Health care in Canada is famous throughout the world for being “universal” — that is, it uses a publicly funded system to deliver mostly free benefits through private institutions. However, this doesn’t tell the fully story of how Canadians receive their health care. Because as many as 98% of businesses in Canada are considered small (with no more than 100 employees), group benefits for small business employees are popular for delivering additional coverage. These plans can cover anything from mental health spending to dental insurance for small business, and some plans can can even let employees decide how much they’d like to spend on their benefits.
What are the supplemental benefits that most small businesses use? Here are just a few types of health care and health care plans that Canadian small business employees have the opportunity to purchase.
1. Dental Insurance: Plans that cover dental insurance for small business aren’t always standard, so an employer may have to pay for this additional coverage. These plans can cover services including cleanings, X-rays, and restorative work. Services beyond basic care may only have limited coverage, such as in the case of cosmetic dental procedures.
2. Eye Care: Like dental insurance for small business, eye care plans are also considered supplementary, even in the U.S. These plans can include eye exams, prescription lenses, and medical procedures related to eye health. Vision and dental are sometimes combined, but not always.
3. Mental Health: Mental health coverage is also typically not included in a standard federal plan. Instead, employees often look to supplemental insurance to receive counseling, prescriptions, and other services for themselves or a family member.
4. Health Spending Accounts: Health spending accounts are a big draw for many employees and employers because of the tax advantages they offer. Employees use 100% pre-taxed funds to pay for any and all out-of-pocket expenses. For example, an employee might use an HSA to cover out-of-pocket expenses for mental health spending or dental and eye care in addition to other specialist services.
While Canadians enjoy a system that doesn’t require high deductibles or co-pays — and usually none at all — there is a need for additional health coverage. Have questions about these plans? Talk to your employer, and leave us a comment, too!