Concerned about the cost of benefits? Get the best value for your benefit plan. Today’s group benefits are all about choice and flexibility – letting you put together the right plan to fit your budget. Here are four things to consider when evaluating your benefit plan for value and to avoid climbing costs:

  1. Health Care Spending Accounts (HCSA).

HCSAs are like a bank account for health care expenses. They are employer-funded with a set amount and can be used by the employee for an incredible range of health-related expenses – all dictated by the Canada Revenue Agency.  HCSA contributions are tax deductible for the employer and non-taxable in the hands of the employee, who can decide where and when to use their allocated amount. This allows employers to have a benefits plan that meets the needs of a diverse team. Most importantly, employers decide how much to contribute annually so costs only increase by choice.

  1. Benefits can be cost-shared.

Benefits do not have to be 100% employer-paid, a percentage can be paid for by employees.

This is helpful in attaching employees to responsible decisions as members of the plan. As a side note, when managing these deductions, having a payroll service that accurately calculates and tracks the tax implications for these programs is a time-saver. BBD has one – you can check it out here.

  1. Products beyond extended health care.

There are a number of valuable products beyond extended health care (dental/health benefits) that make up a well-rounded benefits program. Things like employee assistance programs (EAP) that support employees in various ways go a long way in showing your consideration for employees and their families. Many benefits providers can connect you with perks for your plan that mitigate expense for your employees and support their adherence to medications. All of these factors combine to support improved health and stability for employees, which helps reduce absenteeism and related costs on your business. Lastly, when a new hire realizes they have access to things like financial and nutritional counselling, family law practitioners and even support if facing challenges with their mental health, they will know they are working for someone who cares.

  1. Voluntary Benefits are available.

Some providers can allow employees to access voluntary products with no medical evidence required and at a reduced ‘group’ cost by virtue of their being on a plan that you sponsor. The employees assume this added cost and their increased coverage in times of need means they are properly taken care of. The right benefits provider will help educate you and your employees on the various options available, and can help ensure optimal coverage is in place for when people are most likely to need it.

The benefits are clear

By having a benefits plan that offers good coverage, is affordable, and covers the diverse needs of your team, you have an ace up your sleeve when it comes to recruiting. More and more organizations are finding that a benefit plan is a great way to retain and support staff in being healthy and well.


Scott SouthwardScott Southward,
Managing Partner, Benefits by Design.
BBD is a group insurance and workplace solutions provider. Today, BBD administers over $75 million of premium for over 3,270 employers across Canada distributed through 795 advisors. See how businesses like yours can benefit from benefits at