Benefits for employees can be an important tool for a business trying to recruit high quality employees. Being able to offer better benefits than your competitors can make it easier for you to attract this kind of employee. However, 98% of Canadian business are “small businesses”, meaning that they have between two and one hundred employees. Almost three quarters of owners of these businesses are concerned about the costs of providing healthcare plans to their employees. Thankfully, new kinds of private supplemental health insurance plans are being created to make it easier for employers to provide group health benefit plans for their employees.
Healthcare, including group health benefit plans, are generally regulated by the Canada Health Act of 1984, which makes most basic healthcare services free to all Canadians. However, some services are not covered or require copays, so private supplemental health insurance still exists in Canada. For instance, the Canada Health Transfer (CHT), which is the federal government’s transfer payment program that supports provincial healthcare systems, mostly restricts the services it covers to those rendered by hospitals and physicians. Healthcare has become more diverse and complex since these systems were created. Employers of all sizes still strive to provide benefits for employees that cover what the public health system does not so that their employees stay healthy. Group health benefit plans are one way of doing this.
A new program, the Canadian Employee Health Benefits Plan (CEHBP), helps small businesses to get better and more stable premiums for group health benefit plans so that their employees can be properly taken care of and employers can remain competitive. The CEHBP helps small employers to get more competitive insurance rates that they would not generally otherwise be able to get from Canada’s larger insurers.