When it comes time to renew your employee benefit plan, it’s always better to not have any surprises. You can be prepared for your renewal by knowing how a pooled plan works in your favour. By purchasing the right plan for your company you can feel confident that you (and your employees) will be happy at renewal time. Even so, how do you recognize your employees are pleased with the plan and that it is effectively serving its purpose?
1. Employees Are Discussing Claims
Pay attention when employees need to get off early or take an extended lunch for medical appointments. Often times they might even let you know casually that they are dealing with some medical issues they are getting treatment for. Don’t be upset that employees need time off for medical appointments – they are probably saving you money in the long run. Most importantly, you know that your employee benefit plan is getting put to good use.
An Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provides counseling for stress, marital issues, family crises, etc. Many employees will not converse directly with fellow workers about many of these issues in fear of judgment in the workplace.
You as an employer will notice a positive attitude, increased production, better work habits, fewer sick days when employees take advantage of the EAP program. Medication for stress related conditions is second only to heart related conditions such as blood pressure and cholesterol in annual consumption.
3. WCB Rates
In some provinces, WCB are now covering stress claims calling it “stress in the workplace”. If your rates have increased due to stress related claims in the past and your WCB rates are being reduced, you can feel confident your employee benefit plan is being used.
4. Sick Days
In my office, when an individual has a cold or flu we advise them to stay home because too many others, including clients, can become sick. This stops the bugs from running through the office. We pay the employee for this time. Of course having sick employees in the workplace isn’t good for the employees or the flow of operations but it’s important to be sensitive to the health needs of your staff.
5. Lack of Proper Nutrition
The epidemic of obesity is a serious health concern for Canada and although employers can’t (and shouldn’t) control what employees eat, they can control the choices they promote in the workplace.
When buying lunch for your employees, opt for wraps and veggies over pizza and pop. Even supplying a healthy snack in the mornings sometimes can be immediately beneficial as some people might be skipping breakfast before work. Promoting healthy eating and exercise by experimenting with different programs can reduce the usage of prescriptions and other extended medical items. Living longer and healthier life is better when done drug-free.
What’s The Solution?
Policing your employees eating habits and medication usage is not only irrational but illegal. It makes much more sense to provide a solution that supports employees in whatever decisions they make by offering coverage that won’t penalize premiums unfairly for using the plan.
Over 90% of Canadian employers have an employee benefit plan that is experience priced and are not aware of the pooled pricing model that tends to serve smaller businesses much better. For more details on the different pricing models that are not often talked about and the 3 major mistakes most Canadian employers make when choosing an employee benefit plan, click here for a free informative eBook download.