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Offering the guidance with a personal touch

By Jim Gordon and Leeta Liepins

Published 12:13 PST, Fri December 8, 2023

Shannon Jackman, Grayden Biffart and Ryan Mulligan are part of the IGL Benefit Consultants. They specialize in providing innovative and strategic employee benefit solutions designed to meet their client’s specific needs. Recently, Our City Tonight sat down with two of the three, Shannon Jackman (SJ) and Grayden Biffart (GB).

OCT: Please, tell us about IGL Benefit Consultants.

SJ: IGL Benefits Consultants focuses on the group benefits marketplace. Our intention is to not just email a quote when a enquiry is received. The relationship begins when we connect through a virtual meeting or an in-person meeting and that’s where I believe, our area of specialty benefits our clients.

OCT: That’s one of the main points we’ve noticed with IGL—that your team stresses the personal touch, even with the smaller businesses, you take the time to see everybody personally, and treat them with the same importance and respect as your larger clients. Let’s talk about your relationship with the Chamber of Commerce Insurance plan. I understand they are a partner of yours, can you explain how they fit into with your plan in this market.

GB: We are a full-service brokerage, so we have the opportunity to work with any insurer and the Chamber of Commerce program is one of the plans we offer. It’s very unique as it’s structured for small businesses. 

OCT: Can we talk a little bit about the program, not-for-profit and the concept of pooling.

SJ: How the Chamber of Commerce plan works is that it’s actually in a not-for-profit structure, so it is administered separately. All the revenue from the program’s surplus stays inside that structure so that helps with renewals and with the inflation we’re all experiencing. Finally, this relates back to the concept of pooling. There are two aspects to most benefits for those people that are familiar. There is your experience rated health and dental. Then there’s the fully pooled parts that are the life, the long-term disability, and the short term.

The Chamber of Commerce insurance is different in that, their pool benefits are truly pooled nationally so that’s unique. We have not had a base rate increase in long-term disability premiums for years, and that’s unusual in this industry. The other aspect is the health and dental. We pool provincially and its true pooling. It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, it doesn’t matter if you are a larger or smaller company. The pool works together. It is all one pool. The stability of our renewals system is unparalleled.

OCT: Let’s talk about some of the additional services your programs offer that increases the benefits to your clients. For example, the employee assistant programs and the business assistance service.

SJ: The business assistance service is specifically for owners or managers, and it is a program that provides up to nine hours of telephone advice like HR, legal, and accounting questions. As a small business owner, one will typically not have these services or an individual with this experience on the staff, so this is an opportunity for a business owner to ask questions at the cost of the plan rather than at the cost of the business. The employee assistant program is an assistance program for employees where they can access up to 12 hours of face-to-face counselling for any issues they deem necessary, whether that be relationships or even personal.

OCT: Let’s talk about some of the partnerships you have including Pocket Pills and how this unique program works. 

GB: Pocket Pills is basically a virtual pharmacy so it allows our members to dispense prescriptions with the convenience of home delivery or delivery at work. The advantages are that there is a 10 per cent increase in the amount reimbursed to the member. For example, if you have an 80 per cent drug plan with us, you’ll have a 90 per cent drug plan covered, if you have 90 per cent you have 100 per cent. It’s all about the ease of dispensing.

OCT: Let’s talk about Teledoc because one of the things you pride yourselves on is virtual healthcare, which you’ve been doing long before COVID impacted our communities.

SJ: Teledoc is an app platform that partners with the Chamber of Commerce. We actually had virtual healthcare before the pandemic so we know how important this was to a lot of people. Teledoc offers something which we call a second opinion service which, if I’m in any kind of a serious medical situation, I can request a deep dive into diagnosis, symptoms, and treatment, which will be reviewed a by a chosen best doctor. 

We also offer a mental health program, which is very new. This was offered due to responses from Teledoc and the increase in mental health concerns occurring right now. If I am in mental health diagnosis, I can have the same procedure of a second opinion. I can have a professional walk me through that diagnosis and the treatment options, the medication offered, and they can provide context around improvements in ways to have a better outcome. This is just one more aspect that I think puts us one step above, especially for small businesses. You can watch the video interview in full at and for more information, go to

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