The Benefits Edge

The Benefits Edge For our corporate clients, we customize employee benefit plans to complement corporate culture and budget. We are brokers for Personal and Corporate Life and Critical Illness coverage.

For affordable and sustainable benefits....Call us at 1 800 367-0598

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BRAND NAME DRUGS for GENERIC priceDid you know you can get Brand Name medications at the price of Generic by enrolling f...
11/02/2021

BRAND NAME DRUGS for GENERIC price

Did you know you can get Brand Name medications at the price of Generic by enrolling for free under this program. https://innovicares.ca/en

If you need a medication and the brand name is in the list of drugs participating in the Innovicares program, the difference in cost will be paid by the pharmaceutical company.

This is especially important when the cost of medication is a big price point!

For employers whose Drug category in their Benefit plans includes Brand name medications and increases year over year... giving employees this information may save the company some money.

Any saving is welcome for the employee and the employer.

The program is free, just register online and Innovicares will send you their card to present at the pharmacy counter. You can also monitor your medications online. The program only covers certain medications but you never know when you might need it.

Another TIP from The Benefits Edge!

BRAND NAME DRUGS for GENERIC price

Did you know you can get Brand Name medications at the price of Generic by enrolling for free under this program. https://innovicares.ca/en

If you need a medication and the brand name is in the list of drugs participating in the Innovicares program, the difference in cost will be paid by the pharmaceutical company.

This is especially important when the cost of medication is a big price point!

For employers whose Drug category in their Benefit plans includes Brand name medications and increases year over year... giving employees this information may save the company some money.

Any saving is welcome for the employee and the employer.

The program is free, just register online and Innovicares will send you their card to present at the pharmacy counter. You can also monitor your medications online. The program only covers certain medications but you never know when you might need it.

Another TIP from The Benefits Edge!

We need to rethink the insurance value of benefit plans.When you are hiring staff and you tell them you have a benefit p...
10/12/2021

We need to rethink the insurance value of benefit plans.

When you are hiring staff and you tell them you have a benefit plan, are they assuming you are offering Health and Dental coverage or a full traditional benefit plan including Short and Long Term Disability. Is there Life insurance?

It used to be that traditional benefit plans offered the full complement of coverage but that is not the trend. Many employers today are minimizing the insurance value of benefits in favour of transactional coverage to cover the chiropractic visit, the dental cleaning and eyewear. This is very much appreciated by employees for the quick reimbursement of costs but what about the potentially big costs of becoming ill.

We have seen in the pandemic how an interruption in wages can signal disaster for people who have monthly bills that are unnegotiable. Many families are paycheck to paycheck with little or no savings to keep them from being in a financial crisis. When an accident or illness strikes, the inclination is to use credit card debt or savings to keep afloat as you hope for recovery.

The value of an accident or sickness plan for all family members, but in particular the highest earner is important protection for the continued financial well-being of the family. If your child is sick and in the hospital, there is only 1 place a parent wants to be...and that is with their child.

If the employer does not offer a Short Term or Long Term Disability plan...or even if they do, a Supplemental plan that will pay from 1st day can be very affordable. In a high risk job or sports, just choosing Accident coverage is a smart idea for very little cost for the whole family.

Most group disability plans only pay after 4 months of illness, and employees have to rely on Employment Insurance for the first number of weeks. Employment Insurance (EI) pays 55% of earnings to $595/week and that may not be enough. Group LTD plans are typically structured at 67% of salary but there are internal caps on the benefit payment that may reduce coverage even more. Do we need to rethink how our disability plans work? Should employees rely on employer designed plans or have their own coverage?

It may be time to look at alternatives.

We need to rethink the insurance value of benefit plans.

When you are hiring staff and you tell them you have a benefit plan, are they assuming you are offering Health and Dental coverage or a full traditional benefit plan including Short and Long Term Disability. Is there Life insurance?

It used to be that traditional benefit plans offered the full complement of coverage but that is not the trend. Many employers today are minimizing the insurance value of benefits in favour of transactional coverage to cover the chiropractic visit, the dental cleaning and eyewear. This is very much appreciated by employees for the quick reimbursement of costs but what about the potentially big costs of becoming ill.

We have seen in the pandemic how an interruption in wages can signal disaster for people who have monthly bills that are unnegotiable. Many families are paycheck to paycheck with little or no savings to keep them from being in a financial crisis. When an accident or illness strikes, the inclination is to use credit card debt or savings to keep afloat as you hope for recovery.

The value of an accident or sickness plan for all family members, but in particular the highest earner is important protection for the continued financial well-being of the family. If your child is sick and in the hospital, there is only 1 place a parent wants to be...and that is with their child.

If the employer does not offer a Short Term or Long Term Disability plan...or even if they do, a Supplemental plan that will pay from 1st day can be very affordable. In a high risk job or sports, just choosing Accident coverage is a smart idea for very little cost for the whole family.

Most group disability plans only pay after 4 months of illness, and employees have to rely on Employment Insurance for the first number of weeks. Employment Insurance (EI) pays 55% of earnings to $595/week and that may not be enough. Group LTD plans are typically structured at 67% of salary but there are internal caps on the benefit payment that may reduce coverage even more. Do we need to rethink how our disability plans work? Should employees rely on employer designed plans or have their own coverage?

It may be time to look at alternatives.

Do you work with a terrific business?  Would you consider them award worthy?  If the business is located in Burlington o...
10/08/2021

Do you work with a terrific business? Would you consider them award worthy? If the business is located in Burlington or is a Burlington Chamber member and has been around for 3 yrs, you can nominate them for the Burlington Chamber of Commerce Business Awards. The nominations are open!
#Burlon #burlingtonchamber #businessawards2021 #SupportSmallBusiness #SmallBusinessWeek

Do you work with a terrific business? Would you consider them award worthy? If the business is located in Burlington or is a Burlington Chamber member and has been around for 3 yrs, you can nominate them for the Burlington Chamber of Commerce Business Awards. The nominations are open!
#Burlon #burlingtonchamber #businessawards2021 #SupportSmallBusiness #SmallBusinessWeek

Are you losing your employees? What can you do about it?HR experts across North America have talked about it since early...
09/13/2021

Are you losing your employees? What can you do about it?

HR experts across North America have talked about it since early in 2021: employees are burning out. Between pandemic stress and uncertainty, longer working hours due to reduced staff, less engagement (Zoom doesn’t count): employees across Canada are ready for change.

Turnover means employees will be on the move, but where are they moving from, and where are they moving to?

In the coming months, many businesses will lose some of their best people and many others will attract great new talent. So, the question we should ask ourselves is: which will we be? Can you be that employer of choice offering greener pastures?

The title, Employer of Choice, may seem like an unattainable goal in your industry but as the cost of turnover threatens to soar: it will be more cost-effective to invest in your ability to attract and retain employees than to lose them.

Is it all about money? How can a business with a tight budget grab the golden ring?

First: count the cost of turnover. Do the math: what would it cost you to lose a quarter of your staff, and how much could you save if you were able to keep just one or two or three of those people? Add that to your budget and use it to motivate your decisions going forward.

Second: don’t simply look for quick perks. Recruiting, engagement, and retention do not come down to 5% raises, office yoga, or a 10% expansion in dental coverage. Becoming a magnet for top talent requires company-wide culture shifts and a change in philosophy that prioritizes proactive management strategies over reactive ones. Which means, among other things:
• Getting clear about roles, responsibilities, and expectations, and conducting regular check-ins rather than only acting when issues arise.
• Implementing health & safety programs & policies rather than managing incidents
• And learning what benefits employees value and finding a model to suit their needs rather than shopping an outdated plan for better rates

Third: ensure you’re hiring the right people for the job, because no amount of engagement activities will make up for lack of fit. If an employee doesn’t match the culture of your organization, or their skills and behaviours don’t match the demands of their position, they’ll feel frustrated and disenfranchised, you’ll be disappointed, and their fellow employees will feel the friction.

Hiring for fit has often felt like throwing darts at a board, but thanks to evolving technologies in behavioural assessments—Predictive Index, for example—employers now have access to online tools for assessing their specific demands and evaluating how well candidates match up.

Fourth, and most importantly: avoid seeing the process as adding new costs or trading one cost for another. These changes are an optimization process: reduce waste, streamline inefficiencies, then reallocate savings to value-added training, benefits, and more. When done right: the process won’t cost a dollar more than current expenses and will instead dramatically increase profitability.

Creating organizational change is not rocket science, but it does take time, and is most-easily managed with the help of HR professionals. So, if you need a hand tackling challenges around turnover, recruiting, health & safety, benefits plans, and more, reach out for help and be referred to some great employer resources.

(thanks to EIO Solutions for the bulk of the article)

Are you losing your employees? What can you do about it?

HR experts across North America have talked about it since early in 2021: employees are burning out. Between pandemic stress and uncertainty, longer working hours due to reduced staff, less engagement (Zoom doesn’t count): employees across Canada are ready for change.

Turnover means employees will be on the move, but where are they moving from, and where are they moving to?

In the coming months, many businesses will lose some of their best people and many others will attract great new talent. So, the question we should ask ourselves is: which will we be? Can you be that employer of choice offering greener pastures?

The title, Employer of Choice, may seem like an unattainable goal in your industry but as the cost of turnover threatens to soar: it will be more cost-effective to invest in your ability to attract and retain employees than to lose them.

Is it all about money? How can a business with a tight budget grab the golden ring?

First: count the cost of turnover. Do the math: what would it cost you to lose a quarter of your staff, and how much could you save if you were able to keep just one or two or three of those people? Add that to your budget and use it to motivate your decisions going forward.

Second: don’t simply look for quick perks. Recruiting, engagement, and retention do not come down to 5% raises, office yoga, or a 10% expansion in dental coverage. Becoming a magnet for top talent requires company-wide culture shifts and a change in philosophy that prioritizes proactive management strategies over reactive ones. Which means, among other things:
• Getting clear about roles, responsibilities, and expectations, and conducting regular check-ins rather than only acting when issues arise.
• Implementing health & safety programs & policies rather than managing incidents
• And learning what benefits employees value and finding a model to suit their needs rather than shopping an outdated plan for better rates

Third: ensure you’re hiring the right people for the job, because no amount of engagement activities will make up for lack of fit. If an employee doesn’t match the culture of your organization, or their skills and behaviours don’t match the demands of their position, they’ll feel frustrated and disenfranchised, you’ll be disappointed, and their fellow employees will feel the friction.

Hiring for fit has often felt like throwing darts at a board, but thanks to evolving technologies in behavioural assessments—Predictive Index, for example—employers now have access to online tools for assessing their specific demands and evaluating how well candidates match up.

Fourth, and most importantly: avoid seeing the process as adding new costs or trading one cost for another. These changes are an optimization process: reduce waste, streamline inefficiencies, then reallocate savings to value-added training, benefits, and more. When done right: the process won’t cost a dollar more than current expenses and will instead dramatically increase profitability.

Creating organizational change is not rocket science, but it does take time, and is most-easily managed with the help of HR professionals. So, if you need a hand tackling challenges around turnover, recruiting, health & safety, benefits plans, and more, reach out for help and be referred to some great employer resources.

(thanks to EIO Solutions for the bulk of the article)

As fall approaches the NFL football season is upon us.  Attached is a short essay recently printed in the New York Times...
08/26/2021
Opinion | He Won Super Bowls. Now He’s a Full-Time Caregiver.

As fall approaches the NFL football season is upon us. Attached is a short essay recently printed in the New York Times by Tom Coughlin, a 3-time Super Bowl winning coach. In it, Tom describes the challenges and difficulties he continues to face in his role as primary caregiver for his wife, Judy. It’s a real-life, relatable account of an ongoing journey which reinforces that it is better to be a care manager than to be a caregiver.

Tom has the means to be a care manager but because of his unwavering dedication to discipline, commitment, accountability and a team-first approach he has chosen otherwise. However, Tom wanted people to know what it’s like to be a caregiver. By sharing his story, it might help people to plan for this contingency.

I have previously posted about a terrific product for those age 55+ that is called My Dignity which provide a robust health plan for when you really need care, like after surgery or when you can no longer take care of yourself, physically or mentally.

We cannot predict when life takes a turn but we can be prepared.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/24/opinion/nfl-tom-coughlin-psp.html?smid=url-share

Tom Coughlin, a former head coach of the New York Giants, on caring for his wife, Judy.

Are you moving?  The combination of the pandemic and the hot housing market has people making some life changes includin...
07/28/2021

Are you moving? The combination of the pandemic and the hot housing market has people making some life changes including moving to various parts of the globe!

A question for you! Have you sent your insurer your new address, contact info and any new bank account info for pre-authorized withdrawal? Recently a client moved and although they paid to have their mail forwarded for a time, they forgot the next step which is to notify all the companies they deal with for financial matters. It's easy to do... you're busy and it's on the list, right?

Failure to send new info means you can miss an important notice, like a rate increase or policy change.

Some people are discovering that their broker or insurance advisor has also moved or retired and they are orphaned, their policy has gone missing, they don't remember who their insurer is or how to contact them!

If you need some help with your insurance contacts, give us a call and we may be able to help or point you to someone who can.

When you are moving, make a list of every company that withdraws funds from your bank account to pay for something and followup the Postal redirect with a phone call or email with your new info.

Happy moving/new adventure!

Are you moving? The combination of the pandemic and the hot housing market has people making some life changes including moving to various parts of the globe!

A question for you! Have you sent your insurer your new address, contact info and any new bank account info for pre-authorized withdrawal? Recently a client moved and although they paid to have their mail forwarded for a time, they forgot the next step which is to notify all the companies they deal with for financial matters. It's easy to do... you're busy and it's on the list, right?

Failure to send new info means you can miss an important notice, like a rate increase or policy change.

Some people are discovering that their broker or insurance advisor has also moved or retired and they are orphaned, their policy has gone missing, they don't remember who their insurer is or how to contact them!

If you need some help with your insurance contacts, give us a call and we may be able to help or point you to someone who can.

When you are moving, make a list of every company that withdraws funds from your bank account to pay for something and followup the Postal redirect with a phone call or email with your new info.

Happy moving/new adventure!

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Benefit plans for Small Business

We’ve been helping business owners design and manage Benefit Plans for their employees for 25 yrs. Hiring experienced talent can really boost your business but its very competitive, and you want to offer an attractive compensation package that includes a benefit plan. We can help you design a plan that is attractive and affordable. Our clients range from software development to manufacturing to business services. Geographically we work with companies that have their business in Ontario, but they may be owned by companies in other parts of the country or internationally. Not sure how much a benefit plan will cost? We can work with your budget to help you afford a plan. Call or email us at 906 632-8634, [email protected]

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