Group Benefits

When it comes to your business needs, I work with two experts, Paul and Rachel Wolters, and the company they founded, Benefits Authority. They have been helping business owners in and around Edmonton build and manage employee benefit programs for more than twenty years. Benefits Authority is a separate business that Conscious Legacy has partnered with for the purposes of providing the most premier service model and experience in designing and delivering group benefit plans. Together, we specifically take care of all group benefit insurance plans for your business.

If you are a business owner interested in group benefits, please direct your initial contact to me.

When you contact me for group benefits, I will set up an initial meeting that includes one or both of my partners. My partners and I believe the best decisions are made when there is full transparency, and when all the parties in a plan, the business owner, the employees and the insurance company, understand each other’s goals and intentions. Making use of all tools available to design a benefits plan to meet each business’s unique objectives is what we do.

Together with my Benefits Authority partners I provide access to many different types of group benefit plan options. Some of these include fully insured plans, fully pooled plans, plans provided on a self-insured basis or a hybrid of insured and self-insured plans. While there are some cross-over concepts and options between Individual and group benefits, there are many that are unique to the group benefit situation. Look at the links below to begin to familiarize yourself with the variety of group benefit approaches. Contact me and together we will begin to figure out what is right for you and your business. Together with the Benefits Authority team, I will work to get you the best possible outcome, the benefits you want at the best pricing possible, while making sure your plan is sustainable today and in the future.

Group Plans

We have relationships with all the major Canadian insurance companies.  We monitor and report claims experience every 90 days. All renewals are analysed, negotiated and personally delivered. Typically, if our clients have a traditional plan, we shop the full market place every 4-6 years to ensure their current carrier is providing a competitive package. 

An alternative to traditional group benefit insurance is self-insurance. In this case, a business can use something like a health spending account (HSA) to provide extended health benefits for employees. This can be cost effective for some clients, but also does not have the advantages of traditional insurance products such as life insurance and disability insurance that are included in a traditional plan. In the case of self-insurance, we work with several third party claims administrators (TPAs) that offer a variety of systems and processes along with many different pricing options. A third option is a hybrid plan which includes some traditional insurance and some self-insurance. Choose the hybrid plan link below to learn more about hybrid plans.

Using a “traditional” insurance company to provide some benefits, such as Life, Accidental Death or Long-Term Disability insurance provides protection against catastrophic claims. For many benefits that have much less risk such as Vision Care, and Health Practitioner Services, it can make sense to self-insure and simply use a lower cost TPA or HSA to adjudicate claims and reimburse employees.  Overall, many employers see this as a viable option to get the lowest overall cost in order to provide exactly the benefits they and their employees want.

A traditional plan is a mix of some fully pooled and some experience rated benefits. Pooled rates are determined based on the claims experience and demographics of a very large pool (group). In contrast, experience rated benefits are rated based on the experience of your specific group of employees and their benefit usage. Typically, dental and health benefits are experience rated.  With a traditional plan at each contract renewal, the insurance company looks at the claims experience of both pooled and experience rated benefits and then re-sets the rates for the following year based on usage of the pool and your specific group.

Traditional plans that have experience rated dental and health benefits can be challenging for a business with a smaller number of employees. If you have even just one employee with significant health issues, or perhaps you’ve just hired a new employee with a family that has never had dental care coverage, the experience assessment of your group will show high usage of the benefits. After the annual assessment, given the significant increase in claims, your premiums for these benefits will go up.

An alternative to traditional plans with experience rated dental and health benefits, is a “fully pooled plan”. In this case the assessment of claim usage is based on a large pool of people including, but not limited to, your own employees’ usage. Having a greater demographic variety and usage of benefits will most likely lead to greater premium rate stability offering predictability for you as a business owner.  Another scenario in which a fully pooled plan is advantageous is in the case of a small number of aging employees who have high benefit usage. In this case, having a fully pooled plan means your high claims usage will be mitigated by the large pool of people you are sharing your claims experience with. On the flip side, in some cases a traditional plan with experience rated dental and health benefits may be more cost effective for a business owner. For example, if you have a small number of young healthy employees who are not using many benefits, your premium rates based on an experience rated assessment are likely to be lower than rates based on a pooled plan. Pooled plans are still rated by age demographics.

As you can see, there is quite a range of choices. We believe the best plan is the one that works best for you and your business strategy. We take the time to get to know you, know your business and what you want your benefits to do for you. In today’s world with the technology available, regardless of the size of your business, you are no longer stuck with an “off the shelf” package for you and your employees.

An HSAs is a self-insured Private Health Services Plan (PHSP) benefit arranged by employers for their employees.

A PHSP is a Canada Revenue Agency approved method to provide medical, dental and vision benefits in a tax efficient manner.

The corporation can write off 100% of the costs related to its HSA. All expenses reimbursed are tax‐free to the employees.

HSAs can supplement insured PHSPs or be implemented as a stand-alone plan instead of insured PHSPs.

Every incorporated business owner should have an HSA, at least for themselves and their family. We can create an executive class for you to qualify for this benefit.

We also provide a variety of options for group savings plans: Group RSPs, TFSAs, RESPs along with DPSP & Pension Plans. There are many choices available. Many employers like the idea of encouraging and providing incentives for employees to save for their future. Depending on what your objectives and goals are, there are many choices in the marketplace. Savings plans are an effective part of total compensation in attracting and retaining employees.

This is a growing segment of benefits where employers are providing financial incentives to employees to pursue a healthier lifestyle.  Gym memberships and sporting equipment are just some examples of what employers will reimburse inside of a wellness account.  While not as tax effective as other benefits, many employees appreciate these tangible benefits more than others.

What are the services we provide?

Every 90 plan days you will receive an email with an experience report attached. A brief interpretation is provided, and a follow up phone call to discuss any concerns or anomalies that may have shown up in the numbers.

Our practice of quarterly reporting eliminates surprises at renewal time

All renewals are personally delivered and reviewed with you no later than 30 days prior to the renewal date. 

​Your claims experience has already been monitored and reported to you every 90 plan days so the renewal should hold no surprises; however, this meeting allows for checking the pulse on the plan design to make sure it is still functioning as you want it to be.

Every 4-6 years we will take your plan out to shop the market with specifications designed to optimize the quality. Sticking with the same carrier is always recommended. However, we will want to make sure they are providing the best value for your dollars. Comparing them is the best way to make sure they are doing their best for you.

One of our passions is to educate employees so everyone can make informed  decisions about the usage and value of benefits plans.

​Need some help getting the message out?

Contact us so we can help you.​

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