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Ann Marie Stuart

Business owners don’t have unlimited budgets and may think it’s impossible to offer health insurance to their employees. While traditional health insurance plans may be out of reach, those aren’t the only option anymore. Today’s business owners can offer voluntary benefits to their employees, even if they have no budget for benefits.

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These benefits are paid for by your employees, and participation is completely optional. Interested employees can sign up for the benefits plan and choose the level of protection they need. These plans can drive employee satisfaction, so implementing them makes sense.

 

Voluntary benefits plans help drive employee satisfaction in these three ways.

 

1. They Help Employees Stay Healthy

 

In Canada, the government provides about 70 percent of healthcare funding. The other 30 percent is privately funded, either by insurance companies or by individuals. Government-funded services include visits to doctors and hospital stays. Many important services, like dental care, vision care, and prescription medications, are privately funded. That means your employees need to find a way to pay for them on their own.

 

For some people, these privately funded services are out of reach. Even well-paid employees could have trouble paying for services that aren’t government funded. Almost one-third of new prescriptions in Canada are never filled, and costs play a role in that. When people don’t take necessary medications, their health could suffer.

 

By providing voluntary benefits to your employees, you can help them stay healthy. They’ll be better equipped to pay for the healthcare services they need. Instead of skipping necessary treatments due to cost, they can pay for them with the benefits plan.

 

2. They Give Employees Peace of Mind

 

If employees don’t have a benefits plan, they could worry about being able to pay for future healthcare needs. Even if they’re currently in good health, they could be stressed about the future. Illnesses or injuries can occur without much warning, and the costs of treating them can be prohibitive.

 

Employees may also worry about what would happen to their families in the event of a serious accident or illness, or even a death. Even in two-income families, the loss of an income can have a serious impact on the household.

 

By offering voluntary benefits, you can give your employees peace of mind. Instead of worrying about how they’ll pay for future health costs, they’ll know they have a benefits plan to rely on. Instead of worrying about their families, they’ll feel secure knowing they have life insurance, long-term disability, and accidental death and dismemberment.

 

3. They Help Employees Feel Well-Compensated

 

Salaries are important, but they’re not the only type of compensation employees appreciate. Benefits are also an important part of compensation. By offering a voluntary benefits plan to your employees, you’ll increase their overall compensation. This will help them feel well-compensated for their hard work. Even your casual and part-time employees can receive this compensation.

 

With these benefits plans, employees pay the costs of premiums on their own. While you’re not paying for the benefits, you’re still offering something very valuable to your employees. If they had to buy an individual benefits plan, they’d likely pay higher premiums. Since voluntary benefits are group plans, employees get to benefit from group buying power. They typically pay lower premiums than they otherwise would, and they still get the insurance coverage they need.

 

With these advantages, it’s clear that offering a voluntary plan to your employees is a smart choice. Employees will be able to pay for their healthcare costs, will have peace of mind, and will feel well-compensated. If you want to drive employee satisfaction, start offering a voluntary benefits plan.

 

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Ann Marie Stuart

Ann Marie is an employee benefits professional with over 25 years of experience helping clients understand and leverage their benefits plan in groups across Canada. She has built her expertise with some of the largest employee benefit plan providers and multi-employee benefit trusts in Canada. Getting to know her clients is one of the most enjoyable aspects of her work and helping them navigate the complex nature of employee benefits is one of the most rewarding. Ann Marie loves to hunt for antique and vintage treasures everywhere she goes. She loves the beach and spends as much time as possible with family and friends.
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