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OREA Mandates the New ORWP, Ontario REALTOR® Wellness Program



Introduction:

The Ontario REALTOR® Wellness Program, developed by the REALTOR® Wellness Task Force of the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA), aims to address the lack of a safety net for Ontario Realtors. This comprehensive program offers insurance and benefits to help support realtors during challenging times. By providing affordable coverage, the program seeks to ensure that all Ontario realtors have access to essential health and wellness benefits. A special meeting is scheduled to determine the future of the program, marking an opportunity to positively impact the lives of realtors in the province.


Background: Since March, the REALTOR® Wellness Task Force has been diligently working on examining the feasibility of implementing a province-wide benefits program. Extensive consultations were conducted with Member Boards, insurance consultants, experts from associations across Canada, and Ontario realtors through surveys to gather feedback. The task force's goal is to offer increased support to realtors, considering the unpredictability and challenges they face in their profession.


The Need for Insurance and Benefits:

The feedback received from Ontario realtors highlights the necessity of insurance coverage. Many realtors do not have private health insurance, while those who do, reported paying high monthly premiums ranging from hundreds to as much as $250-$500. This lack of coverage leaves them vulnerable in times of unexpected health issues or emergencies. The Ontario REALTOR® Wellness Program aims to bridge this gap by providing comprehensive insurance and benefits at an affordable rate.


Program Coverage: The program offers a range of coverage options to support realtors in various areas of their well-being:

  1. Health Insurance Coverage: The plan provides reimbursement for physical care, including prescription drugs, medical services and supplies, paramedical practitioners, accidental dental care, and ambulance services.

  2. Virtual Care Coverage: Members have unlimited access to virtual healthcare services, including consultations with general practitioners and mental health professionals. Additionally, an annual subscription to the "Headspace" app for mental health support is included.

  3. Critical Illness Insurance: This coverage offers a tax-free lump-sum payment to members diagnosed with one of the 23 covered conditions, provided they meet the eligibility requirements.

  4. Travel Insurance: The program includes out-of-country emergency travel insurance, offering coverage for up to 30 days per trip.

  5. Life Insurance: Members receive life insurance coverage, providing financial security to their beneficiaries.

  6. Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) Insurance: In the event of accidental death, the beneficiary receives proceeds from both the life and AD&D insurance policies.

Program Details and Costs:

The Standard Plan covers the aforementioned benefits, with dental and vision coverage intentionally excluded to maintain low costs. Members can upgrade to additional options plans at their own expense for greater coverage. Family coverage may also be included in the future. The program costs less than $2 per day, amounting to $659.88 annually per member, starting from January 1, 2024. This represents significant yearly savings compared to identical private coverage, with potential savings of up to $2,000.


Future Considerations:

A special meeting of the association is scheduled on June 20, 2023, where Member Boards will vote on the future of the Ontario REALTOR® Wellness Program. If approved, the program will play a pivotal role in transforming the lives of Ontario realtors by providing them with the support they need.


The Ontario REALTOR® Wellness Program is poised to revolutionize the well-being of Ontario realtors by offering comprehensive insurance and benefits at an affordable rate. This program addresses the current gap in coverage that many realtors face, providing them with financial security and peace of mind during challenging times. By supporting the program, Member Boards can contribute to positively changing the lives of realtors throughout the province.

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