Jacki McIvor, Garat Financial Group

Jacki McIvor, Insurance Advisor, Garat Financial Group

Group Benefits can help attract excellent employees because they’re a form of compensation beyond hourly wages or salaries. However, offering a group benefits plan is not without its challenges.

There are many different types of benefit plans available, with different levels of different services. Some add on a Health Spending Account (HSA) to make up shortfalls on low maximums. Some are a Health Spending Account only. The demographic of your ideal employee, and the budget allowed for such a plan, will often dictate which plan is the best fit for your business.

A traditional, fully insured employee benefits plan can be expensive. It may have a low price tag in year one because a lot of insurers price far below what is realistic to capture the business. Then, after a year of use, they impose significant increases based on what was used. Changes in employee demographics can have a big change on the cost as well.

Using only a health-care spending account means 100% out of pocket, but can be a better alternative for the business owner who wants to give employees a flexible plan, but maintain a fixed cost. Going with a reimbursement plan or direct pay card for your employees will also affect cost. Who will educate your staff on being smart with the plan — claims, dispensing fees, co-insurance, etc? These are important factors as the more the employees know, the less likely the chance of abuse and frivolous claims, which push the cost up.

So how attractive is a group plan to prospective employees?

Next to salary, employee benefits coverage is the most important tool in attracting and retaining key team members, especially those with management and succession potential. This is because a significant number of plan members take at least one medication to manage a chronic disease, such as diabetes or hypertension, or regularly visit alternative health practitioners like massage therapists, chiropractors, etc.

If you currently have employee benefits coverage in place for your staff, but are looking for new ways to stand out from other potential employers, hybrid plans are also an option. Adding comprehensive Critical Illness coverage, or linking a group RRSP to the plan can be enticing for many.

If you are interested in learning more about group plans, a market survey done by an independent insurance representative can help determine alternative options.

As a dual licensed practice, Group RRSP and similar investment benefits are available with both the insurance and mutual fund companies, broadening your choices.

Call us today to discuss the best offering for the employees you want to attract and retain.



Jacki McIvor and the team at Garat Financial Group Ltd work with clients to create real security. Contact them at 250.287.2310, or visit www.garatfinancial.com for more information.


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