3 Reasons Traditional Group Benefits aren't a Good Fit for Small Businesses
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According to Statistics Canada, 97.9% of businesses in Canada are small businesses, employing one to 99 employees. And 73.4% of these small businesses have between one and nine employees. Unfortunately, traditional group benefits are normally outside the reach of small businesses. Today, we’ll explore the three main reasons small businesses don’t offer traditional group benefits and how BeniPlus puts employee benefits back on the table for small businesses.

Reason #1: Traditional group benefits are complicated

Signing your business up for traditional group benefits requires a lot of paperwork and approval can take a week or longer. The complexity continues when it comes to on-boarding your employees. There’s typically an enrolment period and when employees don’t sign up within 30 days of the enrolment period, they must provide additional information. This complexity provides a stilted customer experience for business owners and their employees.

In contrast, at BeniPlus, we set small businesses up for group benefits in 10 minutes and on-boarding employees is just as quick! Plus, there’s no enrolment period, meaning employees can sign up on their schedule, not someone else’s.

Reason #2: Traditional group benefits are inflexible

These plans are designed by the insurance company with limited choices for small business clients. Large companies tend to have more flexibility in plan design which results in the appearance of more options. But even for them, these options aren’t necessarily flexible enough to cater to the needs of all employees. With traditional group benefits, all employees have the same few options but in today’s workforce—consisting of five generations of employees—this lack of flexibility no longer makes sense.

Is a traditional medical and dental plan truly a benefit for robust millennials who want their benefit plan to cover more than 25% of a pair of glasses? Does it work for parents who want regular massages to melt away the stress of three kids who need braces? Would it help employees staring down middle age with slightly expanded waistlines? Maybe but probably not.

According to The Sanofi Canada Healthcare Survey 2019, only 60% of employees believe their health benefit plan meets their needs very well or extremely well. That leaves a lot of room for improvement which is why we offer flexible benefits plans to small businesses. With our flexible employee benefits plan—which we call the Benefit Wallet—employees choose how to allocate and spend their benefits—based on their own needs.

Reason #3: Traditional group benefits are expensive

Did you know that insurance carriers often give companies discount pricing to secure their business? But at renewal time a year later, this price—the one you can afford—is no longer available. The real costs kick in, leaving you with a surprise in your budget. And you can’t just find another provider because most insurance carriers won’t quote for a company that’s been with another carrier for only a year. This means that if you want benefits to continue, you’ll pay the new higher price. Plus, with traditional group benefits, your small business pays a monthly premium—even when nobody uses the benefits.

Benefits costs rarely go down and Aon’s 2020 Global Medical Trend Rates Report forecasts an increase in group benefits costs of 6% in 2020.

Alternately, you can take control of your benefits costs with BeniPlus. With our plan, your company—and nobody else—chooses your benefits budget every year. And while you can adjust your benefits budget annually, we recommend caution; employees and the Canada Revenue Agency don’t appreciate drastic changes to benefit levels.

To learn more about what makes BeniPlus an affordable benefits solution for small businesses, watch our one-minute video, BeniPlus for Employers.

Small businesses contribute 38.4% of Canada’s gross domestic product. We believe the small businesses that make this impressive contribution to the economy—including yours—should no longer be constrained by traditional group benefits. We’re here to help you get a benefits program you and your employees can be proud of.

A properly designed and communicated flexible benefits program helps small business owners compete with bigger companies for top talent. If you’re ready to learn more about how to add a flexible benefits program to your total rewards package, take 10 minutes today to get a quote.

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