Employee benefits jargon and acronyms can make understanding employee benefits more difficult than it needs to be. Here’s some common employee benefit terms, explained in plain language. 


When an employee develops a habit of staying away from work without good reason. This can have a significant impact on an employer’s productivity.

Advisor Partner

Sometimes referred to as a “broker”, this person is licensed by the government to provide advice about and sell employee benefits to Canadian businesses.


A request by an employee to receive funds when a medical or life event covered by an insurance policy has occurred. When an employee makes a claim, their request will be evaluated against the terms of the policy purchased through the employer.


The portion of the expense the member must pay before they are eligible for reimbursement from the benefits plan. Copay can help share costs between an employer and employee, and they can prevent employees from abusing the benefits plan.

Critical Illness Insurance

An insurance policy, additional medical coverage for the critical illness such as cancer, stroke or heart attack. The insurer agrees to make a lump sum cash payment if the insured person is diagnosed with the critical illness.


The amount of out-of-pocket expenses that must be paid by the insured person before becoming payable by the insurer.


A spouse or a child of an insured person who is eligible for medical coverage.

Employee Benefits Plan

A plan that offers a combination of Life, Disability, Health and Dental coverages. These benefits provide income support and cover expenses not covered by your provincial medical plan.


The process by which an approved applicant is signed up to the medical coverage and coverage is made effective.

Full-Time Employee

An employee who works 30 hours or more per week.

Group Coverage / Employee Group Benefits

“Group insurance” is the more formal name for what we just call “employee benefits.”

Health Spending Account (HSA)

It is an annual account of funds allocated to employee for the purpose of healthcare spending.

Health Insurance

An insurance that covers medical expenses or loss of income if insured person gets sick or injured.

Insurance Policy

A legal document detailing the terms and conditions of the insurance.


The company that underwrites an insurance risk and promises to cover losses or benefits.

Life Insurance

An insurance policy that guarantees the payment of a death benefit to beneficiaries upon the death of an insured person.

Long Term Disability (LTD)

An insurance policy that protects an insured person from loss of income due to illness or injury for a long period of time.


A person was born between 1981 and 1996.


The amount to be paid for an insurance plan. Your business can pay it all, or you can share the costs with your employees by deducting it from their pay.


A habit of coming to work despite of illness or injury.


The likelihood that an insured event will happen expecting the insurer to pay a claim.

Short-term disability (STD)

An insurance policy that protects an insured person from loss of income due to illness or injury for a short period of time.


An active program to help employees make conscious choices towards a healthy and happy life. A good wellness program can increase engagement and productivity and reduce absenteeism.

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