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Your Employee Benefit Plan In Uncertain Times

Updated: Mar 20, 2020

Many Canadian businesses have awoken to a new reality fraught with complex decisions around workforce management, disruptions in cash flow, and rationalizing expenses, including employee benefit plans.

Benefits are just one part of employees’ total compensation, and while it is important to support employee wellbeing, difficult times can mean curbing components of the plan that are “nice to have” to focus on those in the “need to have” category.

Cost containment strategies may include:

  • Introduce co-insurance levels for extended health benefits: Your plan may include 80% coverage for medication and 100% coverage for other health claims like massage therapy or chiropractic coverage. Consider reducing co-insurance to 70 – 80% to reduce premium costs.

  • Eliminate “nice to have” benefits: Paramedical visits such as massage therapy and physiotherapy often make up 50% of extended health care claims. Taking away this benefit – even temporarily – can reduce health premiums.

  • Review budget: If your budget has changed relating to benefits, we can work with insurers to suggest plan alternates.

  • Suspend Health Spending and/or Wellness Account claims

Extension of Benefits

In the event of temporary layoffs, benefits can be extended for a period of time. Each insurer has unique provisions to deal with temporary layoffs, so please reach out if you would like to discuss options.

Employee and Family Assistance Programs: Lean on Employee and Family Assistance providers as they can assist managers and employees with tips, tools, and counsel to manage stress and help overcome business and personal challenges.

Plan Communication

It is important to communicate that changes are being made as soon as possible to avoid frustration if planned procedures or claims can’t be submitted to a plan they assumed would be there.

Need help? We would be happy to help you explore options, communicate changes, and support you through these uncertain times.

Careful consideration to workforce planning can help you weather this temporary storm and position your organization to resume normal business operations when this inevitably passes.


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