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Group Insurance: A Competitive Advantage in the Workplace

Lussier Dale Parizeau | January 22, 2020
Is that a stretch? Since it is mandatory when offered by an employer, group insurance can be an interesting social benefit to consider and even become a decision-making factor. Usually including life and health insurance, it can be tailored to fit the employee's needs.

Inclusions and Exclusions

You must look at the insurance clauses to know what is included and what is excluded. Group insurance covering dental and eye care is more comprehensive than insurance that only offers life and health insurance. However, it’s all about the cost you pay. Above all, you need to make sure that you are getting good value for your money and that it meets your needs. A modular plan, for example, could provide choices that meet individual employee needs. 

Health Care Account

Some care is not covered by group insurance benefits, and consequently an employer may decide to offer its employees a health care account. This account allows for the investment of credits to pay for medical and dental expenses that are not included in the group insurance plan. In addition, if your plan reimburses only 50% of your care, the credits in this account can account for the missing 50%.

Who Pays?

Employer or employee; that is the question. An employer can choose to participate and pay a portion of the group insurance costs, which will ultimately save you money on group insurance. Most employers will contribute 50% of the plan costs. However, with some employers, it’s 25% and with others, it’s 100% of the amount. This employer assistance is not a salary per se, but contributes to your income since you don’t have to pay the money. 

Family VS Individual Coverage

If you and your spouse have access to group insurance offered by your respective employers, you will have the opportunity to choose the one that best suits your needs.  An analysis of the elements covered and the costs of each plan will be an exercise to carry out.  In addition, if you have no children, it will also be possible for each spouse to opt for individual coverage in your respective plans if it is more advantageous.

Other Benefits to Consider

Good insurance is not the only part of the benefits package. Does your employer offer:

  • A good pension plan?
  • A generous vacation policy?
  • Opportunities for internal promotion?
  • A pre-retirement program?
  • Tuition reimbursement?
  • An employee assistance program?
  • Etc.

All of these points, even if they do not provide direct income, are interesting for an employee. An employer may, for example, invest in its employees’ RRSPs or offer an employee assistance program. When a person hesitates between two positions or is considering changing jobs, these are decisive factors in the decision-making process.

Finally, the importance of group insurance should not be overlooked. For it to become a competitive advantage, it must meet the needs of employees.

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Lussier Dale Parizeau

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