All About Healthcare Benefits

Benefits vary from employer to employer, as well as from country to country. Let’s explore the differences regarding employee benefits between US and Canada.

HIRING IN CANADA: ALL ABOUT HEALTHCARE BENEFITS

     Nunzio Presta
     Senior Sales and Marketing Executive

 

One thing that can make or break a job offer is the benefits the employee will receive when they decide to accept the job. Benefits vary from employer to employer, as well as from country to country.

US and Canada certainly have their differences regarding employee benefits, so if you are transferring jobs, expanding, or starting a business in Canada, here are some things you should know about Canada’s employment benefit laws & customs.

CANADA’S PUBLIC BENEFITS VS EMPLOYERS’ BENEFITS

Canada is known for having one of the best public healthcare systems in the whole world. Businesses are not required to provide primary healthcare for their employees. However, most employers offer a supplemental plan to cover other healthcare needs.

Every province has its public health insurance plan. In Ontario, it is called OHIP; in Quebec, it’s called RAMQ; and in Alberta, Alberta Health and Wellness.

These public insurance plans cover necessities for the whole family. Each offers coverage for things like immunizations, doctor visits, specialist visits, surgeries and ward hospital rooms, to name a few. Still, for most Canadians, they don’t cover all the health expenditures that come with day to day living.

This is where employer-sponsored benefit plans come into play. They cover other essential health-related needs like dental care, vision care, and prescription drugs to help employees avoid spending out of pocket when these needs arise

STANDARD EMPLOYER-SPONSORED HEALTH AND DENTAL BENEFIT PLAN

Employer-sponsored health and dental benefit plans vary depending on what the employer, broker, and carrier agree to provide to the employees. 

Here are examples of common benefits included in an employer-sponsored benefit plan:

  • Dental coverage between 80-100% for basic treatments; and 50% for major treatments.
  • Prescription drugs can also be included in these plans, with 80-90% coverage, sometimes even 100%!
  • Paramedical services, chiropractic, and massage can be included for between $300 and $500 a year.
  • Some employers also offer coverage for vision care and travel insurance for their employees.

Cost of Supplemental Health and Dental Plans

Of course, the plan cost depends on the benefits a company chooses to provide to its employees, and what is competitive for their industry.

For standard coverage, an employer could pay on average between $225 and $275 a month. This is per individualon their plan. This price increases as you add more benefits or modify coverage to suit your employees’ needs.

BRIDGING THE HEALTH BENEFITS BEFORE PROVINCIAL HEALTH INSURANCE KICKS IN

Provincial health insurance does not immediately cover new foreign employees in Canada. If you have a new employee coming to Canada, he or she will need to wait at least three months before being covered by the public insurance health plans.

A lot of times, new employers will go to their local chamber of commerce to try and see if they have a bridging plan, or you can use an outsource employer, like HR Options, who has an established benefit plan.

We can help with temporary plans to cover new employees for the first few months. Once provincial coverage kicks in, they can join the full supplemental plan at that point.

CONCLUSION

A healthcare plan is one of the most important benefits you can offer to employees when joining your company. These plans help demonstrate how much you value your employees and can help with retention rates over time.

As Canada already has excellent public healthcare, it is a good idea to invest in competitive supplemental health care plans so that your employees are covered for other medical expenses that are not covered by basic insurance. Make sure to choose a trusted broker that can offer you quality plans for your employees without spending too much.

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