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Four benefits of paramedical services

By: Benefits by Design | Tuesday June 11, 2024

Updated : Monday June 10, 2024

Why should you include paramedical services in your employee benefits plan? There are many different types of paramedical practitioners, and they can serve similar or varied functions, but for all of them, the following four reasons we’ll be discussing hold true. 

If you’re planning on reviewing your employee benefits and have thought about removing this coverage, you might want to rethink your strategy

What are Paramedical Services & What is Covered?

1. Preventative care 

The use of paramedical services can help employees maintain their current health, or even improve it. Employees enjoy better overall health outcomes since they can take care of minor issues before they become large ones.  

For example, seeing a registered dietician to help with finding the right types of food to eat for your goals. Or seeing a registered masseuse when stress or lifestyle start making knots in your back. Other examples include using the services of a physiotherapist or chiropractor for sports injuries, visiting a psychologist for depression, anxiety, or stress, and utilizing the services of a naturopath to confirm if you are allergic to anything. 

The employee benefits plan will see better claims experience in the long run when employees use paramedical services to help them with preventative care. Employees don’t miss as much work and are happier and healthier. And with less high-cost claims in the long run, the plan is more sustainable.  

2. Chronic conditions 

If preventative care wasn’t enough, sometimes employees may contend with a chronic condition which keeps them from performing at their best. Chronic pain and chronic diseases can take a toll on employees and employers alike.  

For an employee suffering from diabetes, speaking with a nutritionist might help. For employees with chronic back pain, paramedical services such as acupuncture, physiotherapy, or chiropractic services, could help alleviate some of the pain and make it more manageable.  

As a result, employers enjoy less absenteeism and presenteeism. Since employees can manage their chronic condition easier using paramedical services, they won’t have to call in sick as much. For those employees that come to work despite not being well, it can reduce presenteeism by giving them more days where they feel healthy. 

In the end, when chronic conditions are managed, employees pay less out-of-pocket expenses. Paramedical services could also keep them from requiring disability leave, saving themselves both the mental toll as well as the reduced income that comes with being on disability. Similar to preventative care, it also means less high-cost claims on other parts of the benefits plan in the long-run, keeping it sustainable. 

3. Mental health services 

The mental health of Canadians took a dive when the pandemic hit in 2020. Canadians are experiencing strained levels of anxiety, and according to the TELUS Mental Health Index, it hasn’t improved to pre-pandemic levels. Aside from anxiety, there are many different types of mental health issues that people suffer from, including, but not limited to:  

Mental health issues might be addressed or alleviated by using some of the available paramedical services. Talking to a psychologist, clinical counsellor, or therapist can go a long way towards helping employees live a mentally healthy life. 

What’s more, happiness is contagious. When employees are taking care of their mental health, company culture usually gets a boost, as well as employee satisfaction, productivity and engagement. 

The mental health of employees matters to small employers [Free Download: 2024 EAP Report] 

4. Attraction and retention 

Employees expect paramedical services to be included as part of their total compensation package. They are a staple within an employee benefits plan. For a long time, most plans required a doctor’s note proving the service was medically necessary before they would reimburse plan members. Luckily, this is no longer the case. As evidenced by the first three points, the long-term benefits far outweigh the short-term costs.  

Health and Dental Coverage Specifics Everyone Should Know

A lot of the nuances of a benefits plan can be complex, yet everyone understands paramedical coverage. Recruiters, prospective employees, and current employees will be vetting your plan, and it’s easy to notice when there isn’t coverage for physiotherapy or a registered massage therapist. With mental health being more of a focus in recent years, psychologist and counsellor coverage are even more important than ever. 

Attract and retain your best employees by ensuring these services are included. This can be achieved through traditional, fully insured health care coverage, or by providing a Health Care Spending Account (HCSA), which allows employees to submit claims for paramedical services. 

Looking to make sure your employee benefits plan is in tip-top shape?

[FREE download] Employee audit checklist for your group insurance plan