Shop under fire for insurance cancellation

by Paul Lucas07 Mar 2016
Health insurance is at the centre of a dispute at an Edmonton-based machine shop.

Staff at Chips (2002) Inc. have hit out at their employer as they allege that it had cancelled their health insurance policy without informing them, while they continued to pay on a benefit plan for several months.

According to shop foreman Troy Beattie, he believed that he would receive disability payments when he was forced off the job for a two-month period due to knee surgery last summer. Indeed it was even confirmed by his insurer, Great West Life, that he would be issued cheques “shortly”. However, the cheques did not actually arrive. When he called the insurance company he was told that he would have to take the issue up with his employer.

Beattie, an employee at Chips for seven years, was then told by his employer that his problem would be addressed and that he would receive the money: in the meantime, he continued to make payments into his benefit plan.

However, in October, his second claim was rejected and he was told “expenses incurred after termination of insurance are not covered”: despite the fact that his claim date was June 29. When Beattie raised the issue he claims that Chips acknowledged the fact that his benefits were cancelled and deductions stopped.

Speaking to CBC, owner Wayne Rutherford commented that a downturn prompted the cancellation of benefits – and the continued deductions were due to an “administration error”. He stated that all money would be reimbursed to employees.

Meanwhile, several employees at Chips are reported to have made, or be in the process of making, complaints with Employment Standards.