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How Virtual Healthcare Is Valuable For Your Business

Two people working on laptops at a cafe
With Canada’s job vacancy rate higher than it’s been in nearly a decade, you likely have more open positions than you can find talent to fill them. Creating an attractive compensation package is vital – and including virtual health care is more valuable than you may realize.

The Conference Board of Canada reports that about 22 per cent of Canadian adults (6.5 million people) did not have a regular family doctor in the fall of 2022. Accessing care is an issue your employees – and prospective employees – face, making virtual healthcare services more important than ever.

About half of employers in Canada report that their benefits plan includes a virtual component for physical and/or mental health services. If your compensation package doesn’t include virtual care, its time to make it available to your team.

Virtual health care is a powerful tool for employees

Virtual healthcare allows individuals to obtain medical services remotely and online using their laptop, cellphone or simply their telephone – its also known as telehealth or telemedicine. From video consultations with healthcare providers to getting prescriptions, virtual health care helps employees, delivering these benefits:

Convenience

Employees (and their family members) don’t need to schedule healthcare appointments weeks in advance or spend hours in a waiting room for small questions/concerns or common prescription refills. Often, they can see a doctor on the same day and receive treatment without ever leaving work, reducing time away for occasional or frequent check-ups like those needed for chronic condition management.

Accessibility, time, and cost-savings

If your employees live in rural and remote areas, they can get access to medical practitioners who may not be available locally. Even those in urban areas, especially those with mobility issues, will welcome relief from the pressure and cost of organizing childcare, using public transit, or fighting traffic and finding parking in order to visit a doctor in person.

Improved well-being

Virtual health care can provide mental health services including counseling, therapy, or stress management sessions that are private and discreet. Virtual rehab care or regular communication and medical check-ins can help employees monitor their chronic conditions to keep them well-managed and stable.

Person working on laptop at cafe

Virtual health care is a powerful tool for your business bottom-line

By offering virtual care benefits, businesses demonstrate proactive concern for employee well-being and enable your benefits package to work to improve employee health, save costs and increase your business efficiency by

Attracting talent

Prospective employees value benefits that prioritize their well-being, and favourably consider employers that provide virtual healthcare support.

Retaining talent

When employees feel supported and cared for, they’re more likely to stay with your company long-term.

Providing continuity preparedness

Virtual care ensures continuity during disruptions (like pandemics or natural disasters). Employees can access care even when physical clinics are closed, safely seeking care they need with minimal exposure to travel risks.

Increasing employee access to care

Virtual appointments allow employees to interact with health care providers who might have been previously inaccessible due to distance or availability, making medical attention timelier, leading to better health outcomes and reduced absenteeism.

Reducing the risk of transmission

Virtual appointments protect employees from potential exposure to viruses or other illnesses found in hospitals and clinics. By avoiding physical visits, employees minimize their risk of infection and may more quickly realize if they are contagious – saving your workplace from transmission exposure.

Providing needed family support

Virtual appointments make it easier for employees to involve their family members or more conveniently support their dependent family members with less time away from work.

There are options to integrate virtual care

You can choose from a variety of health insurance options with virtual care to align with your business needs. Selecting the right plan can be challenging; that’s why at SBIS, we go to work to help you put it into place.

Our online shopping experience helps you compare, receive online quotes, and even purchase from a wide range of small group and individual health and dental insurance that offer virtual healthcare solutions from leading insurers including

  • PRISM health plans, exclusively from SBIS, with GreenShield+ that helps employees conveniently consult with thousands of health professionals, whether it’s a general practitioner or a specialist, without the long wait
  • GMS Group Advantage Family Assistance Program offers over-the-phone lifestyle coaching and confidential counselling services for employees and their dependents
  • HealthPlus plans have LifeWorks family assistance and Personalized Prescribing to help ensure employees are taking the right medication
  • Manulife health and dental plans include Akira by TELUS so employees can consult with a healthcare professional via video or text, get a diagnosis, prescriptions and lab requisitions and referrals to specialists.

You may want to consider a ‘hybrid’ health insurance solution to combine your group health coverage and enable employees to ‘top up’ with their own individual health plan that contain virtual healthcare features.

If you or your employees have never had to purchase health coverage before, you can talk to one of our experts. We have options to fit your budget and needs, with almost 50 different health and dental plans to choose from with features like lifetime renewable coverage for every type of employee aged 18 and over, no matter their occupation.

Want to take advantage of the convenience of telephone support? We are ready to answer your questions. Just give us a call Monday to Friday 8:45 a.m. – 4:45 p.m. Eastern Time at 1-800-667-0429 or 416-601-0429 or go online to discover the wide range of small group and individual health and dental insurance options we offer.

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