Why Your Rates Shouldn’t Be the Only Consideration When Choosing a Group Benefits Plan
Every day there are 14.5 million Canadians heading to work for a small or medium-sized employer. It’s estimated that three-quarters of companies with between 20 and 99 employees offer some type of health benefits program, and that number rises to 93% for employers that have between 100 and 499 employees.
Choosing a group benefit plan is a big decision and substantial investment for your business and it’s far from an easy process. A well-designed plan will instantly improve the quality of life for your employees. The best plans result in improved employee retention and the ability to attract some of the best talents in your industry.
It’s a constant juggling act between controlling costs and providing a diverse and attractive benefits plan.
Working with an experienced group benefits insurance advisor will open the door to a wide range of information and coverage options for businesses both large and small.
So, what should an affordable and marketable group benefits plan look like? Really, every employee benefits plan is unique and there are rarely two plans that are exactly alike. Ideally, your plan should provide a high quality and diverse selection of services but still, work within the framework of your budget.
As an employer you want your benefit plan to
- Be easy to understand. There shouldn’t be a mystery in understanding what costs are covered and which ones are not. All costs for both you and your employees should be clear.
- Be affordable and flexible meeting the needs of your staff. Communicate your understanding of your employees to your advisor and build a plan that works best for your work force’s needs.
- Be customized, providing different coverages for more tenured staff or management.
- Easy to manage. Avoid plans with heavy administration and costs.
- Serve as a recruitment tool. Design a plan that your business is proud to showcase to potential employees.
Understanding the current trends in your industry and workforce will help you control costs and create an attractive benefits plan. A plan designed for a company with a lot of Baby Boomer employees will look different than a plan built for a mostly 20-something Generation Y staff. A plan with an older demographic will require a more costly prescription and dental coverage, companies with younger employees will want to provide more alternative therapies and wellness programs.
The cost pressures of a benefits plan can be overwhelming for a business. Canadian prescriptions costs continue to increase at a rapid pace and this is another concern for small and medium size businesses. There are various things that can be done to decrease this cost such as introducing pay direct drug cards, promoting the use of generic drugs, increasing the participant’s contribution amounts and various other cost control measures.
Most well-designed employee plans include some level of mental health benefit. The Canadian Institute for Mental Health estimates that mental health issues result in $16 billion worth of disability claims across the country.
There are a lot of preventative measures that can be taken by an employer that can dramatically reduce the risk of mental health issues. A positive environment and providing employees with a strong balance of their work and personal lives can promote strong mental health. This will not only make your benefit plan more affordable, it will improve your employee productivity and will reduce sick time.
Technology is such an important part of our day-to-day lives; many insurance companies have excellent online plan management tools in place that will make the management of your plan much easier. Online claim submission is an extremely popular feature offered by most group benefits providers. It’s important to work with an insurance company that provides easy-to-use plan management technology.
Today’s worker wants more control into how their plan operates for them. People get frustrated by ‘one size fits all’ plans. A plan with a high-level flexibility is a huge bonus for many people. Flex plans are a win-win option for everyone, employers get more control and employers can better manage and control plan costs.
Founded in 1999, our goal at Tanner Financial Services is to help small and medium size GTA businesses design custom employee benefit plans. We will be your partner through the entire process of building your plan. Our goal is to build an affordable benefits plan that provides control for both the employer and employee. The size of your business should not dictate the scope of your benefits package.
It’s fair to say that the benefits insurance industry is rapidly changing. There are many new and exciting options on the market and we take a lot of pride in our ability to connect our clients to some really exciting benefits. Contact one of our experienced insurance advisors to find a group benefits plan that works for your business and your employees.