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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for the Group Insurance Advisor

By: Benefits by Design | Wednesday January 4, 2017

Updated : Friday December 11, 2020

Employee benefits can be complicated. 

That’s why BBD works with independent advisors who specialize in group benefits. Independent advisors recommend solutions from different companies to ensure that Canadian employers have access to the group insurance products that are the best fit for their company.

As an independent Advisor, we want to ensure you have the answers to some of our frequently asked questions below. Just because it’s not here doesn’t mean it’s not a common question – if there’s something missing, just let us know!

Download our complete Advisor FAQ (PDF 88.0 KB) here.

Benefits Available

What group insurance products does Benefits by Design (BBD) Inc. offer?

BBD has a fairly extensive product shelf for you to work with! Help your clients design an employee benefits plan with any of the following benefits:

We also have individual insurance offerings. 

Does BBD offer stand-alone coverage for certain insurance products?

Yes, as long as the benefit plan includes at least $100 in insured monthly premium, we offer these products on a stand-alone basis (underwriting review may be required):

  • Extended Health Care (EHC)
  • Dental Insurance (*available for groups with 10+ participating)
  • Critical Illness Insurance (CI)
  • Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
  • Diagnostic Specialist Access Insurance (DSAI)
  • Expatriate Insurance
  • We also offer Health Care Spending Accounts (HCSA), Wellness Spending Accounts (WSA) and Combination Spending Accounts under our Standalone® product line. These products have no minimum premium requirements and are available to groups as small as one person.

My client has just opened a new business. Is this company eligible for group benefit coverage?

In order to be eligible for group benefit coverage, groups must have been in business for a minimum of 1 year.

However, our Standalone® product line has no such stipulations and is a viable solution for groups with part-time or seasonal employees. Alternatively, individual health and dental options are available through Health Assist™.

Does a Green Shield Canada (GSC) Health Care Spending Account (HCSA) require a security deposit at time of sale?

Yes, BBD requires a security deposit equal to two months of anticipated claims as well administration fees and applicable taxes (three months is required if the plan is not set up for Pre-Authorized Debit payments). This deposit is fully refunded if the HCSA arrangement is discontinued, and is not applied to the first months HCSA claims paid.

Employees Working Abroad

Does BBD have a benefits solution for my client who has Canadian employees working abroad?

For Canadian companies who send Canadians to work abroad, we can provide Medical, Dental & Vision plans to 1 or more employees and all-inclusive packages for groups with 3 or more expatriates. Includes war risk coverage. No medical underwriting and no pre-existing condition exclusions.

My Canadian client has a division based out of the USA who is looking for benefits. Does BBD have a solution?

BBD has a partnership with Havern. For Canadian companies who want to provide benefits to their US employees/affiliates, Havern can help you out! This large US brokerage is licensed to do business in all the United States and will work with you to customize and administer the US benefits plan.


What is the smallest group size BBD will quote?

We’re proud to support small Canadian businesses. 

For a fully-insured plan,  we do require a minimum of three* (3) employees insured for all quoted benefits. It’s group insurance, after all! (It’s okay if someone waives health and dental coverage – we’ll insure as few as two (2) lives for these benefits).

However, we do have options for groups smaller than three lives. Surprised? Don’t be! 


Our Standalone product line provides a Health Care Spending Account (HCSA), Wellness Spending Account (WSA), or a combination of the two with no minimum number of employees, hours worked, or premium requirements. In fact, the only requirement is that the group be an incorporated business.

Health Assist™

Health Assist offers varying levels of individual health and dental coverage through two products: LINK and ZONE.

What is BBD’s standard turnaround time for quotes?

We have a hard-working New Business team dedicated to providing you with quality, competitive quotes. Give us 5 – 6 business days, and it’s yours.

Plan Setup

What is the minimum premium required for a fully-insured plan?

To quote a fully-insured benefit plan, we require a minimum of $100 of insured premium.

What are BBD’s minimum participation requirements?

For a fully-insured plan, our participation requirements are as follows:

3 – 9 employees: 100% participation (for non-contributory or compulsory plans.)

10+ employees: At least 75% participation of eligible employees is required (for contributory plans.)

How does BBD’s stop-loss work?

  • Our standard stop-loss limit is $10,000 per individual;
  • Health claims in excess of $10,000 are removed from claims experience when we establish renewal rates;
  • Stop-loss applies to in-country claims and all out-of-country claims are pooled from 1st dollar;
  • Levels don’t change based on the number of insured lives;
  • Covers all health expenses;
  • Pre-existing conditions don’t affect stop-loss coverage.

How many hours per week must an employee work to be eligible for coverage?

For a Fully-Insured plan, employees must work a minimum of 20 hours per week to be eligible for coverage.

However, our Standalone® product line has no such stipulations and is a viable solution for groups with part-time or seasonal employees.

What are BBD’s family content regulations?

Groups with more than 50% of employees from the same family may be subject to medical underwriting.

Download our complete Advisor FAQ.

Advisor FAQ (PDF 88.0 KB)