What Is Your Best Health Insurance Strategy For Your Aging Workforce?

It is crucial to recognize the profound value that age diversity brings to a workforce, particularly in a business setting. If we let older workers leave the workforce abruptly, there will be a larger worker shortage in the experienced/professional roles. Time to plan ahead!

In today’s competitive business landscape, companies are constantly striving to attract and retain top talent, especially in highly specialized and hard-to-fill positions. Yet in their search, employers often overlook a segment of the workforce that holds immense potential as an asset — older, seasoned workers.

The word “older” is the trigger but older translates to experienced — which is what hiring managers want. With their wealth of institutional knowledge and experience, these individuals play a pivotal role in collaborating with younger workers, enabling a seamless connection between the old and new.

The fact is that Canada’s working-age population is older than it has ever been according to Statistics Canada, with more than one in five working adults now nearing retirement — a demographic shift that will create significant challenges for the Canadian workforce in the coming decade.

In the report Bain & Company report Better with Age: The Rising Importance of Older Workers, there is some good news: age-diverse firms are lower in turnover and higher in productivity than benchmarks. So how do you keep older workers on your team?

There is a tipping point for older workers you need to recognize

According to the Bain report, before age 60, the average worker is primarily motivated by good compensation. But at around 60, there’s a tipping point. Interesting work becomes the No. 1 job attribute, and both autonomy and flexibility significantly increase in importance.

How does that relate to providing health insurance?

It is crucial to recognize the profound value that age diversity brings to a workforce, particularly in a business setting. Older workers are eager to remain actively engaged in their careers. Many individuals who initially retire subsequently rejoin the workforce, earning them the moniker “employment extenders.”

However, age doesn’t discriminate between those who you need to have on your team, those that want to work and those that want to retire. When we age, there is a tipping point in our health – and health issues that need to be addressed with healthcare can be expected to grow. Doctor visits become more frequent. More medications need to be taken. Our vision begins to fail. We may need therapies we never needed before, such as massage or chiropractic, for instance.

All those costs add up. If you have or need a healthy team that has members who are older in age, you need to provide them with health insurance that meets their unique needs and helps ensure they don’t face increasing out-of-pocket healthcare expenses that may deplete their current earnings and retirement funds in short order.

Does you employer-sponsored health insurance meet your older workers needs?

Health and dental insurance helps your team save on healthcare costs not covered by their provincial government plan, including expenses like prescription drugs, dental care, hearing aids, vision care and massage therapy and much more.

Most importantly, health insurance helps ensure employees will not hesitate to take care of their health and be able to stay productive – regardless of their age. With family coverage, your older team will be less distracted about the out-of-pocket burden if their spouse gets sick or are injured too.

Consider what health care benefits your older team members may need:

  • Dental repair or replacement of natural teeth
  • Medical equipment like wheelchairs and braces
  • Prescription medications
  • Physiotherapy or chiropractic visits
  • Massage therapy or speaking to a psychologist.

Older workers appreciate plans with the features included in extended health care benefits like physiotherapy to help to cope with chronic conditions like arthritis, a back injury, or prescription coverage for diabetes and high blood pressure so they can best manage their healthcare and be able to work longer in their working career.

Access to medical professionals for video consultations, eliminating the obstacles of travel and waiting room time delays can help shorten the cycle between them identifying a health problem and implementing a clinical solution, making taking care of their health more convenient. They can even consider using a wider range of healthcare services without having to travel to a healthcare facility, like talking to a dietician.

For any person on your team, health insurance reduces out of pocket expenses and is a positive financial reward for their hard work.

Grandfather and baby

Ensure your older workers still have access to health insurance, even if they leave

Usually, an employee maintains their health insurance plan until they either quit working or retire. While health insurance costs likely deter you as an employer from providing a plan for your retirees you can take steps to inform and connect retirees so they can purchase their own health plan.

All the provinces in Canada provide health insurance coverage to their residents for a basic set of products and services. This coverage is expanded for seniors, but only a small amount. Thankfully, the most expensive things, such as doctor and hospital fees, are covered by the provinces.

Guaranteed health insurance plans are available within 90 days of leaving your employer plan and cover many of the same healthcare expenses – even for those already taking prescription medications and want to have them covered.

SBIS can help you with your health insurance strategies for your aging workforce

An aging workforce means the nature of your health insurance benefits may need to shift. Talk to us about options to enhance/add on to your current benefits program or to connect your older employees to supplemental health insurance options they may need and can purchase for themselves to enhance benefits you provide.

If your employees have never had to purchase health coverage before, we have almost 50 different health and dental plan options to fit their budget and needs, with features like lifetime renewable coverage for every type of employee aged 18 and over, no matter their occupation or if they are retired.

Refer your employees to our website, they can see all that we have to offer. We can also send you some brochures and reading material to provide for your staff so they can see for themselves. All you have to do is make the introduction!

Once an employee calls us, we find out exactly what they are looking for and what kind of coverage they can afford. As the employer, you won’t need to spend time explaining benefits and coverage to employees. You can show them who we are and suggest that they contact us to set them up. We offer plans for all walks of life, so everyone walks away happy.

We’re 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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