HCSA: Benefit Flexibility = Happy Employees

You try to do what’s best for everyone, but no one’s happy. You see it in their faces – the Boomers, Xs, and the dreaded Ys. There’s no formula that works and with the growing percentage of millennials in the workforce, maybe the right choice is keeping Ys happy. Is that even possible?

Does this sound like the conversation you have with yourself when renewing your employee benefits plan? We hear you! Trying to figure out the needs of your diverse staff when it comes to professional services, dental, vision, hospital, medicine, health, wellness, and even pet insurance may seem like a losing battle…until now.

Imagine it: employees choosing their own benefits from an existing list of options you determine. They get the coverage that’s right for their stage of life and allocate funds depending on their needs. All locked in tight, and you barely did a thing!

Best of all, a digital platform means employees are responsible for submitting their own claims through an online account they download as an App, which also features LiveChat technical support. Administrators and staff can access accounts in real time, so they’re always up to date. Plus, the digital design means electronic fund transfers and no more waiting for reimbursement cheques.

Employees are happy, they’re productive. Plus, as discussed in the January 2020 blog, health benefits are a strong incentive to stay with an employer as well as reducing turnover and attracting the best qualified new hires. What could be simpler?

Benefits can be that easy. Of course, there are different options and depending on the size of your business, one may be more feasible than another.

Let’s look at a couple of flexible options:

Flex Plans
The Sanofi Canada Healthcare Survey 2020 results showed 72% of plan members have a traditional plan and 28% have a flex plan. Plan sponsor responses were nearly identical at 71% and 29% respectively. But in 2017 when Sanofi asked the same question of plan sponsors, the results were 80% traditional and 19% flex. Clearly, the popularity of flex plans appears to be on the rise.

The downside: large employers (>500) are over twice as likely to have flex plans compared to small businesses, and it seems that cost is the limitation for SMEs. So, what’s a small business to do?

Health Spending Accounts (HSA)
According to Marc BertossiniofDesjardins Insurance, there are other choices. “By offering options like health spending accounts, plan sponsors who can’t afford flex plans can give plan members some of the flexibility they want.…”

Despite large business still holding the majority in HSA offerings, the Sanofi report demonstrated that their popularity is growing among companies of all sizes. In 2018, SMEs accounted for 22% of offerings compared to 42% in 2020.

A key takeaway from the design of employee benefits plans in the report is that “The migration towardmore defined contribution benefits reflects the growing desire among both plan members and plan sponsors for greater flex­ibility; as well, it is a win-win in terms of perceived value for members and as a cost-management tool for sponsors.”

Photo taken before COVID-19

As always, the best way to know which plan will work best for your small business comes down to consulting with business and organization insurance specialists like Bensol Consulting. Bensol’s expert team is here to point you in the right direction. We’re a small business specializing in employee benefits for small employers: we understand our business, and we take the time to understand yours.

Respectful of the stay-at-home order, we’re continuing to work remotely! Call us to talk about your needs and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay updated on all of the small business information we share. We’re here to help! Stay safe and well.