Part-time employment is on the rise in Canada. Across the country, 19.6 percent of employed people are working part-time. Since employers don’t usually extend employee benefits to their part-time workers, this means a lot of people are going without benefits. Part-time workers need to secure their own benefits plans rather than relying on their employers’ plans.
These days, there are plenty of benefits options for part-time workers, like voluntary benefits or individual benefits. Choosing your own benefits can be complicated, and you want to make sure you’re choosing the plan that will give you the most value for your money. Here are some factors to keep in mind while you’re shopping for a benefits plan.
Services Covered by the Plan
Benefits plans don’t always cover the same services. Consider the services that are most important to you and look for plans that offer coverage for them. For example, if you travel a lot, you may need a plan that covers international emergency medical services. If you use hearing aids, you may require a plan with coverage for audio services. Other people may prioritize paramedical services like physiotherapy or massage therapy. Whatever it is you need, make sure the plan you choose offers it.
Coverage levels can also vary from one plan to another. One plan may offer low coverage levels for the services you want and another may offer higher coverage levels. To get the most value for your money, look for a plan that offers high coverage levels.
Even if you’re generally healthy and don’t think you need high coverage levels, you can still benefit from them. You never know what your health needs will be in the future, and high coverage levels give you security and peace of mind.
To get the best value from your plan, make sure to consider monthly premiums. Your premiums are the monthly rates you need to pay the insurance company.
The premiums for individual plans can be high. Voluntary group benefits offer lower premiums due to group buying power. By signing up for a voluntary group plan, you can take advantage of the group rate while still getting the benefits you need.
Monthly premiums aren’t the only costs associated with benefits plans. Many plans include coinsurance, which means you pay for a portion of the costs and the insurance company pays for the rest. As you shop for plans, compare the coinsurance percentages for each option. Some companies will only pay a low percentage of your costs, which doesn’t offer great value.
At the Optimum coverage level, HCP’s Plan 1, Plan 1A, and Plan 2 offer 100 percent coinsurance. That means the insurer pays all the costs (up to the coverage maximums). This provides more value for your money.
Eligibility for Coverage
Some benefits plans have eligibility requirements. If you become unemployed, you may not be able to keep your coverage. You could also lose your coverage when you decide to retire. To get good value for your money, look for a benefits plan with more generous eligibility criteria. It’s not fair to pay premiums for years only to lose your coverage if you lose your job or retire.
With HCP’s benefits plans, you just have to be working for a hospital at the time you apply. If you lose your job or retire later, you get to keep your coverage until you decide to opt out of your plan.
By considering these factors, you can choose a benefits plan that gives you the best value for your money. Once you choose the plan you’re interested in, all you have to do is fill out an application form.