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What are the benefits of benefits?   

By: Benefits by Design | Tuesday April 2, 2024

Today is National Employee Benefits Day – a day to celebrate the benefits of benefits! There are many different types of benefits and they offer different solutions for different health problems. We explore how these varying coverages might be used depending on the type of employee role.

Industries with the Best Employee Benefits Plans

The benefits of benefits for different employee types 

The type of job or career you have could determine the particular benefits you might access more frequently than employees in other occupations.  

Office staff 

The specific health risks and challenges of working in an office mean that employees will likely access certain benefits more than in other roles.  

For example, the long hours of sitting and working at the computer mean employees are at higher risk of developing bad posture, chronic pain or obesity, or carpel tunnel.  

What benefit can help with these? Extended health care offers paramedical services which can help with managing chronic pain (massage therapy, chiropractor, acupuncture, etc.) as well as nutritional counselling. Depending on your benefits plan, you might even have access to obesity drugs and programs. Health care spending accounts also offer health care coverage, without the limitations or exclusions as a health care plan, but with a finite dollar amount. 

Office staff are also exposed to work-life balance struggles and high-stress situations, depending on the nature of their role. Spending accounts can help with work-life balance support. If the spending account allows, employees can also purchase ergonomical office equipment.  

Stress and a sedentary job can add to the risk of heart disease. Utilizing a lifestyle spending account (LSA) to stay active can help. Employee assistance programs (EAP)s also offer free advice and counselling for when employees need extra support for life’s challenges. 

Disability insurance is available if one’s mental health or chronic pain becomes too difficult to manage while continuing to work. 

Healthy Workdays: Solutions for Common Office Health Problems

Trades, logistics, service technicians and on-site staff 

Employees that work in physically demanding jobs have different needs than office workers.  

Being exposed to the elements or other occupational hazards means these workers are at higher risk for illness, chronic pain due to overuse of certain muscles or working in an awkward position, or workplace accidents. 

Again, the paramedical services under the health care plan can provide some relief or prevention. The benefits can also cover certain pain medication if prescribed by a physician.  

The trades industries have also been known to have an increased struggle with substance use and the highest rate of suicide. The EAP can confidentially support employees with mental health difficulties and through substance recovery. Some health care plans offer access to internet-based cognitive behavioural therapy (iCBT) options as well, and many provide coverage for counselling and psychology services. 

Additionally, these workers are often exposed to chemicals, fumes, dust, mold, etc, and therefore have higher rates of cancer and lung disease. Critical illness insurance, accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) and life insurance are important components of the benefits plan for employees in these types of occupations. 

Finally, as with office staff, disability insurance can offer financial protection if an employee is ill or injured to the point they can no longer function in their role. 

Retail staff, service professionals, educators, and medical staff 

Employees in these professions often face higher levels of stress due to their increased interaction with the public. This is especially prevalent for educators and medical staff, as the impact on their students and patients can have lasting consequences. And it can be hard to separate feelings when dealing with children, families and loved ones. 

As with other challenges, stress and anxiety can be addressed through an EAP or by accessing the psychologist or counselor coverage through the health care plan. 

Another issue facing these employees is chronic pain and fatigue due to being on one’s feet and working long hours. Again, paramedical services can provide some relief in these instances. Sleep issues could be addressed through paramedical services or iCBT. 

Ample sick day coverage is important for public facing workers, as they also have a higher risk for contracting communicable diseases and acute illnesses. Disability insurance can also be a useful benefit in these situations if an employee is unable to work. 

Owners and managers 

Owners and managers face a different set of challenges that can cause higher stress and anxiety. From managing people and resources to making important business decisions, there’s a lot riding on their shoulders. 

As with all other occupations, when challenges arise, the EAP can be a great way to find relief and solutions to issues.  

Additionally, there are other avenues available to business owners and their managers through their benefits plan. A Business Assistance Program (BAP) can help with questions surrounding employee terminations and accessibility, legal advice, and handling different employee types and personalities. Some even offer free counselling to employees, which can help managers by creating healthier employees.  

Finally, owners and managers face the same health risks as other occupations depending on their role and the industry they are in. Conditions such as chronic pain or heart disease can be addressed with the same coverage used by other employees in the examples explained above. 

Industries with High and Low EAP Uptake [Report]

The benefits of benefits 

The following outlines the advantages of employee benefits for each type of issue or health condition. 

Chronic pain or obesity management 

Mental health and substance use support 

Critical illness or chronic disease management and support 

Business support and advice 

There are many benefits of benefits plans, and some types cover many health issues. This allows the plan to have a wider range and the ability to help all employees. Each person is unique, which is why benefits plans are designed to offer coverage for all types of health conditions. 

Now that you know all about the benefits of benefits, learn all the details so you can have a smooth claiming experience

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