What Is The Cost Of (Not Having) Health Insurance For Your Small Business?

What Is The Cost Of (Not Having) Health Insurance For Your Small Business?
Inflation and labour shortages are subjects of real concern for Canadian employers. As employees become more selective, can you afford not to offer health benefits?

The pressure to offer higher wages due to labour shortages is felt by many entrepreneurs. According to the September 2021 Business Development Bank of Canada ( study, the pressure of labour shortages has intensified in recent years. More than half (55%) of Canadian entrepreneurs struggle to hire the workers they need, leaving them with no choice but to work more hours, as well as delay or refuse new orders. In addition, more than a quarter (26%) are having difficulties retaining their employees. 

What is even more alarming is that labour scarcity is here to stay. The growth of Canada’s labour force will continue to slow for years as the country’s population ages. Entrepreneurs will have to spend more time hiring and retaining workers than they did before. This underscores the importance to your small business to adopt solutions to sustain growth and productivity overall, by hiring and retaining employees. 

Considering the costs associated with hiring new employees and the increasing competition for labour, more small businesses, including those with ten employees are less, are increasingly inclined to offer competitive and comprehensive benefit packages that include health and wellness support. Here are factors you need to consider regarding the cost of health insurance.


When your profit margin is squeezed, only productivity gains can help you absorb rising costs

Your small business needs to meet your target profit margins. Inflation pressure and supplier issues make this increasingly difficult. 

You need your team intact and focused to meet your goals. That means you need your employees fit and able both physically and mentally for the challenges ahead.

Offering health benefits, especially if you operate in an industry where workers are in high demand, may increase your labour expenses in the short term. So why offer benefits? By investing in your team you can

  • Attract quality employees
  • Minimize employee turnover
  • Maintain a healthy workforce
  • Boost employee morale

The advantage of offering health benefits can far outweigh the monthly premium costs. It will serve to stabilize and even energize your workforce so you can meet your productivity goals.

What does health insurance do for your employees?

Almost all employees consider prescription drugs very or somewhat important to their health. Without prescription drug coverage from a health insurance plan, costs for medication come out-of-pocket for your employees. Drug coverage is a substantial benefit when it comes to an employee’s personal finances.

The other plus side of health insurance for employees is that, unlike life insurance, they will typically get to use their drug, extended medical and dental coverage regularly. Depending on their health needs, individuals will use their plan as frequently as every month.

Offering health insurance can help current employees stay productive, especially if they suffer from – chronic health conditions such as arthritis or diabetes. With day-to-day stressors, health insurance can help your team take care of their mental health too.

Health issues have a significant impact on your workforces’ productivity. Left untreated by medications, plan members will miss work, or their condition will make it harder to do their job and impact their work performance. Having health insurance allows employees to address issues promptly and properly, reducing time away from work.

Here are just some of the coverage health insurance offers:

  • vision care
  • registered specialists and therapists including chiropractors, chiropodists, naturopaths, registered massage therapists, physiotherapists, acupuncturists and registered psychologist or psychotherapists
  • homecare and nursing or personal support workers, and dieticians
  • prosthetic appliances and medical equipment
  • accidental dental
  • accidental death and dismemberment
  • ambulance
  • hearing aids
  • travel medical insurance.

Employees feel more financially confident when they can show their health insurance benefit card to confirm coverage for the prescriptions provided — and not have to pay out of pocket for most of the costs or be relieved that they can submit claims directly to the insurer for reimbursement.

How much will health insurance benefits cost?

The cost of health insurance for small businesses can vary greatly. It will depend on the plan you go with, how many benefits you decide to offer and how many employees you have. 

Your employee health plan with prescription drug coverage can also cover dental health benefits, or not. You can control how much you want to fund.

A portion of the health plan insurance premiums may be deductible as a business expense and may also be non-taxable to an employee. It is important to consult with a tax advisor to be certain.

GMS Group Advantage

Here is an examples of health insurance benefit costs for the GMS Group Advantage plan:

3 Employees: About $100 per month in premium
10 Employees: $250 to $350 per month in premium

Compare that monthly expense to the cost of losing a sale or a valued customer because you were not able to staff your business to meet their needs. 

If your business has 3 to 10 employees, the GMS Group Advantage Plan allows you to:

  • choose the health and/or dental plan that best suits your employee needs to cover health, vision and prescription drugs and add on dental care for services ranging from routine and basic services, to major procedures and orthodontic services.
  • calculate your monthly premium immediately — no need to wait for a quote!
  • use the simple application process with no medical questions.

With the plan you also get an Employee Family Assistance Program (EFAP) at no extra cost that provides employees with

  • Anytime Access to Online Resources

interactive tools, health and wellness assessments child and elder care resource locators e-learning courses a dynamic library of health, life balance and workplace articles personalized content recommendations

  • Over-the-phone Lifestyle Coaching

nutritional coaching, smoking cessation and jumpstarting wellness career coaching and shift-worker support retirement and post-retirement planning elder and family care, relationship solutions, grief and loss legal advice and financial consultation

  • Confidential Counselling Services for Employees and Their Dependents

relationship or family concerns anxiety, depression, and grief addictions coping with health issues

These EFAP services can be accessed by your team 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

Best of all, GMS Group Advantage plans are designed with premium stability in mind, which means you will not see a big premium hike when your plan renews.

The cost of offering health insurance is outweighed by the significant benefit to your business

The fact is health insurance benefits are an important part of any employee’s compensation package. Having the right benefits plan can help your business achieve its goals, attract top talent, and maximize productivity.

It is an opportunity for you as an employer to empower employees to take care of their health – and for you to take care of your business.

Talk to us at SBIS today for more information on putting your GMS Group Advantage plan in place or learn more about the employer health insurance options we offer here.

All your employees will qualify, and your plans can cover single employees or their families.


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