The Basics of Canadian Employee Health Benefits; Universal Access for All?

Group health plans

Would you believe that a whopping 60% of Canadian employers are concerned about the quality of the group health benefits plan that they offer to their employees? This fact underscores the importance of Canadian healthcare, which is a publicly funded system (which is mostly free) that aims to provide more coverage to its citizens at a fraction of the cost.

One of the biggest benefits of the Canadian healthcare system is the minimal impact on its citizens pockets. Essentially, there are no deductibles on basic healthcare services, and if there are, the co pays are very low and in fact, nearly non existent.

The question then is, what is the quality of group health benefits and health insurance for small business options? And how do Canadian group health benefits work to supplement national healthcare options?

Specifically designed with small and midsize businesses in mind, the Canadian Employee Health Benefits Plan (CEHBP) is a group health benefits plan that ensures stable premiums and improved coverage for small business health employee benefits. It does all this without having to rely on the bigger Canadian insurance companies (meaning those that are inundated and overburdened with claims).

CEHBP provides group benefit plans that demystify employee insurance benefits while lowering out of pocket costs for the worker. For example, Canadian medical insurance typically covers surgery and services, including psychotherapy or psychiatry, in doctors office and in hospitals. Insurance premiums, however, need not necessarily include life and disability insurance, which can unintentionally add to the burden on an employees wallet.

Therefore, with the aforementioned in mind, CEHBP unbundles health premiums from life and disability premiums thereby immediately lessening the initial expense. When this delineation occurs, the healthcare premium calculation factors in (or rather deducts) administration costs. Then, the tier (or level) of deductible insurance desired is calculated. (The higher the deductible, the lower the premiums). The remaining surplus of funds is then reallocated into the tax free benefit account of the employee. Pretty simple, straightforward, and nonsensical, no?

There are a few caveats, however. The Canada Health Act of 1984 specifies that insurance programs and carriers must abide to certain criteria in order to keep receiving federal funds (under the Canada Health Transfer). These guidelines are stringent, and you must ensure that your intended carrier is in adherence.

Are you a small business owner or employee with experience around CEHBP? If so, share your experiences below! Reference links.

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