Your Friend With Benefits®

Group Insurance Information

“Group insurance benefits” are simply a group of different insurance coverages that an employer has decided to gift to the employees as a benefit for working at the company. It’s a method to demonstrate appreciation and strategically increase employee happiness and loyalty. The main purpose of providing staff with benefits is to attract quality employees and retain your priority employees.

Without a group insurance plan, the employees are forced to purchase benefits individually. Individual coverage is more expensive and much harder to qualify. Without your contributions as an employer, it is possible that the employees may not be able to get anything at all.

When developing group benefit plans, everyone can benefit from favourable rates and guaranteed approvals. There is so much flexibility and customization options that allow us to design a plan to fit any budget. We’re pretty confident that we can come up with a plan design that fits within your budget.

What can it include?

Your group benefit plan can include a wide variety of benefits such as:

The beauty of a group employee benefit plan is that your plan is entirely customizable. You can customize the types of benefits that are included and the amount of it that is covered. You’re in complete control. Your Friend With Benefits Inc. is dedicated to helping you build and customize a plan. A major advantage also is that everyone can qualify for it without a single medical question.

What is the commitment?

Group Benefit Plans are not even as strict as your own cell phone plan. You’re never locked into a contract and they’re all pay as you go. If you decide that you no longer want to pay for your plan, you can just write up a cancellation letter on your letterhead and give your insurer at least a 30 day notice. Your group benefit plan is month to month.

You receive renewals every year because what changes are the rates. The rates are locked in for a one year period for your protection as the client. No matter how many claims are processed through your plan, your insurer will not change the rates until your renewal. This is to protect you as the customer. This is an advantage to you as you’ll experience stable premium statements. The amount you pay every month can change as you hire and fire employees but the rates remain the same.

What is my commitment to my insurer?
There is no contract – no commitment. If Your Friend With Benefits Inc can design a plan much more valuable than what you have now with a different insurer, then you don’t have to wait until your renewal to begin working with us.

What is my commitment to my broker?
There is no contract – no commitment. If Your Friend With Benefits Inc can provide a superior service in comparison to what you are already receiving, then you don’t have to wait until your renewal to begin working with us.

We want to be the broker servicing your group benefit plan. We’re willing to work for it in order to earn your business. You can benefit from all of the advantages that we offer.

What are the costs?

Is it expensive?

We never want to hear you say that it’s expensive. You can completely customize the plan to the point where you choose your price. And do the math! Even if you have a young single employee making $12-15 an hour only and works full time, that’s roughly 2500 dollars that you’re paying him/her per month. If you had to add $50 a month towards providing this employee with a benefit plan, that’s only roughly 2% you’re adding towards their income. $50 means one healthier, happier and more loyal employee. This means less turnover for you, less time and money wasted spent hiring and training new employees. And that $50 you spend is completely tax deductible.

What affects the cost of a group benefit plan?

The cost will be different from company to company. Your business location, your industry, your employee demographics, your plan design, plus so many more factors can affect the cost of your plan.

As a company implementing a benefit plan for your employees, you can choose to contribute as little as 25% of the cost of the benefits on behalf of the staff. So this means if you have one single employee and it costs $100 per month to give an employee benefits, you only have to pay $25 and the employee can share in the cost and also pay $75 to achieve this plan. As an employer you can pay more if you’d like – minimum 25%.

Which insurer should I choose?

Everyone usually wants to see what the quotes are from competitor insurers. And then everyone usually tries to make a decision based on price. At Your Friend With Benefits Inc, we always advise very strongly against this concept.

All insurance companies will price out their quotes based on TLR’s, trends, claims experience, diversification of benefits, credibility scores, etc. And the price that you have been quoted in the beginning will change over time. It is very easy for a broker to fill in a spreadsheet of rates (which is why most of them do it). A great broker will analyze a quote beyond the quoted price.

If you’re taking a look at a spreadsheet of quotes and trying to get the lowest rate, you’ll very likely make a decision on purchasing a plan that has had an extraordinary amount of discount being applied to it. This just means at renewal time – one year down the road – your plan will jump extraordinarily high. The insurers will all attempt to recover that discount that has been applied in the first year which captured your business.

Choose your insurance company based on which one you trust and recognize the most. Choose your broker based on who can offer you the most strategies to stabilize your rates going forward.

Never make a decision based on price! Remember, price and cost are two different things.

How do I qualify?

The quick answer is: It depends.

In terms of medical questions, there isn’t any up to the Non-Evidence Maximum (NEM). There are no medical questions and everyone in the plan can be approved and can qualify.

In terms of qualifications for developing a group insurance plan – Every insurer has their own specific set of rules in terms of qualifications. Some insurers require a minimum of 5 employees to create a group plan. Some insurers will even develop a group plan for just one employee. Some insurers require a minimum monthly premium and some do not have any minimums.

In some cases you may need to be in business for a certain period of time and in other cases we can probably get you exceptions if we put a good case together.

Your Friend With Benefits Inc recommends at least an initial review. Contact us and tell us about your situation and what you would like to be able to accomplish. Don’t be shy, we’d love to hear from you!

I self insure

Sometimes we meet with companies and they tell us that insurance is too expensive and they would rather just pay for the cost of the medication on behalf of the employee (self insure). When we hear this, we usually laugh.

1) What if an employee is disabled? Are you going to pay them a supplemented income for the rest of their lives?
2) What if an employee is diagnosed with a serious illness and needs expensive medication? Do you have the budget to cover this?
3) How uncomfortable would your employees feel if they have disclose to you that they need medication? Where’s the privacy?

Also, we challenge your math. If you give an employee $1000 to go pay for their dental expense, how much CPP do you think you would have to pay as an employer? How much CPP would the employee have to pay to receive this amount? How much EI would have to be paid? How much income tax would the employee have to pay if you add $1000 to their pay? Of course the insurance company will try to make a profit from your contributions. If you go the insurance route, your contributions are completely tax deductible and you can save on payroll expenses.

On a side note, you don’t want to end up in a situation where you’re discriminating amongst employees – Paying more in claims for one employee over another. You need to be extremely cautious of any possible discrimination.

Is this something you really want to spend your time administering as a business owner – your employees health expenses?

Call us for a free evaluation. We can offer you a comparison.