Alberta Life, Disability, and Health Insurance Since 1983

200, 5041 Gateway Blvd NW
Edmonton, AB T6H 4R7

Read the Vistaplan Financial Group blog: Universal Life Insurance, Term Insurance, Disability Insurance, Critical Illness Insurance, Super Visa Insurance.

Posted: 1 Jul

The ABCs of Group Health Insurance Benefits for Alberta Employers

The ABCs of Group Health Insurance Benefits for Alberta Employers

As an Alberta employer, one of the most effective ways to show you care about your employees is offering group health insurance benefits. This article will guide you through the basics of setting up these benefits, understanding their pricing, and ensuring you make informed decisions that support both your business and your employees. Speak to a Vistaplan advisor today to learn more.

Understanding Group Health Insurance Benefits

Group health insurance benefits provide medical coverage to a group of people, typically employees of a company or members of an organization. This type of insurance pools the risk among all the insured individuals, which generally results in lower premium costs for each member. For employers in Alberta, offering these benefits can lead to improved employee satisfaction, retention, and overall productivity.

Key Components

When considering group health insurance benefits, you'll encounter several core components:

  • Medical Insurance: This type of insurance is essential for mitigating the financial burden of healthcare, covering a significant portion of expenses related to medical treatments, doctor's visits, hospital stays, and prescription medications. It ensures that employees can receive necessary medical care without the stress of overwhelming costs, promoting their health and well-being.
  • Dental Insurance: Dental insurance plays a pivotal role in maintaining oral health, offering coverage for a variety of dental care services. From routine check-ups and cleanings to more specialized treatments such as orthodontics and periodontics, this insurance helps employees manage the costs of dental care, encouraging regular visits to the dentist and early detection of dental issues.
  • Disability Insurance: In the event that an employee faces a disability rendering them unable to work, disability insurance provides a crucial safety net. This insurance offers financial support, replacing a portion of the employee's income during the period of disability. It ensures that the affected employee can focus on recovery without the added pressure of financial instability.
  • Life Insurance: Life insurance is a fundamental component of an employee's benefits package, offering peace of mind by ensuring financial security for their beneficiaries in the unfortunate event of the employee's death. This insurance can cover funeral expenses, debts, and provide ongoing financial support to dependents, alleviating financial concerns during difficult times.
The ABCs of Group Health Insurance Benefits for Alberta Employers 2

Configuring Your Employee Health Benefits Plan

Setting up a group health insurance plan requires thoughtful planning and consideration of your employees' needs. Here are some steps to guide you through the process:

  • Assess Employee Needs: Engaging directly with your team through surveys or meetings is a proactive approach to grasp the diverse health coverage requirements of your workforce. This step ensures that the selected group health insurance benefits align with the actual needs and preferences of your employees, leading to higher satisfaction and utilization of the benefits.
  • Budget Accordingly: Establishing a budget for health benefits is a critical financial decision for any business. It involves evaluating your company's financial health and determining the amount you can allocate towards employee benefits without compromising other business operations. A well-defined budget guides the selection of a plan that balances cost with the comprehensiveness of coverage.
  • Shop Around: Exploring the market for group health insurance is akin to comparison shopping for any major investment. It's essential to review offerings from various insurance providers, comparing their coverage options, premium rates, and the breadth of their healthcare provider networks. This process helps in identifying a plan that offers the best value for your investment and meets your employees' healthcare needs.
  • Understand the Fine Print: Delving into the details of insurance plans is crucial to avoid any surprises down the line. Scrutinize each plan's coverage specifics, noting any exclusions, limitations, or requirements that might affect claim eligibility or benefit levels. A thorough understanding of these details ensures that the chosen plan truly reflects the needs and expectations of your business and your employees.

Customization Is Key

Remember, one size does not fit all when it comes to group health insurance benefits. Tailor the plan to fit your company's unique needs, considering factors like the size of your workforce and the nature of their work.

The ABCs of Group Health Insurance Benefits for Alberta Employers 3

Pricing Dynamics

The cost of group health insurance benefits can vary widely. Several factors influence pricing, including:

  • Group Size: The size of the group enrolled in a health insurance plan plays a pivotal role in determining per-person costs. In larger groups, the risk is distributed across a greater number of individuals, which often leads to reduced premiums for everyone involved. This economies-of-scale effect makes group health insurance a cost-effective option for larger organizations.
  • Plan Design: The structure and features of a health insurance plan significantly influence its cost. Plans that offer extensive coverage with low deductibles and minimal copays tend to be pricier. These comprehensive plans provide broader protection and convenience but at a higher premium, requiring a careful assessment of the trade-offs between cost and coverage.
  • Claims History: The historical healthcare usage and claims filed by a group are critical factors insurers consider when setting premiums. A track record of frequent or high claims can signal to insurers that the group poses a higher risk, potentially leading to elevated premium rates. Monitoring and managing healthcare usage can help in keeping future insurance costs in check.

Employers can manage group health insurance benefits costs by choosing plans with higher deductibles or by requiring employees to cover a portion of the premiums.

Making the Decision

Offering group health insurance benefits is a significant decision that can have profound impacts on your business and your employees. Consider the following to make a well-informed choice:

  • Employee Expectations: In today's competitive job market, quality health benefits can be a deciding factor for many candidates.
  • Financial Implications: Weigh the costs against the potential benefits, such as increased employee satisfaction and reduced turnover.
  • Long-Term Strategy: View group health insurance benefits as an investment in your company's future, contributing to a healthier, more engaged workforce.
The ABCs of Group Health Insurance Benefits for Alberta Employers 4

Beyond the Basics

After deciding to offer group health insurance benefits, continuous evaluation is essential. Keep an open line of communication with your employees to ensure the benefits continue to meet their needs and make adjustments as necessary. Stay informed about changes in healthcare laws and market trends that could affect your plan and your employees.

Taking the Next Step

Choosing to offer group health insurance benefits is a significant step towards creating a supportive and healthy workplace. By understanding the basics, customizing your plan to fit your company's needs, and staying informed about pricing and market trends, you can provide valuable benefits that support your employees' well-being and your company's success.

The ABCs of Group Health Insurance Benefits for Alberta Employers 5

Ready to Enhance Your Team's Well-being?

Offering group health insurance benefits demonstrates a commitment to your employees' health and your company's future. Remember, a healthy team is a productive team. Take the time to explore your options, consult with professionals, and tailor a plan that aligns with your business goals and employees' needs. By investing in group health insurance benefits, you're investing in the heart of your business – your people. Speak to a Vistaplan advisor today!


About the Author - David Motkoski

David Motkosk At the Helm of Vistaplan Financial Group

David is a well-respected insurance advisor with over 30 years of experience helping healthcare professionals, business owners, and their families secure their financial futures. He takes the time to make certain his clients understand the life, disability, and health insurance products they are purchasing, so they can make the right choices for their budgets, plans, and futures. CONNECT WITH ME ON LINKEDIN

Life & Disability Insurance for Alberta Health Care Professionals, Business Owners, and Their Families Since 1983