Benefits Course - Full Day Event

Benefits Course - Full Day Event

April 9, 2015 8:00 AM to 4:00 PMAlberta Teachers' Association, Edmonton, Alberta
Area of Interest: Benefits, Networking Format: In Person

Introduction to Benefits: Presenter – Art Babcock, Vice President, Aon Hewitt

Underwriting Principles: Presenter: Lucien Schulte, FSA, FCIA Associate Vice President Aon Hewitt

Plan Administration: Presenter: Kevin Toner Great West Life

Wellness Strategy: Presenter: Jocelyn Plakas-Lock, Manager Health & Disability Management, ASEBP and Megan Hunter, Health Advisor, ASEBP

Member & Employee Benefits Communications: Presenter: Brian Geislinger, Vice President, Corporate Relations, Alberta Blue Cross

The Value of Data Analytics, Presenter: Mike Sullivan, Cubic Health

Note: Prices listed do not include GST
Fees and Registration
Membership TypesRegular Price
Regular membership$166.67 CDN
Associate$166.67 CDN
Student$57.14 CDN
Non Member$238.10 CDN
Cancellation Policy






8:00 – 8:30


Welcome & Introductions

8:30 – 8:45

Lisa Everitt

Introduction to Benefits

8:45 to 9:45

Art Babcock



9:45 – 10:00


Underwriting Principles

10:00 –11:00

Lucian Schulte


Plan Administration

11:00 – 11:45

Kevin Toner

Great West Life


11:45 – 12:30


Wellness Strategy

12:30 – 1:30

Jocelyn Plakas-Lock &

Megan Hunter - ASEBP


1:30 - 1:45


Member & Employee Benefits Communication

1:45 – 2:45

Brian Geislinger

Alberta Blue Cross


2:45 – 3:00


The Value of Analytics

3:00 – 4:00

Mike Sullivan

Cubic Health

Topic Descriptions:

Introduction to Benefits

In this session we will cover the objectives for having a benefit plan, the plan design process and how to structure and manage you benefit plan as well as the different types of benefit plans available.

Presenter – Art Babcock, MBA, CEBS, Vice President, Aon Hewitt

Art is a vice president with Aon Hewitt in Edmonton. As a member of the Health & Benefits practice, he is responsible for the effective maintenance of current client programs and the development of new business within his area of expertise.
Areas of Specialization
Art's primary focus areas include the design, marketing, implementation and administration of group employee benefit programs. His experience also extends to cost containment strategies, income replacement plan audits, employee assistance plan development and management, defined contribution pension plans and group RRSPs.
Art consults primarily to large public and private sector clients on both a project and an ongoing basis. Among his clients are association groups, educational institutions, municipalities, not-for-profits and primary resource employers. Work assignments have included: group benefits marketing; sick leave, long term disability and employee assistance plan audits; flexible benefits design and plan implementation and cost containment plan design.

Art is a member of the International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists and the Canadian Pension and Benefits Institute. He has instructed benefit courses at the University of Alberta for over 20 years.
Art has been in the insurance industry since 1975 with more than 30 years specializing in the group benefits area. A graduate of the University of Western Ontario and the University of Windsor, he holds degrees in Psychology, Commerce and Business Administration (MBA). Industry education includes the Certified Employee Benefit Specialist (CEBS) designation, the Chartered Life Underwriters (CLU) designation, and the HIAA Certificate in Group Life and Health Insurance. Prior to joining Aon, Art was the Manager of Group Insurance and Pensions for a major life insurance company.

Underwriting Principles

This session will introduce the concepts that go into determining the appropriate premiums to charge for the different components of a benefit plan.  

Presenter: Lucian Schulte,FSA, FCIA Associate Vice President, Aon Hewitt

Lucian is an Associate Vice President in Aon Hewitt’s Health and Benefits practice based in Edmonton, Alberta. His primary responsibilities include client services (consulting and actuarial), relationship building, and training of actuarial colleagues.

Areas of Specialization
Lucian has eight years of industry experience working in an actuarial consulting capacity for both Health/Benefits and Pension clients across Canada. In Alberta, he has worked with several clients providing expertise on plan design, pricing, valuation, actuarial modeling, and forecasting.

Lucian is a graduate of the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Science degree in honors mathematics. He is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries and a Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries. Lucian currently volunteers with the Society of Actuaries e-Learning Assessment Development Team, developing content for the training and development of future actuaries.

Plan Administration

A representative from GWL will provide an comprehensive look at what is required for good plan administration.  Focus will be on managing enrollment information, onboarding new plan members, processing terminations, managing beneficiary designations as well as dependent information.   You will learn what it is you need to know about billing , payroll deductions and contribution splits.  You will get a look inside the GWL plan administration site and the reporting available to help you manage your benefit program.

 Presenter: Kevin Toner, Associate Manager Clint Service, Edmonton Group Sales, Great-West Life

Kevin has almost 25 years of experience in the group benefits industry, always focusing on client service and the final perception.  Kevin earned his Certified Employee Benefits Specialist (CEBS) designation in 2008, helping to give him a professional appreciation for the benefits world outside of Great-West Life.   

As Associate Manager of Client Service, Kevin is responsible for the overall service of group clients with more complex benefit plans.  Examples of his current clients will include mixed funding plans, association plans, union plans, electronic enrollment, health spending accounts, and all of our specialty group products.  He maintains relationships with the client’s benefit administrators to ensure the overall non-financial experience of the benefit plan is as good as it can be.  

Wellness Strategy

Prevention is the key to managing health costs.  Benefit plan sponsors have been hearing that mantra for years.  But do Wellness programs work and what is the return on investment?  This session will demonstrate how having a Wellness Strategy is assisting Alberta’s Education workers with management of their benefits plan.

Co-Presenters: Jocelyn Plakas-Lock, Manager Health & Disability Management, ASEBP and Megan Hunter, Health Advisor, ASEBP

Jocelyn Plakas-Lock is the Manager of Health & Disability Management Services at ASEBP, and has been with ASEBP since 2010.   Jocelyn has previously worked in the charitable and public sectors, including as a Psychological Assistant in a medium security federal penitentiary, in a variety of roles within the Substance Abuse and Corrections program at Catholic Social Services, and various positions within Special Olympics Alberta.  Jocelyn has a Bachelor of Science with Specialization in Psychology (industrial internship, with distinction) from the University of Alberta and a Masters of Social Science (Human Services) from the Queensland University of Technology. 

Megan Hunter has worked with the Alberta School Employee Benefit Plan as a Health Advisor since 2012.  Megan has a passion for communicating how health is impacted by individual behaviours and work/ life decisions that we make.  Megan brings with her a wealth of program experience within a variety of health promotion settings, including recreation, local and international summer camp associations, education and fitness. Her educational background supports her enthusiasm for workplace wellness and health promotion. 

 Megan has a Bachelor of Physical Activity (Healthy Living, Lifestyle and Wellbeing) from the University of Alberta.  She also holds a Multiple Subjects California Teaching Credential from Sonoma State University and has completed and maintained her CanFitPro Group Exercise certification with Advanced Module training.  Her experience and expertise led to the opportunity to become an author of ASEBP’s Self-Directed Wellness Guide and Workbook. Her latest pursuit includes working towards certification as an Exercise Physiologist.  Outside of work, you will find this outdoor enthusiast kiteboarding, snowboarding, participating in ½ marathons and/ or traveling the world!

Member & Employee Benefits Communications

For the lay person benefits can be complicated.  How do plan sponsors communicate the nuances of their benefit plans to their employees?  This session will explore member & employee engagement through effective communications from the perspective of one of the largest benefits carriers in Alberta.

Presenter: Brian Geislinger, Vice President, Corporate Relations, Alberta Blue Cross

As Vice President of Corporate Relations, Brian oversees the Alberta Blue Cross Corporate Communications and Customer Services departments as well as corporate sponsorships and community engagement initiatives. He has been with Alberta Blue Cross for nearly 20 years, and has prior communications experience in both the provincial health care sector and the federal government.

The Value of Data Analytics

Every year in Canada billions of dollars’ worth of claims are being paid by our benefit plans.  What is the data behind those transactions telling us about the health of our plans and the health of our members?  What are the cost drivers within your plan? What are the biggest threats to your specific plan over the next 36 months? What impact are investments in health benefits having on our disability experience?  Where should we be focusing our limited resources allocated to health and wellness? What is causing your plan to lose effectiveness?

In this session you will learn what data is available to plan sponsors that they do not normally seen, and how that data can be used to optimize member health as well as the investments made in employee health benefits.  The goal of the session is to provide the audience with ideas with respect to how they can ensure that plans are sustainable moving forward as we enter a very challenge period of benefit cost containment, and that resources are allocated to areas that will produce the greatest returns for both plans and their members.

Presenter, Mike Sullivan, Cubic Health

Mike Sullivan co‐founded Cubic Health in 2003, and currently serves as the company’s President. Cubic Health is an independent health plan analytics and prescription drug plan management company based in Toronto. Cubic Health works with Canadian employers, plan advisors, provincial/territorial governments, insurance carriers, plan administrators, and service providers to optimize investments made in employee health benefits. Mike began his career as a community pharmacist in Saskatoon, and has previous experience working in the pharmaceutical and benefits consulting industries. He continues to maintain an active license to practice with the Ontario College of Pharmacists. Mike is a member of Benefits Canada’s Online Expert Panel, and serves as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Waterloo and the University of Toronto where he teaches in the areas of Management and Personal & New Venture Financial Management. Mike graduated from the College of Pharmacy at the University of Saskatchewan, and completed his Master of Business Administration degree from the Schulich School of Business at York University where he specialized in Finance.

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