When it comes to providing an employee benefits plan, there are plenty of options to choose from in order to protect employees and support their good health. So many, in fact, it can be hard to remember all of your options!
That’s why we’ve compiled a list of employee benefits most commonly encountered in the group insurance industry all in one place. Use the Table of Contents on the side to navigate to the benefit you’d like to learn more about. Each section is complete with a brief summary and links to additional resources with all the detailed information you could want.
Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) Insurance
Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance (AD&D) provides financial assistance and support for covered employees in the event of bodily harm or loss of life as the result of an accident. Sometimes referred to as “catastrophic insurance” or “catastrophic coverage”, AD&D covers major accidental injuries.
Generally speaking, AD&D offers coverage for: loss of limbs, hands, feet, fingers, or toes, paralysis, loss of sight or hearing, or loss of life. This coverage is dependent on the loss having occurred via an accident, and can cover the loss of use of some of the above mentioned body parts as well.
Critical Illness Insurance
Critical Illness Insurance provides financial assistance upon diagnosis of a covered condition in the form of a lump-sum payment that is completely tax-free. The recipient can use this payment on anything they deem appropriate. Including medications and hospital costs, the paying off of debt, or creating an accessible home.
Dental Insurance helps plan members and their dependents pay for eligible dental expenses. Group employee benefits usually include this type of coverage.
Based on the needs of the employer, Dental Insurance coverage is varied. However, it generally has three categories of coverage:
- Basic Services — dental cleanings, fillings, extractions and other minor or common dental work.
- Major Restorative Services — dentures, crowns, bridges and other major dental work.
- Orthodontic Services — braces and other correction services.
Diagnostic Specialist Access Insurance (DSAI)
DSAI provides immediate access to specialist consultations and diagnostic examinations in Canada. A covered employee will be able to access their DSAI benefit if they are placed on a medical wait-list that exceeds 21 days. The DSAI benefit will help arrange a specialist consultation on their behalf.
Wait times in Canada can be quite long (and that was even before COVID-19 set things back even further). DSAI is an option to help employees get access to consultations and care faster.
Disability Insurance provides income replacement for a covered plan member when they are unable to work in their own occupation due to hospitalization, an accident, or becoming ill. There are two types of Disability Insurance: Short Term and Long Term Disability Insurance.
There’s a lot more to talk about when it comes to Disability Insurance, so we encourage you to check out these additional resources for more information:
- [Blog] Addressing the Troubling Trend of Rising Disability Claims in Canada
- [Blog] Short Term Disability vs. Long Term Disability Insurance
- [Blog] What is Short Term Disability (STD) Insurance and Why is it Important?
- [Blog] What is Long Term Disability (LTD) Insurance and How Does it Work?
- [Infographic] Disability Insurance in Action
Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
An Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provides employees and their families with access to accredited professionals and counselling services to deal with life’s challenges.
An EAP’s counselling can provide support and service for a variety of issues, with examples including:
- Mental health problems, such as stress, anxiety or depression
- Child or elder care issues and stresses
- Financial issues
- Marital problems
- And more!
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the ongoing mental health crisis in Canada. EAPs are seeing increased uptake as employers aim to protect employee’s mental health.
Extended Health Care (EHC)
Extended Health Care (EHC) is designed to supplement provincial health care plans. EHC offers coverage for expenses otherwise not covered by the province. For example, this would include vision care, drug coverage, paramedical coverage, and travel insurance.
EHC is pretty much a staple in group insurance plans, with approximately 95% of Benefits by Design (BBD) Inc. small business employers having it as a part of their benefits plan.
Health Care Spending Account (HCSA)
A Health Care Spending Account (HCSA) is an employee benefit that offers reimbursement for a wide range of health and dental expenses. These expenses are often in addition to what is provided for under a traditional, fully insured plan with Extended Health Care (EHC) coverage.
HCSAs are an increasingly popular benefit amongst Canadian employers due to their cost-containment, flexibility, and simplicity. HCSA expenses can include:
- Ambulance services
- Specific cancer treatment
- Dental services
- Vision care
- And much more!
Life insurance provides financial assistance in the event of a covered plan member’s death. Benefits are paid to the named beneficiary completely tax-free. Coverage can be offered either as a lump sum (example, $50,000), or can be done based on an employee’s salary (such as two times annual salary).
Life Insurance can also be offered to dependents and Optional Life Insurance may be available to increase your coverage amounts.
And as if there wasn’t enough to talk about when it comes to Life Insurance, there are also different types, such as Whole and Term Life Insurance! Although Term Life Insurance is the most common in group benefits, the distinction between the two can be important.
Medical Second Opinion (MSO) Services
Medical Second Opinion (MSO) Services provides a network of world-class specialist physicians and healthcare institutions to review and assess diagnosis and identify appropriate treatments. This service provides a professional advocate for your health who can review your case and help you make informed decisions.
If you’re curious about how MSO works, you can see MSO in action in our recent case study!
Personal Spending Account (PSA)
A Personal Spending Account (PSA), sometimes known as a Wellness Spending Account (WSA), provides employees with additional health and well-being options. These options cover expenses not normally covered under a traditional benefits plan.
Coverage options under a PSA are almost limitless. Employers set up their PSA and decide what will and will not be covered. They can set as many (or as few) parameters as they wish! For example, here’s a few of some of the most common PSA eligible expenses:
- Personal training and consultation
- Gym, fitness centre, and annual memberships
- Child and elder care
- Hobby and general interest classes
- And more!
An Employee Benefits plan can be as robust or pared down as required. Working with an advisor and BBD means you can select your Benefits By Design to suit your company and it’s employee’s needs!