David Imrie

 Tags: small business

You know that your employees appreciate a solid health benefits plan. You also know that good benefits boost your bottom line as a small business in Canada. With the right benefits plan you can not only attract and retain top talent, you can properly allocate enough funding for benefits without stretching your resources too thin. The only trouble is how to choose the right benefits that will serve all your staff equally.


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Running a small business in Canada is tough enough without worrying over benefits plans. So, consider these three major concerns when choosing the right benefits for your staff that won’t break the bank.

How Generationally Diverse is Your Staff?

Chances are you might have noticed that traditional plans of insurance aren’t enough for you, your co-executives, or your employees. Traditional plans may offer core health benefits (like prescription meds and dental care), but they’re limited by what the insurers choose as worthy benefits for a one-size-fits-all plan. Today’s workforce is generationally diverse, and in one small business in Canada you may find yourself employing Baby Boomers, Generation Xers, and Millennials. This diversity is one of your small business’ great assets, as it’s been noted that Canada’s best companies find strength in their diversity through the different skillsets and perspectives it brings.


If you want to ensure that your small business is choosing the right benefits, you’ll have to take stock of the different generations of workers present in your staff. For each of these generations,health care decisions differ. So if your current plan for benefits only accounts for employees from one generation, then it’s an inadequate plan. Just remember: the type of benefits your staff wants is often determined by what generation they’re from and what stage of their life and career they’re at.

How Limited Are Your Benefits?

Are your current benefits very limited by expensive premiums and allowances for combining health plans? Most likely you’ll answer yes, since traditional insurance plans in Canada are subject to an annual price hike every year, making the premium too expensive for you as a small business owner to take care of without having employees contribute partial payments.


Traditional health plans are also subject to the Canadian Life and Insurance Association’s rule regarding the coordination of spousal benefits, which states that if your family has been provided with two health plans, the payments for one of the plans has limits. This means that in addition to having your employees pay a higher price to cover the cost of a skyrocketing premium, there’s a limit onthe amount of benefits they can claim.


You and your employees should be getting a wide array of benefits based on what you’ve paid for, not less. When you choose benefits, choose ones that you know you can cover 100%.

Does Your Plan Require You to Pay After-Tax Out-Of-Pocket Dollars?

This question could be the one that makes or breaks the deal for your small business. In Canada, one of the biggest barriers to growth in a small to medium business is access to funding to accelerate growth. You simply can’t afford to fall short of what your company needs to run, even more than other large-scale businesses. If your current plan requires you and your employees to pay out-of-pocket for partial benefits, that’s a huge sign you need a better solution.


And luckily for you, there’s a perfect alternative to traditional insurance: health spending accounts (HSAs). By subsidizing your health plan dollars, your workers have coverage for any Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA)-eligible medical expense up to a certain value. HSAs also allow for combined spousal benefits, and all benefits are tax-free. HSAs are the best choice for a small business in Canada, because they make employer and employeelives easier.


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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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