Canadian Employers Put Employees’ Health First

By Tristan Anwyn

Canadian employers know what works when it comes to providing health insurance for their employees.

As the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association estimates that 67 percent of the population is enjoying extended health care benefits, it's clear that Canadian employers are putting their employees' health and well-being first by offering insurance that is flexible and meets their needs.

With Canadian executives willing to lead a culture of wellness in their workplaces to back up the support offered by their health care plans, employers in the U.S. and elsewhere can learn a thing or two from employers in the great white north.

Here are some of the ways in which Canadian businesses are getting health insurance right.

Offering Benefits to Suit Employees

Canadian employers understand the importance of offering benefits that suit their employees and help them stay healthy at different stages of their employment and their life.

A survey by The International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans found that Canadian employers understand the importance of good employee benefits and providing them to support their employees throughout their time with the company. This includes offering retirement benefits and financial counseling to help employees prepare for a healthier retirement. 

As the article "Health Insurance Premiums Likely to Rise in 2015" points out, comparing health plans is vital when choosing a plan, and Canadian employers do just that by choosing the plans that best suit their employees based on their demographics. 

Strong Communication and Flexibility

Canadian employers are good at talking to their employees about what they want from their health insurance benefits and educating them about making more cost-effective choices.

For example, companies might choose to talk with their employees about knowing when the time is right to file a prescription and whether the same problem could be just as well served by switching to generic brands instead of expensive brand name medications.

Canadian employers excel at looking at health insurance plans and benefits in a holistic way.

For example, The Arthritis Society doesn't stop at providing prescriptions for employees who suffer with the disease, but also encourages flexible working and telecommuting, thus cutting down on the pain and struggle of getting to work and the amount of pain relief needed to get through the work day.

Fostering a Culture of Wellness in the Workplace 

When it comes to offering health insurance to their employees, one area in which Canadian companies shine is their willingness to look not just at prescriptions or treatment plans, but at what they can do to keep their employees healthier and happier.

This has positive benefits for both parties, helping employees feel better and enjoy work more while giving employers a more productive team who are less likely to need to make claims on their health insurance.

Canadian companies such as SSQ Financial Group and ING Direct have been recognized for their part in encouraging a culture of wellness in their offices through offering nutrition seminars, walking programs, cardiovascular screening and health challenges where employees can earn prizes for meeting health goals.

By encouraging an overall culture of wellness, Canadian companies are helping their employees stay healthy and supporting their health insurance plans with education and lifestyle changes.  

It's clear that Canadian businesses are taking a thoughtful and practical stance when it comes to health insurance plans by offering flexibility and understanding health insurance as part of a larger wellness-related whole.

About the Author: Tristan Anwyn writes on a wide variety of topics, including social media, SEO, health insurance and Canadian businesses.

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