OMHRA and SBIS – How To Connect To Human Resources Guidance on Health Insurance Trends

OMHRA is the voice of advocacy, education and guidance on Municipal Human Resource practices and trends. SBIS provides health insurance expertise and thought leadership to members.

For nearly sixty years, OMHRA has been the premier professional association representing human resources, labour relations, and senior management professionals within the local public sector in Ontario. Members are employed in municipalities, local boards, agencies, and commissions; they provide timely human resources advice and assistance to their respective Councils, Boards, Management Teams and Commissions.

To assist in building capacity and expertise of their members, SBIS shares health insurance knowledge, education, and communication on trends that members face.

Today’s issue: recruiting employees during a labour shortage

Many OMHRA members are facing the obstacle of recruiting employees to keep their business running smoothly. And they are not alone. There is a shortage of labour. To compound the problem, it is getting harder to retain skilled employees who are being offered more employment options from interested employers seeking them.

While many businesses plan to increase wages offered to existing and new employees, don’t overlook how critical health insurance benefits are as an attractive component of compensation. About 10 years ago, according to the 2021 Benefits Canada Healthcare Survey employers considered the main purpose of their health benefits plan was to bring ‘peace of mind’ to their employees. Today, employers understand that the reason health insurance benefits are critical to employees is “to provide coverage so that employees are not placed under undue financial burden.”

Understanding Health Insurance as a solution

For many people with chronic conditions, the pandemic exacerbated their situation due to delayed treatments, reduced physical activity and increased anxiety. For others, frustration and stress took its toll. Recent events have impacted your prospective recruits and workers personally, and those within their family household. Now taking care of health is top of mind. As an employer take advantage of today’s raised conscience of importance of good health and healthcare by providing access to health insurance to tangibly demonstrate to your employees that they are valued, strengthening your ability to attract and retain a strong team.

Health insurance helps employees reduce out of pocket expenses for healthcare costs not covered by their provincial government plan, like prescription drugs, dental care, hearing aids, vision care and massage therapy and more. That helps ensure prospects will weigh your offer favourably and current employees will hesitate to change employment if your health plan is strong.


The steps to take with employees

Be sure that your employees know what benefits they have, how to access them and whether they adequately meet their healthcare needs. Consider paying your employees a little more cash and encourage them get an individual health insurance policy on their own. They can combine their group health coverage and individual plan together to maximize protection against healthcare costs. This compensation option is a cost-effective way to provide enhanced and unique support that makes your business stand out from the competition. Employees will be able to choose the health insurance benefits they think they will need. That is flexibility they will appreciate.

Link to HR groups to stay in the know

As an HR leader, consider joining an organized HR forum . Here’s the value you may discover:

  • An opportunity to gain knowledge on current HR challenges
  • Networking at conferences, seminars, and teleconferences to foster connections with professionals
  • Understand practices and trends in real time
  • Have access to articles, databases, and e-mail alerts to ensure you have the latest information.

Depend on SBIS for health insurance expertise

Beyond protecting employees from financial burden, health insurance protects your business from absence and lost productivity. It is a strong tool in your recruitment and compensation package.

At SBIS we are experts in health insurance for anyone looking to be covered, offering over 50 different health and dental plan options including plans for individuals who do not qualify for your group benefits like contract, part time and seasonal workers, and those losing benefits like retirees, divorcees, surviving spouses, staff facing job loss, over-age dependents or students coming off their group plan. We work every day to help OHMRA municipalities and a broad range of small businesses like yours choose the right health benefits plan.


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