“I would really hope that the future of benefits in Canada would be something that employees are able to maximize – a benefits plan that they’re actually able to use,” she explained. “A lot of the complaints that we hear from clients is that, while they have coverage, it’s not for things that apply to their employees. That’s hands down the biggest issue.”
This is why employers are urged to consider alternative approaches to benefits – specifically Private Health Services Plans (PHSP), otherwise known as Health Spending Accounts (HSA). These plans offer the much-needed flexibility for employers and their employees, allowing people to prioritise health expenses that apply to them.
“When our clients find out about Health Spending Accounts, they’re absolutely thrilled,” added Wahl. “That’s because they know that their employees are going to be able to use it. We’re seeing companies want to offer benefits that their employees can use in their own time. The flexibility of HSA’s offer high value to employees for which employers can easily budget based on a straightforward fee structure. Once the annual dollar limit is set, employees can basically customize their own coverage. Counselling, orthodontics, and fertility treatments are just some of the more unique expenses that are eligible with these plans.”
PHSPs allow staff to take control of their wellbeing – giving some adaptability to choose how they spend their annual amount. This flexibility has been embraced by many employers, who’ve seen a rising demand for mental health services since the pandemic – something that Wahl believes will only continue to grow in 2022 and beyond.
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