- Group Benefits
- Personal Insurance
- Business Insurance
- Wealth Management
1. Why a Group Benefits Plan?
Providing a group benefits plan for your employees is a proven and effective way to increase employee retention, maintain and improve productivity, attract and retain key talent for your business, and protect the wellbeing of your employees and their families. In today’s ultra competitive job market it is important to ensure your business stands out from your competitors. Setting up a robust employee benefits plan is one important way of standing out.
According to a Glassdoor survey from 2015 around 79% of employees are more interested in new or additional benefits than they are in a salary increase. Today’s market belongs to the job seeker. In order to compete in the top talent pool, employers can no longer rely only on a competitive pay scale, although it certainly helps. Today’s labor market demands more than just salary and traditional compensation.
As independent advisors, we deal with most of the major carriers in Canada and when you quote with us, we will take your group to market and present you with the three best quotes. We care deeply about being transparent through the entire marketing process and will always provide a copy of all the quotes we received for your records. All the quotes we provide are no fee no obligation and completely customizable so if you want to look at a different benefits spread than originally quoted we are happy to ask for revisions, and at the end of the process if you decide that our plans are not right for you there will be no surprise fees and no hard feelings.
2. When your plan is managed by Advantage Pacific, we include the following services at no extra cost!
- Plan implementation is handled completely by us. It doesn’t matter if it is transferring an existing plan or setting up a brand-new plan, we are here to do the heavy lifting.
- Our platinum administrative services package is included at no extra charge for every new group. (Third Party Administration)
- A mid term review of your plan usage where we review the benefit's your employees have used the most, and the ones that are under utilized.
- A detailed cost analysis at your plans renewal where we will present several variations of benefits where we decrease the benefits that are underutilized and increase the benefits that are most used to present a cost-effective plan that works best for you and your employees.
- Direct access to our advisors for your employees so when they have questions or concerns about the plan they can talk to a real person and not wait on hold to get their questions answered.
- We will regularly (no less than every 3 years depending on your groups claims experience) take your plan to market to ensure you are getting the best rates to benefits available.
- One on one or group presentations (lunch and learns) to explain the benefits that are available to your employees.
We give each client a signed copy of Advantage Pacific’s “Our Commitments” letter outlining and guaranteeing the platinum level service we guarantee to each of our client’s. These commitments include a 1 business day response time to all inquiries, one on one or group meetings with you and your employees to review benefits and answer questions, and regular reviews to ensure you are up to date on your plans usage and claims experience.
4. Benefits Available on Our Plans
- Health Insurance – The health portion of a plan typically includes the coverage for prescriptions, semiprivate hospital rooms, vision coverage, Orthopaedic shoes and inserts, hearing aids, diabetic pumps and pump supplies, and private duty nursing. This coverage can also include coverage for paramedical practitioners like a registered massage therapist, chiropractor, registered clinical councillor and more, over the counter vaccines, diabetic pumps, supplies and more.
- Dental Insurance – The dental benefit is going to have coverage for your regular cleanings, fillings, root canals, crowns, bridges, and other regular oral maintenance. They can also include orthodontic coverage and specialist fees.
- Life Insurance – Most plans will have some life insurance coverage. The life benefit can vary from $10,000 per employee to $200,000 with no evidence of insurability. More insurance coverage can normally be obtained on a plan if the employee wishes to fill out a medical questionnaire.
- Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance (AD&D) – Most plans will come with an AD&D benefit equal to the life benefit. This will double the life insurance payout of a plan member passes away while covered on the plan. This will also have coverage for dismemberments such as loosing a limb or eye.
- Dependent Life Insurance – This will typically be a small amount of life insurance that will cover the life of your souse and children. This is an optional benefit and doesn’t need to be included with most plans.
- Short Term Disability – This disability coverage will pay a percentage of a plan members weekly salary if they are disabled up to 16 or 17 weeks depending on your policy. We typically recommend the employee pay the entire premium for this benefit as if the company pays the premium the employees disability payment will be taxed before the payment is made to them, where if the employee pays the premium it is a non taxable benefit.
- Long Term Disability – This disability coverage will pay a percentage of the employees’ monthly income before the disability occurred. Just like with the Short-Term Disability benefit we always recommend the employee pay 100% of the premium so if they do end up on a long-term disability claim the payments will be non taxable. This coverage can have a payment period as short as 2 years or go to when the employee turns 65.
- Employee Assistance Program – Employee assistance programs are becoming much more common in today’s marketplace with many insurance companies building them into their plans. This coverage can provide crisis counselling supports, family counselling supports, conflict resolution training for managers and executives, and other counselling services.
- Travel Insurance – You can always add travel insurance to your benefits plan for little cost. Most insurance companies will provide emergency medical coverage with a few still offering cancellation coverage as well.
- Health Spending Account (HSA) – A HSA provides employees with the freedom to choose where they spend their insurance dollars, rather than having the plan dictate where they can spend them. Every year a specific number of credits are assigned to each employee, and they can then use them on any eligible medical expense they like. This type of plan can be set up as a stand alone plan or as a top up to a traditional group benefits plan.
- Personal Spending Account – This account is a less restrictive version of a Health Spending Account allowing employees to spend credits on a broad range of health and wellness expenses. Things like fitness club and streaming memberships, fitness apparel, fees and registrations for team sports programs, personal trainers, stress management programs, childcare expenses, public transit passes, and much more.
5. Cost of a Group Benefits Plan
Benefits plans range in price depending on what benefits you would like to provide. A basic plan providing just health and dental can run approximately $80 per month per employee to $150.00 per month per employee. A more robust plan can run in the $250,00 to $350.00 per month per employee for a full range of benefits including short- and long-term disability.
There are ways to keep the costs to the company down such as having the employees pay a portion of the premium (premium sharing), reducing the coinsurance percentage (the amount the plan pays), or limiting the dollar maximums on the plan to reduce the risk of large claims. Plus, any money you spend providing benefits to your employees are an eligible expense and can be used as a tax deduction for the company.
We are happy to disclose publicly how we get paid as transparency is very important to us. We charge between 5% and 10% on group benefits plans, this all depends on the complexity of your group. For example, if your group benefits plan is governed by a complex collective bargaining agreement (CBA) with your union, we will charge our full fee of 10% to ensure we are always on side with your contract and that employees are coming on and taken off the plan according to the terms of your CBA.
If you already have an experienced administrator who is going to take care of all the admin work on the plan and you only want us to negotiate your renewal, be available to answer questions, and help attend to small tasks, we will charge less than our standard 10%. The amount will be negotiated and put in writing before you sign any contracts.