – Years’ Maximum Pensionable Earnings (as defined by Canada Revenue Agency)

Module Changes Policy

Changing Modules

Question: Can a plan member change their module selection after the initial January 2021 choice is made?

Answer: Yes! There are times when a member may change their module selection.

  1. When there is a life event, a member may choose any other module. Eligible life events are:
    • becoming a parent or when a dependent is no longer eligible as they attain age 21 or 25 if a full-time student;
    • a change in marital status
    • a change in co-ordination of benefits (i.e., your Spouse either gains or loses their employment health benefit plan).

Note: that the request for change must occur within 31 days from the event.

Certain events will not qualify; some examples are: becoming disabled or starting a new Call at another participating employer (member needs to continue in their previous selection when benefits are reinstated).

  1. Annual re-enrollment on January 1st, where members can make a new selection to move to an adjacent module.

Members should also be aware that their claims history will be carried forward. This means that benefits with coverage maximums that are greater than one year such as vision care (24 months) will not reset with the redesign nor when a different module is selected at a later date.

Coordination of Benefits

Coordination of Benefits

Coordination of Benefits means that Manulife Financial will take into account coverage under a spousal benefits plan when determining the amount of expenses payable under the ELCIC Group Benefits Plan. This process allows for reimbursement of insured medical and dental expenses from all plans up to a total of 100% of the actual expense incurred.

The “Primary Carrier” is responsible for making the initial payment towards the eligible expense and the “Secondary Carrier” is responsible for making the payment to cover the remaining eligible expense. The Primary Carrier makes the payment for their own member first, then the any remaining balance must be submitted to the Secondary Carrier. Where both Spouses have a plan, the Primary Carrier for their Dependent Children is the Spouse with the first birthday in a calendar year. Please refer to the GSI website for information on other unique circumstances.


Submitting a Claim

When submitting claims where Coordination of Benefits applies, please refer to these guidelines:

  • determine which Plan is the Primary Carrier and the Secondary Carrier;
  • submit all necessary claim forms and original receipts to the Primary Carrier;
  • keep a photocopy of each receipt or ask the Primary Carrier to return the original receipts to you once your claim has been settled;
  • once the Primary Carrier has settled your claim, you will receive a statement outlining how your claim has been handled. Submit this statement along with all necessary claim forms and receipts to the Secondary Carrier for further consideration of payment, if applicable.

Manulife Vitality™ Program

Manulife Mobile App

The Manulife Mobile App can help you:

  • submit your claims
  • review recent claims and payment information
  • find health care providers in your area
  • search My Drug Plan to find the lowest cost alternative
  • pharmacy saving search (find places to get your prescriptions for less)

Download the Manulife App from Google Play or Apple app store. Search Manulife and select the “Group Benefits Mobile”.

Health Care Benefits

Extended Health & Vision

Dental Care

Health Care and Lifestyle Spending Accounts

Travel Health

Critical Illness

Additional Information

Policy Information

Insurance Contact & Claim Info

Supported Absence Benefits

Parental Leave Policy

Short-term Disability

Long-term Disability

Life Insurance Benefits

LIfe Insurance