As a Canadian business owner during the COVID-19 pandemic you understand making tough decisions. However, your Group Benefits Broker is here to help. Before you make important decisions about your employee group benefits plan, contact your Group Benefits Broker to understand all your options.
If you have had to close your business and temporarily lay off staff, here are a few things you should consider with respect to your Group Benefits Plan.
First of all, if you plan to re-hire some or all of your team once you re-open then you should keep your benefits in force, if at all possible. Your laid-off employees are already in a precarious situation, providing the comfort of benefits for them and their families during this difficult time provides optimism, loyalty and peace of mind.
Most Canadian insurance carriers offer discounts while so many of the services typically covered by your group benefits plan are restricted during the shutdown (optometrist, physiotherapist, orthodontist etc.) The amount of the discount varies among Canadian insurers and you should have already received notice of these changes from your insurer. If you’re not already receiving a significant reduction on your employee health and dental premiums, again your insurance provider or your Group Benefits Broker can help.
During this unprecedented time, insurers are introducing unprecedented measures.
In some cases, this allows for a temporary suspension of benefits, meaning while you and your employees no longer have coverage you are not required to pay monthly premiums. Once your business is ready to re-open, you can apply to reinstate the same coverage at the same rates. You may need to provide an up-to-date list of your employees at least two weeks in advance of benefits resumption. This innovative option to stop your benefit plan on a temporary basis, has never been offered before Canadian insurance history. The solution is temporary and will be reassessed on a monthly basis.
Every business has unique needs, and every Employee Benefits Plan needs individual attention. We are happy to consult with you and work with your insurance carrier to find the best possible solution to keep your benefits alive and your team happy and healthy during the shutdown.
Please stay tuned for our regular posts to help you through these unusual times and please continue to send us your insurance-related questions, concerns and topics.
Contact us for more information by phone 1-866-369-4474 or email [email protected]
Stay safe. Stay home. Wash your hands.
And please know we’re here for you.