Standalone® + Pooled Benefits

Jul 30 | 2019

In today’s rapidly evolving workforce, where five different generations are all working together, it can be difficult to craft a benefits plan that works for everyone. One of the most obvious and ideal solutions for this problem is our Standalone® product.

Standalone is an easy-to-use spending account solution that gives the power to choose how to spend their benefits dollars to the employees, allowing them to focus on what they most need.

For example: Megan, who needs a new prescription and glasses, can use her dollars for vision care, while Michael, who has young three kids with a sweet tooth, can use his dollars for dental care.

What Standalone is Meant For

Standalone plans combine the flexibility of a Health Care Spending Account (HCSA) with a Wellness Spending Account (WSA). It’s ideal for clients looking for an alternative or a top-up to a traditional benefits plan, and for employees who want flexibility and choice in how to spend their health and wellness dollars.

With a HCSA, employees can receive coverage for eligible expenses as regulated by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), including, but not limited to: ambulance services, specific cancer treatments, dental services, registered massage therapy (RMT), and more.

With a WSA, employees can receive coverage for expenses that provide additional health and wellbeing options beyond what is covered under a traditional plan, including, but not limited to: personal training and consultation, gym memberships, childcare, eldercare, hobbies, and general interest classes.

While this coverage is great, it doesn’t protect you from major illnesses or financial risk in the same way that pooled benefits do. However, by combining Standalone with pooled benefits, employers can craft plans with greater levels of coverage.

What Are Pooled Benefits and What Are They Meant For?

Pooled benefits are what most people think of when they think of traditional insurance: Life Insurance, Disability Insurance, etc. They’re meant to protect covered employees from unexpected, costly events that might otherwise leave them financially at risk. Pooled benefits are generally those with low-frequency, high-cost claims, as these kinds of claims could significantly impact a group’s experience if they’re not pooled together with others.

With pooled benefits, groups’ premium payments go into a single pot or “pool” of money that an Insurer’s entire block of business contributes to. This effectively spreads the risk of a claim out across a large number of people, and groups are rated based on the overall block. The better the block does on the whole, the better the rates for everyone.

Pooled and Non-Insured Paired Together

Like peanut butter and jelly, Standalone and pooled benefits are an ideal pairing.

We believe in the powerful combination of Standalone and pooled benefits because we’ve seen them in action. Here’s some of the most common pairing of Standalone and pooled benefits we’ve seen:



Standalone + Group Travel Insurance

Group Travel Insurance is often found embedded in an Extended Health Care (EHC) benefit. However, as Standalone becomes more popular, we’re seeing an increased need for a group travel insurance product that exists outside of our EHC benefit.

Through our group travel solution, AwayCare, Standalone groups can add group travel insurance for a more comprehensive plan.


Standalone + Employee Assistance Plan

As the stigma surrounding mental health continues to disappear, it’s becoming more important for employers to have a program in place to help employees deal with life’s ups and downs.

An Employee Assistance Plan (EAP) provides access to accredited professional support, resources, and assistance for about the price of a cup of coffee a day.


Standalone + Critical Illness Insurance

Critical Illness (CI) Insurance covers plan members and their dependents for unexpected serious illnesses from a pre-determined list of conditions. Employees receive a lump sum payment upon the diagnosis of one of the covered conditions.

It’s an excellent way to round out a Standalone plan with additional financial protection against some of the most common illnesses and conditions.

There are countless other combinations of Standalone + [insert product here], but these are some of the most common solutions. When clients are looking for flexibility and choice, think Standalone. When clients are looking for flexibility and choice and some combination of pooled benefits, think Standalone + whatever your clients need.

Learn more about Standalone and download our new Advisor Guide!