If you’re considering offering employee health benefits to your workforce, you’re in good company. Group health insurance plans help millions of Canadians every year pay for medical expenses not covered by provincial plans. In fact, in 2018 the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA) reported that approximately 25 million Canadians had supplementary health insurance.
This isn’t news for Canadian benefits providers or Canadian businesses, but it is a growing trend; the CLHIA also reported that over the past decade there’s been an 8% increase in the number of working Canadians and their families are now protected by private health insurance plans.
What this means for employers is that more than ever, an employee health plan is an expectation rather than a nice-to-have. Many prospective employees consider the employee health benefits offered by a business to be a critical aspect of the overall compensation package. For current employees, having access to a group health insurance plan absolutely factors into their job satisfaction.
Ultimately, the result is that small business owners who struggle to provide affordable health coverage also struggle to compete for the talent that will help their business succeed. Which is why it’s essential to work with benefits providers and advisors who are finding creative ways to help small businesses take care of their employees while still keeping a watchful eye on their bottom line.
Offering Competitive Employee Health Benefits
What makes up a competitive employee health benefits plan in today’s marketplace? An employee health care plan will typically include the following, though coverage will vary across plans:
- Prescription drugs: Medication prescribed by a doctor
- Hospital accommodations: Semi-private care in the plan member’s province
- Vision care: Optometrist services, prescription glasses, contact lenses
- Paramedical services: Massage therapists, chiropractors, physiotherapists, etc.
- Medical services and devices: Private duty nursing, ambulances, crutches, hearing aids, etc.
Small businesses who have never offered health coverage before should begin by trying to understand current employees’ needs, and how they might evolve over time. Being able to clearly articulate the main goals of your benefits program will also help when it comes time to evaluate the different levels of coverage offered by different plans.
Benefits providers like Benecaid who specialize in meeting the needs of small businesses are often able to provide customized plans that let the employer choose to provide only the coverage that they want, carefully managing both the risk and cost of providing employee health benefits.
Seeking Expert Advice from an Experienced Advisor
Many small businesses find themselves at a disadvantage when searching for employee health benefits, simply because they may not have a human resources department or a dedicated resource with the expertise to navigate the health benefits system with ease. This is why finding the right benefits advisor is essential.
A qualified advisor will provide valuable expertise to small business owners who may not have the time or resources to research and evaluate all of the options themselves. He or she will help be able to walk you through your options, helping you choose a plan that’s well-suited to your workforce and your budget.
Keep in mind that those who have worked with small businesses in the recent past are likely to be better informed when it comes to the unique options that are available. Ultimately, choosing the right advisor can make all the difference.
Providing Affordable Health Coverage & Cost Predictability
Employers typically want to provide the best possible employee health benefits to their workers. But in reality they must balance this against many other financial considerations. For the small business owners that we speak with, a common concern is the desire to avoid making a commitment to employees that they can’t live up to.
After all, introducing a comprehensive plan one year, only to have to scale back the following year, would not only result in an uncomfortable conversation with employees but could also have negative long-term effect on how employees perceive you and your business.
Advisors who regularly work with small businesses understand that ensuring cost predictability year over year is essential, and that it takes on another level of significance in this context. They’re familiar with affordable health coverage options such as defined contribution style programs, from healthcare spending accounts to flex options that provide more control over costs, and can help steer you in the right direction for your business.
Deciding to offer extended health care benefits to your workforce can be an exciting milestone for your business. But it can also be a time of information overload and complex decisions with far-reaching consequences. In order to make sure your employee benefits plan offers the kind of affordable health coverage you and your employees deserve, work with an advisor and a benefits provider that understand the challenges of small businesses.
Extended Health Care with Benecaid
Benecaid specializes in working with advisors to create customized packages that match the needs of employees and employers alike. We would love to answer any questions you may have regarding our group health insurance plans and the innovative, affordable health coverage options we provide for small businesses.
Contact a Benecaid Consultant today at 416-626-8786 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.