Mercon’s Privacy Statement
Mercon Benefit Services (“Mercon”) is the administrator of the Merit Benefit Plan (the “Plan”). At Mercon, we are dedicated to protecting personal privacy and safeguarding the personal information that we collect in order to provide benefits under the Plan.
We are committed to meeting or exceeding the privacy standards established by federal and provincial legislation and regulations, and industry bodies.
The employees of Mercon play an important role in protecting personal information. Our employees are required to adhere to this policy and take all reasonable steps to ensure that personal information is protected.
Business contact information is not protected by this policy. This type of information is not considered to be personal information, and may be collected, used and disclosed without consent. Nonetheless, it is Mercon’s policy to restrict access to this information and we will not disclose this information to the general public.
What Personal Information is Collected
At the time of enrolment in the Plan, each individual who works for a participating member company is required to complete an enrolment card/form that provides Mercon with the information required to administer their participation in the Plan and to communicate with them. The information collected includes the individual’s name, address, phone number, e-mail address, sex, social insurance number, date of birth, occupation, beneficiary designation and eligible dependents. At the time of completing the enrolment card/form, each individual is asked to provide their authorization and consent to use their personal information as outlined on the enrolment card/form.
At the time that an individual makes a claim for benefits under the Plan, we may also request additional information that will verify eligibility for the benefit being claimed.
How Personal Information is Used and Disclosed
The personal information that is collected is used to administer an individual’s participation in the Plan and to pay benefits as defined by the Plan.
In administering an individual’s participation in the Plan, personal information may also be collected from, or disclosed to, insurance companies or other companies that insure the benefits or provide administration and claims handling services; licensed physicians or other healthcare professionals or institutions; and government or regulatory authorities. Personal non health related information may also be provided to Merit Contractors Association (“Merit”) to administer an individual’s participation in other Merit programs or to firms conducting surveys for Merit or Mercon. All personal information will otherwise be kept confidential and secure. We do not disclose personal information to third parties for any other purpose. If we need to use personal information for any other purpose, we will contact the individual first and obtain their consent prior to that use.
Personal information will be stored in strict confidence and accessed only by authorized Mercon employees and agents or consultants retained by Mercon.
Mercon is responsible for personal information in its possession or custody, including information that has been transferred to third parties as described above. Mercon will use contractual or other means to provide a comparable level of protection while the information is being used by a third party.
An individual may revoke their consent to the collection, use and disclosure of their personal information however, if consent is withdrawn or refused, that could in some circumstances jeopardize their Plan coverage. If an individual wishes to withdraw their consent, they should contact our Privacy Officer.
Safeguarding Personal Information
We only keep personal information for as long as is necessary for the purposes outlined previously in this policy. We are also required by law to maintain certain information for set periods of time. We have appropriate safeguards in place to protect personal information and when we no longer need the information it is destroyed.
Individual’s Role in Protecting Personal Information
Individuals also have a role in protecting their own personal information. No one should ever disclose or share personal information such as social insurance number, Member ID, usernames or passwords (which provide access to personal information on the Mercon website) to others, unless they clearly understand the purpose of the request and know with whom they are dealing.
Accessing or Amending Personal Information
All individuals have the right to access the personal information we hold about them. An individual can access his or her personal information by submitting a written request to the Privacy Officer.
We try to keep personal information as accurate as possible. If one finds that the personal information retained by Mercon is incorrect, he or she should contact us at 780.455.5845 or 1.877.263.7266, in order that we can correct the information in our records.
Mercon’s website uses Secure Socket Layer (SSL) and 128-bit encryption technology to enhance the security of restricted areas. SSL is the industry’s standard tool for protecting and maintaining the security of message transmission over the Internet. When personal information is accessed or information is sent from the secure portion of the website, encryption scrambles the data into an unreadable format to inhibit unauthorized access. Encryption is presently the most effective way to achieve data security.
To safeguard against unauthorized access, all individuals must use encrypted passwords to access their personal information on the website. If the correct password is not entered, secured areas of the website will remain inaccessible.
To further protect personal information, sessions are automatically terminated if extended inactivity is detected. Should a session terminate, the user is required to sign on again to continue.