Understanding employee health benefits plans doesn’t have to be difficult. While coverages can be configured and designed in a number of ways, at its core a benefits plan usually has four basic coverage components. When a business works with an expert advisor, they’re actually getting a benefits “engineer”: someone who takes these essential components and configures them for that businesses need.

When you think of an employee benefits plan, consider these four coverages as “the basics”:

Extended Health and Dental Coverage

Often when employees think about employee benefits plans, they’ll think of these coverages because these are the benefits that many employees will use most frequently. Extended health coverages include such services as vision care, paramedical services like massage therapy and chiropractic services, and enhanced hospital care. Included in most plans is prescription drug coverage, which, with dental coverage, can be an important and popular benefit.

Extended health and dental coverages can be part of “cookie cutter” plans that don’t offer flexibility. Extended health claims can also be a major driver of cost increases at renewal. GroupHEALTH looks at extended health and dental coverage differently, offering configurable options that provide employees with the coverage they want and need, while focusing on cost containment for the employer.

One example of how GroupHEALTH configures coverages to contain costs is through SmartRX products. These products keep prescription drugs, one of the most expensive parts of any benefit plan, affordable by allowing employers to choose the covered drug brands and types, dispensing methods and the option of alternative payors.

Disability Coverage

Disability coverage is essentially “replacement income” coverage. If an employee becomes disabled in a way that prevents them from working, disability insurance covers a portion of their salary so that the employee continues to have an income.

Many employers know the terms “short term disability” and “long term disability” but don’t understand how these coverages can impact their benefits plan. The risks of rising disability costs are real, and they can have a significant impact on the cost of a benefits plan. Plus, the complexity of managing a disability claim can be daunting – and many employers may end up losing contact with the disabled employee.

GroupHEALTH’s employee benefits plans are set up to be flexible. For example, plan variations like Mid-Term Disability allow you to configure your coverage to contain costs and focus on getting employees back to work quickly and safely.

DMI Assist is a key built-in feature of GroupHEALTH’s disability plans. The Disability Management Institute (DMI) provide experts that liaise directly with employees and insurers on your behalf to support recovery and create return to work plans. They also help manage disability paperwork, provide regular status updates, and verify details of disability claims.

Life and Critical Illness

Life and Critical Illness coverage ensures that employers are providing support when employees need it the most. These coverages provide a financial pay out when an employee encounters a significant life-changing (or ending) health event. Typical plans may include Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) coverage and life insurance – while more extensive coverage may include serious illness, living benefit and stillbirth coverage.

GroupHEALTH offers built-in enhancements that businesses can extend to their employees and their families. Accident and Serious Illness Coverage (ASI), for example, offers a combination of AD&D coverage and critical illness coverage. Plus, Enhanced Life Insurance policies offer affordable protection with built-in additional coverage for employee’s dependents.

Offering top up options for your employees is a great way to allow them to receive extra support. Employees can choose if they would like to increase their coverage levels or not, with payment processed through payroll deductions.

Employee Wellness

Employee Wellness is an important component of a benefits plan because the physical and mental well-being of employees is the primary factor in determining your claims experience, and therefore the cost of your employee benefits plan. A well-built wellness program can give your business’ productivity a boost, reduce your benefits cost, and improve the engagement of your employees.

All GroupHEALTH plans can be configured to include Employee and Family Assistance programs, Health Wellness Accounts, and Member Wellness information.

Employee and Family Assistance Programs offers your employees access to the support they need for critical health issues and life events. The resources span topics from family to money and work, offering articles, counselling and direction for further support where needed.

Health Wellness Accounts allow employees to receive coverage for wellness activities. Similar to Health Spending Accounts, wellness accounts are capped on an annual basis, containing employers costs, while giving employees the flexibility to choose their wellness activities.

Member Wellness information is sent to all GroupHEALTH plan members by email monthly in the popular Living Well newsletter. These include health and lifestyle tips, practical wellness advice and free resources to promote healthy living.

There’s a lot more to offering Employee Health Benefits than what you might expect. If you want to learn more about how GroupHEALTH can offer the best employee benefits plans in Canada, check out more information here https://www.grouphealth.ca/plan-strategies/.

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