David Imrie

 Tags: small business

While providing employee benefits may be an extra cost for you as a small business owner, your full-time employees have come to expect a certain level of coverage. Benefits not only make your company more attractive to prospective candidates but also demonstrate to your employees how highly they are valued.


Download The CEOs Guide to Decreasing Group Health Premium Cost


As such, benefits are important, but you can’t just jump right into purchasing group benefits—you need to do your research. Make sure the following questions are included in your search for the perfect benefits plan.

What Options Are Available?

When you think about group health benefits, most people think about traditional benefits plans, but there are more options available on the market—better options too. One of these options that you’ll want to ask about is a registered health savings account. Make sure you do your research beforehand so you know what’s available.

What’s Covered?

Each plan varies in what is covered. The best way to make sure your employees get what they want is to give them control of their spending. Traditional group benefits will dictate how much each individual employee can allocate to various medical expenses, but a registered health savings account allows your employees to pick and choose where their money goes.


All CRA-approved medical expenses are covered by a registered health savings account so employees will always receive maximum coverage.

How Much Will This Cost Me?                                            

No one wants to spend thousands of dollars each year on medical insurance. Each coverage option will cost a different amount based on what is included. It’s important to find the right balance between affordability and quality for your small business. The cost depends on what you’re looking for in a group benefits plan.

How Much Will My Employees Have to Pay in Out-of-Pocket Expenses?

Ideally, your employees shouldn’t have to pay any out-of-pocket expenses. Some traditional benefits plans don’t offer 100-percent full coverage for employees. It’s important to find an option that minimizes the number of out-of-pocket expenses paid by your employees.

What Are Taxes Going to Look Like?

Tax season is every small business’s least favourite season. Traditional benefits don’t offer any tax benefits. Registered health savings accounts are considered business expenses, making tax season a little bit more bearable.

Will My Premium Increase?

Nothing is worse than annual premium increases. There are options available, like the registered health saving account, which guarantee no premium increases. In fact, there are no premiums to begin with. Other traditional group benefits providers will offer low initial costs but increase the price of the plan every year so your plan becomes less and less of a good deal.


Make sure you know what to expect in the future, not just now.

Who’s Covered?

Your employees likely have dependents and spouses. In this case, they’ll want coverage for everyone in their families, not just themselves. Make sure the coverage you’re getting covers more than just the individual employee. 

What Support Is Available?

While running your own small business, you don’t have time to be chasing down support when you have questions regarding your employee group benefits. You want to make sure to ask beforehand what types of support are available for help later down the line.


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David Imrie

Dr. David Imrie founded RHSA Canada in 2009. Dr. Imrie is a medical doctor and former health insurance professional who has a passion for helping small businesses reduce their healthcare costs. As an executive in the insurance industry, he was shocked to find that so many common healthcare services are covered only partially by most insured plans, when employees were entitled to 100% coverage for all prescription drugs, dental services, and other healthcare expenses. Since leaving the insurance industry in 2001, Dr. Imrie committed to using newer technology to develop a better alternative program for small business health benefits.
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