Although yearly salaries and hourly wages get the bulk of the attention during discussions about work and employment, one must never underestimate the value of a good employee benefit program. This is because the amount of money that an employee earns for their work is merely financial security for the present. Thus, without decent employee benefits packages, most people could not afford health care or plan for retirement.
Since retirement to most people is many years down the road, health benefit plans are foremost on the minds of employees. Despite Canada’s federally funded health care program, many Canadian citizens feel the need to purchase supplement health insurance to make up for the national programs short comings. As a result, about three quarters of all Canadian citizens carry additional health insurance.
While it seems like a national health care system should absorb most citizens’ health care costs, this is simply not the case. In fact, nearly one-third of all Canadian health care expenditures are not paid by the government, but through private health care plans or directly out of patients’ pockets.
Given the obvious need for additional health care coverage, many Canadian employers choose to invest in small business health coverage. Group health benefit plans can offer small business owners an affordable way to set their employees up with quality health care insurance benefits. When employees can find jobs with employers that invest in small business health coverage, they no longer have to purchase additional health insurance on their own.
In light of all the hype and controversy regarding the merits of federally funded health care, it is unlikely that anyone will come up with the perfect health care system any time soon. Until that day arrives, employee health insurance will continue to be the most important part of every employee benefits package; and group health plans can help to keep employee insurance affordable for small businesses.