Prepare for Changes to Employer Healthcare Benefits

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In Canada, permanent residents have the great fortune of enjoying health care coverage that is provided by their province or territory of residence. This is a great relief to those who would otherwise have to worry about the treatment of chronic health conditions, while wondering how to pay for the costs of seeing a doctor to manage those treatments.

However, Canada’s much-admired healthcare system is not all-encompassing. There are many treatments that fall outside the system, including most prescription drugs and additional health services like physiotherapy, semi-private hospital room coverage and medical equipment, just to name a few.

Many Canadians rely on supplemental health benefits provided by their employers to help mitigate those costs. There is some question as to whether or not this is a sound long-term strategy.

Changes to Employer Healthcare Benefits

According to the 2015 Sanofi Canada Healthcare Survey, widely regarded as a leading research report on employer-sponsored health benefit plans, there are big changes in store for the future.

According to this year’s study, some 42% of benefit plan sponsors are planning to make changes to their benefit plans in the near future.1 In some instances, these changes are positive enhancements that are based on the usage habits of the employees enrolled in the plan.

However, because of these changes, it is inevitable that some services that were previously covered by employee benefit plans will fall by the wayside. The trouble with trying to plan around sponsor changes to employee benefit programs is that none of them are universal. For plan members, it really is a guessing game.

The Role of Private Health Insurance

We already know many workers nearing the end of their careers can expect to lose some or all of their benefit coverage in retirement. Many Canadians are wondering how they will manage the costs over and above the provincial plans on a fixed income, without the employee benefits to which they have grown accustomed.

However, changes to employer healthcare benefits don’t just affect retirees. According to the Sanofi study, the long-term care costs of chronic health conditions are sometimes uncharted waters. This gives little comfort to those who really need to know what comes next.

Fortunately, employer-sponsored plans are not the only option! Private health insurance plans can help provide financial security in the event that you find a new gap in your employee benefits plan. The key is making sense of all the options available to you.

An Insurance Broker Can Help You Find the Right Coverage

In times of uncertainty in the world of insurance coverage, an insurance broker can be your guide. Brokers are licensed professionals who serve as an advocate for clients when dealing with their insurance company.

Working with a broker means that you can get help to find all the coverage you need, now and in the future. Before you find yourself wondering what comes next, be sure to speak with an insurance broker today!

1 The Sanofi Canada Healthcare Study 2015, pg. 8


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