Latest Edition E-news bulletin of the Editors’ Association of Canada–Prairie Provinces Branch November-December 2011 Health insurance plans for the self-employed by Astrid Blodgett (EAC–PPB member)I recently looked into the cost of group health insurance for a family of four (two adultsand two children under the age of 12, with no pre-existing health conditions). You willnever find two plans the same, so exact comparisons are not possible. However, I selectedfour plans that offer fairly similar coverage.Please take the monthly rates I’ve cited as approximate and obtain your own.Table 1. Comparisons of four plansInsurer Plan Monthly rate for a family of fourAlberta Blue Cross Plan B $200Blue Cross offers plans A, B, andC; A offers less and C more.AMA Extended health care with drug $232 level 1 and dental level 1AMA provides basic and ex-tended health care and three lev-els each of drug and dental. Level1 offers the least.PlanDirect* Comprehensive plan $443Comprehensive is the fourth offive options; 1 offers the least.Sonata* Scale 3 $308 There are four scales; scale 1 of- fers the least.* Offered through EAC’s group insurer. Look in the members’ area of the EAC website under memberservices.
Latest Edition November-December 2011Table 2. What is coveredBenefit Amount covered by the plans referred to aboveDrugs Blue Cross and AMA cover 70%; PlanDirect and Sonata cover 85–100%. Yearly maximums of $300 (AMA) up to $1200 (PlanDirect) and as high as $10,000 (Sonata and Blue Cross). Two mentioned dispensing fees ($6.50 for AMA, $7 for Sonata).Dental AMA covers 70%, Blue Cross 100% and the others 80% of most routine dental care up to yearly maximums (e.g., AMA up to $350 initially and $700 by the third year of coverage, PlanDirect up to $1,000/year). Some cover a portion of non-routine services up to a yearly maximum. AMA does not include any non-routine services.Vision AMA covers $100/person over a two-year period; after four years it covers $200/person over a two-year period. The other plans cover up to $200/ person over a two-year period. All the plans cover eye exams every second year.Ambulance Covered by all but Blue Cross.Hearing aids Roughly the same coverage, although AMA provides slightly less.In-home nursing AMA covers $1,000 initially and $3,000 after five years; others provide more from the start (i.e., up to $3,000/year).Specialists/therapists All cover only a very small portion, to varying degrees.The next issue will include an article about health spending accounts (HSAs), which caneither replace or supplement the more traditional health insurance plans described here. 2
Latest Edition November-December 2011 PPB executive reports From the chair Member newsBranch administrator hired Did you know that five EAC–PPB members work on Hansard and committee documents for the LegislativeI am delighted to welcome our inaugural part- Assembly of Alberta? Hansard is the official, verbatimtime branch administrator, Tiiu Vuorensola. Tiiu record of parliamentary debates and proceedings and isbrings all the skills we need plus enthusiasm. Tiiu published on a next-day basis.is office administrator at NeWest Press, so much PPB members at Hansard:of the work we’re asking of her mirrors the skillsshe’s already applying at NeWest. And how valu- • Marguerite Watson, senior editor • Moira Calder, editorial assistant (indexer)able is it to have someone from a related industry? • Sharon Skage, copy editorInitially, Tiiu will direct her energy at setting up • Joel Semchuk, input editor • Judy Dunlop, freelance indexer of transcriptsQuickBooks and getting our quarterly GST re- of public MLA committee meetings, includingport submitted. She’ll also assist with logistics for Public Accountsmembers’ meetings, programming and other PPBevents. She’ll pick up the mail, pay bills and main- On CBC Radio’s December 6 Ideastain our databases of corporations and related program, Karen Virag explored theagencies. history and cultural significance of the mirror. http://www.cbc.ca/ideas/At the PPB annual general meeting next May we’ll schedule.re-assess our financial position and the benefitswe’ve gleaned from this assistance. Welcome to new membersTwo new board members appointed The following people joined the Editors’ Association of Canada in September and October 2011.We are gradually filling the board positions. LoriBetke has taken on the role of outreach committee Calgary: Ken Drabinskyliaison (connecting with the education, member- Edmonton: Gillian Austin and Manda Brownriggship/volunteer and mentorship coordinators, whoare Rhonda Skinner, Rachel Small and a person Yellowknife: Catherine Pellerinyet to be named). We’re pleased to add anotherLori to the PPB roster! Sherry Lawler, our new Quote of the dayexternal publicity coordinator, brings enthusiasm “Most new usages … have their roots in our modern dutyand a raft of bright ideas for getting our word out to be nice to everyone, till it sometimes seems that even using the term politically correct is politically incorrect.”into the community, including experience andskills in social media. — Hugo Williams, “Freelance,” Times Literary Supplement, September 2, 2011 Margaret F. Sadler, EAC–PPB chair, 2011-12 3
Latest Edition November-December 2011 PPB executive reports Annual PPB fall retreatTen PPB board members gathered at Strawberry Creek Lodge (a family-owned and -operated log re-treat centre, 80 kilometres southwest of Edmonton) from October 14 to 16 for brainstorming, boardwork and bonding. They were joined by Ursula Acton, chair, Saskatchewan branch, and Arden Ogg,regional director of branches and twigs, west.Lori-Ann Claerhout, internal committee liaison, says: “Off the deck at Strawberry Creek Lodge, achickadee lighted on the bird feeder just inches away and swiftly set to the task of finding, shelling andeating a seed; once finished, it flitted off. Just like the bird, EAC–PPB executive and guests descendedon the retreat centre and got right to work on our operations manual and policies. I was warmly in-vited in by this efficient group, even though this was only the second month of my volunteer term. Wedeliberated, updated, discussed and closed our board meeting with just enough time to eat and sayfond goodbyes.”Saskatchewan branch chair Ursula Acton adds: “Coming from the smallest branch – by a considerablemargin – it was an education to watch how such a large and effective executive navigated and negoti-ated issues as diverse as volunteer recruitment and retention, programming selection and implementa-tion, and the evolution of things on the ground in Calgary. I came away feeling I had learned much ofvalue. And it was a pleasure to meet so many kind and welcoming people.”From left to right: Lori-Ann Claerhout, Margaret Sadler (top), Rhonda Skinner (bottom), VirginiaDurksen, Arden Ogg, Anita Jenkins, Paul Payson, Astrid Blodgett, Theresa Agnew, Deborah Lawson,Eva Radford. 4
Latest Edition November-December 2011 Branch news Opportunities to volunteer Program announcementsIsn’t it time that you participated more fully in Calgaryyour professional association? If you’d like to start Grammar Gals On Tuesday, October 25, theat the top, the vice chair’s role is still not filled. Or PPB’s Grammar Gals, Karen Virag and Virginiayou could: Durksen, answered grammar questions on CBC • coordinate Calgary’s programs with help Radio’s Alberta at Noon program (and in case from several other enthusiastic people. you were wondering, yes, there is a difference be- Contact Lauri Seidlitz, email@example.com. tween envy and jealousy). The Gals and a crowd • help the Edmonton program committee of 30 or so editors also appeared at the Great Big plan 2012 workshops and members’ nights. Grammarfest later that night, at Mount Royal Contact Eva Radford, eva@clearwatermedia. University. CBC host Donna McElligott moder- com. ated both the show and the evening event. Thanks • manage the PPB job hotline, which an- to local organizers Lauri Seidlitz and Glenn Ruhl. nounces employment and freelance opportuni- Edmonton ties in the prairies. Contact Margaret Sadler, firstname.lastname@example.org. Editor/writer coffee meetings Second • create a mentorship program for aspir- Wednesday of the month, 10 am to noon, Block ing and beginning editors. Contact Margaret 1912, 10361-82 (Whyte) Avenue. Everyone wel- Sadler, email@example.com. come. For information contact Deborah Lawson, firstname.lastname@example.org. Words of Our Own Tuesday, January 31, Did you know? Watch for email about this annual event featur-The Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS) has a ing readings by editors who are also poets, authorsjob hotline that often features editing and writing work: and raconteurs.http://www.cprs.ca/careers.External committee liaison Deborah Lawson recom- Thanks to Audrey Whitson, who organized a mar-mends “This Crazy Industry,” a blog about editing: vellous Christmas gathering for Edmonton-areahttp://crazyindustry.blogspot.com/2005/03/ editors and friends at Rutherford House.becoming-editor.html. News from Saskatchewan branchWe’re on Facebook! External publicity coordina-tor Sherry Lawler has set up a page for Editors’ For the first time EAC Saskatchewan had a kioskAssociation of Canada–Prairie Provinces Branch. at this year’s Saskatoon Word on the Street festivalVisit it soon and click “Like” to see all the latest news, in September. Visitors (usually wannabe writers)notes and photos: http://www.facebook.com/pages/ were given EAC promotional bumf and copies ofEditors-Association-of-Canada-Prairie-Provinces- Active Voice. They also learned what editors do.Branch/279606205413836. Whether contracts will result is anyone’s guess, but the EAC Saskatchewan executive regards this foray a success and plans a return engagement next year. 5
Latest Edition November-December 2011 EAC national news Conference 2012: Ottawa, June 1–3National conference co-chairs Christine LeBlanc and Gael Spivak report that the conferenceteam has had a terrific response to its request for session suggestions. The team is nowbooking speakers for topics ranging from editing games and e-books to learning how thebrain works and mastering social media. The theme of the conference is The Landscapeof Canadian Language: Word Nerds Gone Wild (Le paysage langagier du Canada: lesmordus des mots se défoulent). For more details, visit http://www.editors.ca/conference/index.html. Staying in touchChair Branch Administrator The Prairie Provinces Branch (PPB)Margaret Sadler Tiiu Vuorensola e-news bulletin, Latest Edition, is published six times a year. The goal isTreasurer You can contact any executive or com- to provide a quick read that will keepPaul Payson mittee member through the email ad- PPB members informed about events dresses provided on the EAC website, and opportunities as well as the activ-Secretary http://www.editors.ca/branches/ ities of the branch executive.Astrid Blodgett prairies/index.html. They will be de- lighted to hear from you, as your in- To contribute, make suggestions orInternal committee liaison put and offers of assistance make it comment, contact Anita Jenkins, e-Lori-Ann Claerhout possible for the PPB to thrive. news bulletin editor at ajenkins@ compusmart.ab.ca or 780-474-6656.External committee liaison Deadline for submissions to the nextDeborah Lawson issue is January 9, 2012.Outreach committee liaison Copy editor: Sharon SkageLorelei Betke Designer: Aaron DaltonPast chairPaul PaysonRegional director of branches andtwigs, westArden Ogg 6