Benefit Plan Evolution

1978 Life, LTD and AD&D Plan implemented (carriers – Mutual Life and IA Pacific)
1980 Dental Plan implemented (carrier – Alberta Blue Cross)
1981 STD Plan implemented (carrier – Mutual Life)
1983 Supplementary Health Plan investigated (not implemented)
1986 Life and LTD Plans marketed (new carrier – Great-West Life)
1988 Dental Plan no longer underwritten on an insured arrangement (became ASO)
1988-1996 Various “Voluntary” (100% employee paid) Plans implemented (e.g. AD&D)
1993 Employee Assistance Program implemented (carrier – Warren Shepell Consultants)
1993 Supplementary Health Plan implemented (carrier – Alberta Blue Cross)
1995 Health Unit Plans implemented (carriers – Great-West Life and IA Pacific)
1995 Dental and Supplementary Health Plans marketed (new carrier – Maritime Life)
1996 New “Voluntary” (100% employee paid) Outside Canada Emergency and HIV Infection Insurance Plans implemented

Health Organizations Benefit Plan/Health Benefit Trust of Alberta Governance History

  • Employee Benefits Committee established from a group of member Employers who were initially set up to investigate the possibility of a jointly administered benefit plan (Employer/Union)
  • Employee Benefits Committee became a sub-committee of the Employee Relations Committee (ERC) which reported to the Board; provided advice to the AHA and recommendations to the ERC.
  • SUB Plan Task Force established to review the Parcels maternity leave decision and determine the most cost-effective method to comply with the decision.
  • Employee Assistance Program Selection Committee was established to assist the AHA in selecting a program provider.
  • Occupational Health and Safety Advisory committee established as a result of an AHA Board Resolution to coordinate Health and Safety issues for the industry.
  • Employee Benefits Committee was disbanded as part of the restructuring process due to regionalization.
  • Future Directions Steering Committee was established to review the role of the PHAA with respect to the provision of Employee Benefit Plan services.
  • Benefits Advisory Committee was established to review new benefits products and benefit plan trends.
  • Supplementary Health and Dental Selection Committee was established to assist the PHAA in selecting a program provider(s).
  • Ownership and governance transferred from PHAA to Trust governed by Policy Council. Formal Trust agreement effective May 2000.
  • The HOBP Plan is marketed, with carrier selections effective April 2005. Health and Dental changes from Manulife (Maritime) to Great West Life. Great West Life retains the Life and Disability segment, and IAP maintains AD&D and HIV insurance.
  • Separate trusts are established for the Principle Trust, Life and Disability Trust and health and Dental Trust.
  • Concept of “Alternative Accounting” is introduced as an Administrative Service Only arrangement within the Trust. The Trust Agreement is revised to accommodate these changes. Palliser Health Region is the only employer participating in Alternative Accounting.
  • A new Management and Out of Scope Plan is designed and rolled out, effective April 1, 2005. First introduction of a Critical Illness Plan and Best Doctors.
  • 13 health care entities in Alberta, including 9 regions, HBA Services, Alberta Cancer Board, Alberta Mental Health, and AADAC amalgamate into Alberta Health Services.
  • HBA Services Benefit Services amalgamates into East Central Health in 2008, then into Alberta Health Services on April 1, 2009. AHS signed the service agreement to provide services to the HOBP.
  • In the fall of 2009, the proposed amalgamated plan is marketed, and new carriers are selected. Alberta Blue Cross obtains the health and dental, GWL was successful in the life and disability, and IAP obtains the AD&D and HIV.
  • The name of the Trust changes from the HOBP to the Health Benefit Trust of Alberta (HBTA), effective February 1, 2010. Trust Agreement is reviewed by consultants, and a number of other changes are made, including the composition of Policy Council from 9 members to 7, effective July 1, 2010, 5 from AHS and 2 from voluntary organizations. No entities are participating in Alternative Accounting, and the approach is deleted from the Trust Agreement.
  • New carriers/service providers are implemented July 1, 2010. There are over 500 different plan designs in the new consolidated plan.
  • New AHS Out of Scope Benefit Plan is finalized and rolled out effective July 1, 2010. Introduction of a new on-line flex credit allocation system, developed by Blue Cross for this plan.
  • Plan consolidation for AHS unions begins with HSAA, effective June 1, 2011 as they move to the former Calgary Health plan designs. AUPE follows suit in October 2011. Unions also bargained increase flexibility in benefits including Health Care Spending Accounts and Personal Spending Accounts.
  • All HBTA Policies are revised and updated.
  • A new investment manager and monitor are selected for the plan.
  • The HBTA conducted marketing for the Plan Auditor.
  • The Investment Manager changes from Adroit to Phillips, Hagar & North; Johnson Inc. provides Investment Manager Monitoring services.
  • Stop Loss is added to the STD Plan.
  • Plan consolidation for UNA within AHS, Dr. Cooke and Lamont Health Care Centre, effective January 1, 2015
  • HBTA has been officially branded.
  • HBTA website developed and launched.



Member Employers established a “Employee Benefits Committee”, a subcommittee reporting to the Alberta Hospital Association (AHA).

1993 - 1997

AHA Benefit Plan formed; AHA became Provincial Health Authorities of Alberta (PHAA). PHAA Benefit Plan became The Health Organizations Benefit Plan (HOBP).


Formal Trust Agreement, ownership & governance is transferred from the PHAA to the Policy Council Trustees. PHAA which later became HBTA Services, continued to provide secretariat support.


The HOBP became the Health Benefit Trust of Alberta (HBTA). Composition of the Policy Council went from 9 to 7 members (5 AHS, 2 Other Employers). HBA Services was amalgamated into AHS, and a Service Agreement between AHS & HBTA was signed making AHS, Employee Benefits & Retirement.


The HBTA transitioned from a Health & Welfare Trust to an Employee Life and Health Trust.