With the pandemic still affecting most aspects of our daily lives, and the war for talent still in full swing, it’s no wonder employee benefits plans are more important than ever! In fact, they rank as the top type of compensation employees would like.
That’s why we’ve augmented the most common benefits that employers provide. This means employees not only have access to these benefits, but employers and employees also get access to embedded enhancements.
What are Embedded Enhancements?
Embedded enhancements are exactly what they sound like. They are extra perks built right within a benefit. There is no extra fee associated, and employers and employees alike can take advantage.
Let’s take a closer look at each benefit and the embedded benefits included.
Life Insurance — Embedded Enhancements
There are two great enhancements within our most common Life Insurance product: Business Assistance Program (BAP), and Medical Second Opinion (MSO) Services.
Business Assistance Program (BAP)
Business Assistance Program (BAP) provides business owners with multiple types of business advice, including legal, human resources, taxation and financial issues, and more. Consider specific situations where a business owner might need additional expertise and advice:
- Employee terminations and conflicts
- Eligible tax write-offs
- Employee and subcontractor contract issues
- Employee rights and obligations
- Employer’s requirements and duty to accommodate
- Government regulations and requirements
- Employee leaves and absences
Medical Second Opinion (MSO) Services
Medical Second Opinion (MSO) provides support for employees and eligible dependents facing a serious illness, injury, or surgery, or even something lingering such as a chronic illness. Specialists will review patient files, verify the diagnosis, and assess the suggested treatment plan.
After submitting a request to the MSO service (either online or via telephone), plan members will have a Registered Nurse Practitioner (RNP) contact them. The RNP will collect their individual medical records and history to send to Specialists in the field of the plan members illness or injury. Once the Specialist has reviewed the medical information, they will provide their assessment and suggestions within 5-7 business days.
Dependent Life — Stillbirth
Although stillbirths are not extremely common in Canada, they do occur. In fact, 4.5 out of every 1000 children are considered stillbirths. And on top of grieving for the loss of a child, the parents are still responsible for paying funeral expenses. To ease this burden, there is a clause within our Dependent Life benefit that allows for funeral expenses to be submitted for the stillborn child up to the maximum amount of coverage under the plan.
Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D) Insurance — Critical Disease Benefit
The Critical Disease benefit that is built into our Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) Insurance offering provides a lump sum to plan members who are diagnosed with a covered critical disease and become totally disabled as a result of the covered disease. If plan members also have Critical Illness coverage as a separate benefit, they could potentially receive both lump sum payments from each benefit.
Critical Illness (CI) — Multiple Event Coverage
Most Critical Illness (CI) plans allow plan members to only claim this benefit once. For example, if an employee were to be diagnosed with cancer and claim their CI benefit, that would be the end of their eligibility. They would not be able to make a second claim, even if they were diagnosed with a completely different unrelated covered disease.
With our Multiple Event Coverage under our CI benefit, that same employee would be able to make a second claim and receive the monetary assistance provided by their CI benefit. This clause does not cover multiple diagnoses of the same, related condition.
Extended Health Care (EHC) — Embedded Enhancements
There are three embedded enhancements that employees can utilize if they have benefits provided by Green Shield Canada (GSC) with Benefits by Design (BBD) Inc.
- Change4Life. The Change4Life portal on GSCEverywhere gives plan members the opportunity to win prizes! By completing health assessments, signing up for reminders and logging physical activity, members receive points they can use to bid on prizes. That’s a win-win for plan members who are already active, or for those who need a little motivation.
- Preferred Pharmacy Arrangements. Our preferred pharmacy arrangements through PocketPills and Costco Pharmacy provide $5.00 off for each prescription filled if they have co-insurance or a per prescription deductible. Keep in mind that even if you are not a Costco member, you can still go to their Pharmacy! PocketPills is an online pharmacy that reduces their costs by not having a storefront, and they pass those savings on to plan members. They can pre-package your daily pills and vitamins, making it easy to remember to take them all.
- Virtual Physiotherapy with Phzio. Phzio is an online physiotherapy program that offers plan members the ability to meet with and complete their physiotherapy treatment completely online. Not only do you meet one-on-one with a licensed physiotherapist, but they keep track of your daily exercises to ensure you are keeping up with the program. There is something to be said about having someone confirm you have done your physio exercises that help keep you on track!
Additional Value-Added Benefits
The following benefits can be added to a benefits plan to provide extra value. These days, employees are vetting potential employer’s benefits plans, and having these robust extras might just tip the scales in your favour.
Diagnostic Specialist Access Insurance (DSAI)
What happens if you feel something is wrong, and your doctor agrees you should see a specialist, but the wait times are atrocious? In Canada, that generally means you just have to wait. With Diagnostic Specialist Access Insurance (DSAI), if your wait is more than 1 days (3 weeks), you can use this benefit and be given immediate access to diagnostic exams and specialist consultations within Canada. Plus, when plan members receive earlier diagnoses, they may not get as sick, and in the long run this can help with the health of the benefits plan.
Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
An Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provides employees with access to accredited counselling on a number of different personal and professional issues. This could include financial stress and wellbeing, and homelife issues such as separation or the passing of a loved one.
There is also support for substance abuse or dependency, mental health, and elder care issues. Members can receive counselling in-person, virtually, or over the phone. All intake calls are answered by a Registered Nurse who can help confirm the route issue, and set up the correct course for treatment. An EAP can be added to your traditional plan inexpensively, and can boost employee morale by showing that you care about their personal lives as much as them as employees.
Spending Accounts add a great degree of choice and flexibility for employees to any benefits plan! They’re a worthy value-added benefit to any plan to round it out.
Health Care Spending Account (HCSA)
Adding a Healthcare Spending Account (HCSA) to any benefits plan can really round it out! Not only does it allow flexibility for employees to utilize their benefits exactly as needed, it can also boost morale by showing your employees you care about them as individuals.
These accounts provide lump sum amounts to employees, and they can be set up to be as flexible or unique as the plan sponsor would like. They also provide cost containment, as employers can calculate exactly how much they would spend should all employees use their full allocation for the year.
Personal Spending Account (PSA)
While HCSA’s offer coverage for eligible medical expenses, a Personal Spending Account (PSA), sometimes known as a Wellness Spending Account (WSA) can provide coverage for extras and perks. Examples such as sports equipment and/or fitness passes, gym memberships, alternative transportation, elder care, meditation and more! Wellness accounts show that plan sponsors care about their employee’s wellbeing, both at home and at work, and are a great value-added benefit to any plan.
Having a benefits plan in this “candidates’ market” is a must to attract and retain top talent! And with all the little perks that are included within BBD’s offering, it’s no wonder we proudly insure over 50,000 working Canadians.