and Benefit Plans
In a recent survey, employers ranked the top items that are most important when making decisions regarding a benefit plan. The top 4 in order are:
- Overall price of the plan
- Level of protection for the employees
- Cost/Benefit Analysis of Various plan options
- Flexibility of the plan
Group benefit plans have evolved over the years to provide benefits to smaller employers and benefits are available even for just 2 employees. If your company is small and cost is an issue, be assured there are more options than ever before to co-ordinate a plan to meet your budget.
Plan design strategy has become very important to provide sustainable cost for benefit plans. Many costs within the benefit plan can rise at a faster rate than CPI and business owners need advice to ensure they are choosing plan options and a budget appropriate for their company. Some topical questions for the current environment are: Will we cover medical cannabis under the Benefit Plan? Should we have a Prescription Drug maximum on our plan? Do we extend benefit past age 65/70 until retirement? Should we cover Wellness Items under our Health Spending Account and which ones? Do we have a combined maximum for Paramedical Practitioners under the plan? Should we allow Adult Othodontia? The answers to these questions requires some discussion and may be made on a case by case basis.
Plans have changed in recent year to now include Group Critical Illness, Employee Assistance Plans, Web-based Wellness Resources, Health spending Accounts, Mental Health Care consultative services, Second Opinion Services for serious illness diagnosis, Cancer assistance plans and Online Health Assessment Tools to name a few.
Administration through web-admin applications has facilitated real-time enrolment of new employees, terminations and employee information changes. Smart phone applications for submitting claims are a new feature with some insurers and you can use a debit type card for expenses with another insurer.
Employees can view their claims history on line with some insurers, print benefit information, claim forms, member cards and access health awareness resources through an employee web portal.
The benefits industry has evolved to make benefits more flexible, administration easy and quick and employee access simple and robust with information and assistance. Has your plan evolved along with it? Do you have a plan designed for yesterday or today? If you have a benefit plan that has been in place for a long time and the objectives and design reasons aren’t clear anymore, perhaps its time for a review. Give us a call for a plan assessment and cost/benefit analysis.