More and more small businesses now offer better employee benefits packages than ever before. Nowadays, it’s no longer a question of whether to offer benefits, but rather how to pick an insurance plan that fits your business needs. This is a serious matter that takes a great deal of consideration, and anybody facing this decision should take the factors presented below into account.
Cost to Employers
Employees already cost an employer a great deal thanks to salaries and wages. However, offering benefits in addition to a paycheck saves money in the long run. According to Benefits Canada, an employee on basic benefits which include life insurance and health coverage plus prescription medication is now the norm. Some companies also offer additional benefits, including long-term disability, vision, and dental. An average employer pays about $8,330 per person, depending on coverage, but this protects against lost wages and health problems that can cause issues in the future.
Average Cost of Insurance
About 65% of Canadians currently have health insurance through the employer, according to Statistics Canada. However, the average household still spends about $4,000 on private insurance and $2,000 more on out-of-pocket expenses. The rising cost of healthcare has forced many Canadians to augment their employee benefits with private policies. Canadian law requires all employees to fully participate in company health coverage before adding private coverage. Only a few exceptions, such as maternity leave where spouses employed elsewhere pay less and have more services with lower deductibles, are allowed.
Employers Looking at Better Options
For the most part, Canadian employers have striven to keep the cost of health insurance for employees under 5%, but this has required some changes in what they offer. The Conference Board of Canada reports that these changes are highly strategic, focused on items such as providing generic options for prescription medicines, eliminating certain drugs, or increasing the employee share of premiums. This means that benefits are becoming highly competitive, and small businesses can thrive if they offer a solid health care option that larger employers who are increasing the employee burden do not. Providing good health benefits along with more comprehensive coverage is paying dividends for these employers.
Supporting Employer Coverage
The trend among certain businesses to offer improved benefits for their employees has started to showcase the long-term boons that these medical plans provide. The rise of more detailed options has allowed the cost of adding benefits to become lower across the board. Focusing on providing employee benefits is also a way that some employers are showing their conscientiousness, as it demonstrates a commitment to the employees. Employers are further aiding their cause by providing programs that are dedicated to empowering employees when it comes to their own health and making sure they stay healthy, thus reducing time lost to illness.
Overall, providing employee benefits does come at a cost to the employer, but doing so also improves morale, serves as a way that small businesses can draw in talented employees who might gain work elsewhere, and much more. It also helps keep employees healthier, meaning that less work gets lost and less time gets missed in the long run.