Join and Share

Health Plans

Health care benefits are one of the most important and popular benefits offered by employers today. While Provincial Healthcare covers Islanders for most major medical costs, most companies offer supplemental health insurance to their employees. This insurance can cover a variety of items not covered by the Provincial Healthcare, including prescriptions, dental care, vision care and even preventive measures. Many small businesses assume they cannot afford health insurance plans. However, the cost may be much less than you think. Health plans can be provided in a number of ways, depending on your company’s needs and abilities.

Prescription, Dental and Vision Plans

Talk to other small businesses, to your business organization, or to a group insurance provider to see what kind of plans are available to your business. Plans may vary depending on the size of your business and the amount of co-payments you include for your employees. Some things to consider when choosing a plan:

  • Does the plan cover all drugs/procedures or just some?
  • Does the plan cover the whole cost or is there a co-payment?
  • How much will the plan cover annually or bi-annually?
  • Does the plan pay directly to the provider or is the employee reimbursed?
  • Can the employees opt out of the plan?
  • What family members can the employees cover with the plan?
  • How expensive is the plan for the employees?
  • How expensive is the plan for the company?

Involve your employees in choosing the level of coverage that works best for them.

Preventative Plans

Preventative health plans are becoming more popular with employers because they help cut down on sick time and lead to a healthier and happier workforce. Preventative plans can include:

  • Gym or health club membership
  • Massage therapy
  • Chiropractor appointments
  • Mental health provider appointments
  • Any other health or wellness related costs

Cost of Health Care Plans

The cost of health care plans may be paid 100% by the employee, 100% by the employer, or cost-shared between the two.

Some of the more popular approaches are:

  • Adopt high deductible plans
    • a higher deductible means a lower premium
    • the payments (premiums) won’t be as high as lower deductible plans
  • Join a group that offers group health benefits
    • membership to groups sometimes have added benefits of group plans
    • the local area chamber of commerce may have group benefit plans


Spending Accounts

Employees are often interested in exploring what benefits form part of their overall compensation package. The challenge for small to medium enterprises is to find options that are affordable and flexible.  Employers are often concerned about the increasing costs of comprehensive benefit plans.  One alternative is to explore Spending Accounts. Samples of Spending Accounts can come in the form of Wellness Spending Accounts, Health Spending Accounts, and Flexible Spending Accounts.  The difference between these accounts and traditional benefits plans is that employers set aside a fixed dollar amount that can be used for a number of approved expenses.   Many plans are tax exempt meaning employers write them off as 100% business expense, while employees do not pay tax on them. Much like a traditional benefits package, employee spending accounts can be set up through most insurance companies and third-party administrators.