Considering a benefit plan for your employees is significantly different than implementation.
- Where do you start with making the choice on which benefits to offer?
- Are all benefits available from all providers?
- What is the price point for those benefits and what is involved with enacting the plan?
While benefits can play a key role in helping to attract and retain top talent while protecting you, your employees and your business, the more essential reason to implement a plan is IF you have costs, then why not incur these costs within a tax effective structure.
Consider the purchase of a new vehicle. How nice would it be to start with the sticker price, negotiate with the salesperson and have that be the cost paid? No additional fees, levies or taxes. That is exactly what claiming health and dental expenses through a benefit plan is like.
But with so much to choose from, it is imperative to work with a specialist who can cut through the jargon to design a plan to meet the needs, while still being cost-effective. Not every option is right for every company and it is up to the business owner to choose what works to match their overall business strategy for growth and sustainability.
Group benefits are a “group” of individual insurance options, “grouped” together for employee linked through their common employment. Here is an summary outline of some of the more common options available.
Life Insurance… non-taxable money payable to a designated beneficiary in the event of the employees death.
Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D)… matches the Life Insurance, often referred to as ’double indemnity’ because it doubles the life benefit in the event of an “accidental” death. There is also a portion available if the employee is dismembered in any way and this stands outside the disability benefit.
Dependent Life Insurance… non-taxable insurance paid after the loss of a spouse or dependent child. Typically, the money is used to cover funeral expenses.
Short and/or Long Term Disability… arguably the most important aspect of the benefit plan, as it provide protection of the employee’s income when they can not work.
Extended Health Care, including Pharmaceutical, Professional Paramedical services, Vision Care and Emergency Travel Assistance…anything that is not covered under the provincial program is typically covered under a benefit plan. Hearing aids, home nursing care, ambulance and hospital stays. All expenses are incurred in a non-taxable environment, thereby promoting a healthy workplace, which strengths the corporate bottom line.
Dental care… also non-taxable to the employees and a corporate tax deduction for the corporation, dental ensures employees maintain oral health by covering basic, major restorative or orthodontic claims.
Health Spending Accounts… offer a non-taxable bonus for employees. Members can use the money to pay for medical or dental expenses that may not be covered by their regular plan.
Employee Assistance Programs… provide counselling and support to help employees and their families deal with a wide range of personal and work-related issues.
Best Doctors… enable employees access to a global medical network of physicians for a second medical opinion and medical information if they or their physician suspects an illness, injury or unresolved medical condition.
Note depending on the choices made, each type of coverage may be subject to co-payments or maximums. Working with the right Group Benefit Specialist helps to strengthen the understanding of the choices and ensure you implement a group benefits plan to meets the needs of your employees and your company.
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