Do Your Workers Understand How Health Benefits Help With Cost Savings? They May Be Happier If They Do

Smiling workers at a coffee shop
Health benefits play a massive role in employees’ lives both at and outside of work — and a big part of this is not just the benefits themselves, but also the awareness of how they can be used to save money.

Understanding health benefits offered by their employer leads employees to more informed enrolment decisions, better utilization and generally be more satisfied with their workplace. In fact, Canadian research shows that 70% of employees feel their employer should support employee financial well-being – and providing health benefits is a large part of that support.

To have the most positive impact with the health benefits you offer employees, here are some tips on breaking down the barriers that hinder comprehension and exciting elements to emphasize for cost savings – that topic that really gets everyone’s attention.

Help employees save money with Prescription Drug coverage

Did you know that over 20% of your employees typically take three or more medications on a regular basis? The problem for employees is that prescription drugs are not covered for most by their government health plan. Paying for prescriptions they, and their family members need, means significant out-of-pocket cost. That’s why having Prescription Drug coverage in your health benefits offering is vital to protect employees’ finances.

Here are three ways your employees can use prescription drug to save even more money (and time):

Ask for a 3-month supply of maintenance drugs

If your employee is on a maintenance drug, they should try to have ask their doctor to prescribe a three-month supply vs. a one-month supply (the max amount for maintenance drug refill). This means they will only have to pay for one dispensing fee instead of three if your insurer agrees to the supply amount. They could save more than $100 in dispensing fees in just one year.

Get extra savings on dispensing fees

Let employees know that Costco is one of the most affordable pharmacies for both drug costs and dispensing fees. They don’t need to be a member to purchase prescriptions at Costco. Just mention upon entry that you are visiting the store for prescription drugs only.

Use built-in services like PocketPills

Online prescription drug ordering services included in health insurance like PocketPills make medications more accessible and affordable and include access to a pharmacist 7 days a week via live chat and FREE home delivery. That is fantastic savings on time and effort (and gas too).

Let them know they can shop around for paramedical services

Black Friday. Cyber Monday. End of season clearance. Yes, everyone watches for opportunities to get the best deal on purchases they need – but is there a way to get the ‘best deal’ on healthcare treatment costs?

Using health insurance benefits can help cover the cost for paramedical practitioners like Chiropractors, Massage Therapists, Physiotherapists, Psychologists and more. Depending on the practitioner, they charge a wide range of rates, varying from $60 to $230 per visit.

Why not suggest that your employees shop around for treatments they need? They may be able to compare costs and find a more reasonable price. Take a look at this chart as an example:

Canadian Paramedical Service Fees*

Acupuncturist$85$125Social Worker$145$200
Chiropractor$85$145Speech Therapist$125$165
Massage Therapy$95$120Podiatrist$70$150
Physiotherapist$83$165Occupational Therapist$120$180
*These are the average fees across Canada as of April 1, 2021 and are subject to change.

If your health insurance benefits plan has a per visit maximum and lifetime maximum, your team will appreciate understanding how to get the most out of the plan you offer.

Remind employees that dental costs do go up

While the cost of everything seems to be increasing, remind your employees that dental costs also go up every year and as a result they may face higher out-of-pocket dental costs. This can be particularly challenging for lower-income employees and those with families.

During a dental visit, dental practitioners may focus more on providing services that are most profitable for them and less on providing basic preventative care. As there is no provincial or federal fee guide that a dental practitioner must follow, its important to shop around for services to save money.

Do not underestimate the financial value of health insurance for your employees

Health insurance delivers support to your employees, with most plans providing coverage for

  • Prescription drugs
  • Dental care
  • Vision care
  • Homecare and nursing or personal support workers
  • Prosthetic appliances and medical equipment
  • Accidental dental
  • Ambulance
  • Hearing aids
  • Travel medical insurance.

Are there gaps in your health coverage offering? You can use or connect your employees to individual health plans to ‘top up’ coverage with add-on benefits like:

  • Comprehensive dental coverage to cover additional or specialized care costs
  • Additional medical travel insurance so employees won’t need to buy any other coverage
  • Extra vision care benefits to increase coverage
  • Semi-private or private hospital coverage.

By understanding their health benefits, taking steps to have the coverage they need in place and using their benefits and strategies to minimize out of pocket costs, your employees will be happier – and healthier.

Get the information you need at SBIS

At SBIS, we’ll provide you with all the information you need on individual health insurance or small business health plan options and provide support information you can share with employees by email or on paper. We can even help with education sessions to make your choice and your employees’ choices easy and convenient.

Providing a support system that includes information on individual health plan options can go a long way to helping your employees save money. Contact us online today or just give us a call at 1-800-667-0429 Monday to Friday, 8:45 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. ET.


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