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By: Mark Bajus, CEBS

Employee benefit plans enjoy preferred tax treatment from CRA. For Medical, Drug, Dental and Visioncare premium costs, the employer can pay 100% of premiums, and this does not create a taxable benefit for employees (including the businessowner!). The premiums paid by the employer are 100% tax deductible for the business as an employee benefit expense (including the premiums for the owners coverage!) 

By: Mark Bajus, CEBS

It's very important to choose the right Benefit Plan for your business and to understand the options plus the liablilites you have when making this decision.  In this blog, I'll briefly outline some of the type of options to consider when choosing an Employee Benefit plan.

By: Mark Bajus, CEBS

Group insurance or employee benefits plans have been the preferred choice of supplementary health insurance for Canadian Small Businesses. The simple reason is, insurance companies can offer lower health premium rates, with little or no medical underwriting, by offering insurance to groups of people.

By: Mark Bajus, CEBS

A Real Scenario?

Your Group Benefit Plan consultant just suggested you limit drug reimbursement to a maximum of $500 per year.  As well, they recommended a change to unlimited annual reimbursement for paramedical practitioners such as naturopaths, physiotherapists and massage therapist, plus adding $2,000 per year on wellness.  What would you think?

By: Dan Wolfson
 
Many of our clients are often confused about rates and how they are calculated.  Let’s split the benefits plan in two, pooled benefits and experience-rated benefits.
Before we do that let’s define what insurance really is.  One technical definition of insurance is the coverage by contract in which one party agrees to indemnify or reimburse another for loss that occurs under the terms of the contract.  Another definition is where you pay a premium in consideration proportionate to the risk involved.

By: Mark Bajus

This article is all about proper risk management. Employers understand there is the risk of an increase in paid claims, which would likely cause premiums to rise. However, many employers don’t understand how large their actual exposure is to drug and other Extended Medical claims. The traditional Extended Health plan design has almost without exception an unlimited reimbursement for drug expenditures for covered employees and their dependents. Most employers cannot afford to have the cost of a $40,000 annual Remicade drug claim (rheumatoid arthritis) added to their claims experience. This is where Stop Loss insurance protects the financial viability of the plan, and helps keep rates as low as possible.

By: Paul Bajus

Right now the buzz words in the pension/group retirement world are “employee engagement”.   How do we get our employees to  a) get the most out of the plan that is being offered to them, and  b) appreciate the $’s and time that goes into offering this plan?  If we back up and look 20 or 30 years ago it was a much simpler time.  A lot more employees were covered by defined benefit pension plans (which a lot of time were mandatory), where you worked for a company for a number of years and you got paid out at retirement based on some pre-set formula such as 2% * the number of years of service * your final average earnings. 

By: Daniel Wolfson

Part I

One of advisors’ key responsibilities is to deliver renewals. For some clients, renewals can be challenging, particularly if it means double-digit cost increases for their health and dental plans. As advisors, we can recommend tactical claims management strategies, such as changing a coinsurance variable (e.g., from 100% to 80%), increasing deductibles, or changing entitlements. But as important as these tactical changes can be, and they do have an impact on plan members benefits entitlements (which can change the employee’s claim spending behaviour), they don’t really address employees’ underlying health issues.

A Plan Design Change Whose Time Has Arrived

By: Mark Bajus, CEBS

In the ever evolving drug plan environment, the latest “option” (and it’s not an option with a number of carriers, it’s their new standard processing format) is to make the substitution of a generic drug for a prescribed brand name drug mandatory, rather than optional.  This type of processing has many advantages from a cost perspective, but it does come with some process issues that employers and employees need to understand.

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