The Rough Cost to Employers
While salaries and wages alone are among the most significant operating costs for any business even without the provision of benefits, not offering benefits will ultimately cost more. According to Benefits Canada, the typical (basic) benefits for an employee include life insurance and health coverage (whether for a single individual or also for their families), including prescription medication. Additional benefits (which are obvious incentives) include long-term disability insurance, vision plans, and dental plans. The average cost to the company for an employer to provide benefits for their employees is $8,330 per person, depending on their coverage.
Current Insurance Cost Averages
While around 65% of Canadians currently have some form of job-provided private health insurance, according to Statistics Canada, the average household still annually spends around $4000 on private insurance and $2000 on out-of-pocket healthcare expenses. Due to rising costs of healthcare, many Canadians are forced to augment their employee benefits with their own privately-purchased policies. In accordance with Canadian law, all employees must fully participate in company health coverage provided by their employers. Only then they can add privately-procured coverage. A few exceptions include maternity leave or when elsewhere-employed spouses pay less and have more services with lower deductibles (and can add you to their policy.)
Canadian Employers Opting for Better Options in 2016
Canadian employers will continue in 2016 to keep the cost increase of coverage for employees under 5%, but still say they will be making changes in what they offer.According to the Conference Board of Canada, these changes will be strategized for by turning to generic options for prescription medicines, eliminating coverage of certain drugs or increasing the employee share of premiums. As new, innovative options become available and give more control over customization to the employer, many are switching carriers to access these new programs that increase satisfaction without decreasing quality of plan coverage. Also, more small business employers are recognizing the significant advantages of providing benefits that improve employee health and well-being to offset the rising cost of healthcare, and combined with more comprehensive coverage, this lowers the cost to both employer and employee.
Behind the Rise to Support Employer Coverage
The companies providing improved employee benefits packages are demonstrating how they ultimately pay off in medical plan savings. With the rise in more detailed options, the cost of adding benefits has substantially lowered everywhere. Included dynamics of this movement are efforts to involve employees in taking responsibility to stay healthy. Employees become educated in the most effective methods of achieving excellent health by being engaged in the process and are given adequate support to continue.