Benefits Canada reports that a majority (80%) of Canadian employees say they consider an employer’s health benefits before accepting a new role. The report also found that 73% of workers with a benefits plan say they’d stay with their current employer even if they were offered more money elsewhere.

Health benefits are a critical component of employee recruitment and retention

The survey polled SMEs employees and businesses from across Canada and found:

  • 91% of employees said they valued their benefits plan’s impact on their overall health and well-being
  • 89% said their benefits plan was important to their financial health and security
  • over 76% of employees without health benefits would leave their job for one offering a more attractive benefit plan
  • about half of the employees surveyed said they would choose health benefits over a raise – even if that raise amounted to thousands of dollars each month

Employees cited peace of mind (37 per cent) as the No. 1 reason they appreciate health benefits.

Remain competitive as an employer by offering health insurance benefits

Beyond recruiting, health insurance benefits provide a return on investment by helping you retain your team and helping your team to be productive. With cost as a potential barrier to offering robust health benefits, there are containment options you can consider. As a full replacement or supplement to a group plan, individual health and dental insurance plans help provide coverage that can be retained by each member of your team for their entire life:

  • a variety of individual health insurance plans are available to full-time, part-time or contract workers regardless of any current health conditions they may have
  • an individual health insurance plan funded by the municipality, or the employee can coordinate with your group plan to make it more attractive to recruits or key personnel, providing options for everyday health needs and coverage for medical emergencies with a wide variety of services, such as massage and acupuncture, so they can afford treatment that helps them feel their best
  • employees can add an individual health insurance plan to their group benefits to increase prescription drug, dental and/or extended healthcare benefits to fulfill their individual or family needs. Individual health insurance can be core healthcare protection or be used to enhance your group health plan with the features your employee wants most. It works to help ensure employees will not hesitate to take care of their health and be able to stay productive. With family coverage your team will be less distracted about the out-of-pocket burden if their spouse or children get sick or are injured too.

As a financially attractive compensation feature, health and dental insurance helps your team members – new or existing – save on healthcare costs not covered by their provincial government plan, including expenses like prescription drugs, dental care, hearing aids, vision care and massage therapy and much more. And it helps to keep them healthy and productive when they are more able to address their health concerns with less worry about the cost.

Focus on the key health benefit features your recruits seek

Consider the age demographics of your hiring pool. The oldest members of the Millennial generation are buying homes, have families, and want to settle into the stable jobs you can offer. Nearing their middle age and working career peak, they seek benefits to support existing health concerns, their children and help them support their health management. They seek virtual care, online medical appointment scheduling, referrals, and prescription delivery benefit plan features offered with many individual health plans.

If your recruits are Gen Z, next to finding success in the job you can offer, mental health is a top priority so a friendly benefits package should have easy-to-access behavioral and mental health coverage. They also expect their health benefits to be digital, with features like video chatting with a doctor. Facing student loans and high housing costs, they consider their budget closely which means they are especially sensitive to the risk of unexpected healthcare costs – and welcome the protection of health insurance.

All recruits see health and wellbeing as part of a larger complex of factors that includes prevention, exercise, nutrition, and mental health and work-life balance. Offering strong and flexible health insurance options is fundamental to your recruiting process.

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