The Benefits of Group Insurance

People often ask what the benefits of having group insurance are. That really depends on your perspective. There is the perspective of the company which has the group benefits for their employees and then, of course, there is the perspective of the employee who is receiving the benefits. The subject of group insurance can be broken down into many sub categories. For discussion in this article, I will deal from the two perspectives mentioned and discuss the general benefits of group insurance from each of those perspectives.

Group Insurance from the Employer's Perspective

Benefits have traditionally been offered to employees in addition to a salary or an hourly wage. They were considered an extra which was offered to employees after becoming permanent staff, usually after a three or six months waiting period. Over the last thirty or so years this insurance expanded from basic prescription drugs and dental coverage to include short and long term disability, critical care, and now, even floating holidays. Group benefits were used to attract and keep good employees.

Group Insurance

In the last couple of years, these benefits have more looked like an expense for employers and they no longer want that additional expense. Group benefit costs are only one of the reasons why a lot of companies have started "contracting" workers. They want to fix their costs to a "per job" or "per hour" rate. It has become a very competitive world in business today. A lot has changed.

Group Insurance from the Employees Perspective

Employees love group insurance. Why wouldn't they? At least half of the costs are paid by the employer and in some cases 100% of costs are employer paid. The employee is more comfortable knowing that a big part of their prescriptions and dental costs are covered. Frankly, group insurance encourages people to take better care of their health. Higher claims unfortunately mean higher costs, and many companies are now reviewing where benefits fit into their "compensation program".

As well, employees who have health challenges are usually automatically included in a group insurance program without having to give medical evidence to be covered. It is a big plus for them. I will say, that group benefits as people have known them in the past, are slowly disappearing. There are estimates now, that 60% of the people in secondary and post secondary education will not have "group insurance" benefits in the future.

The good news is that a number of insurance companies have now started specialising in benefits for as few as one person. There are some restrictions, but group benefits for one is now available. As well, there are also employers utilising Health Spending Accounts to fill the gap once filled by Group Insurance. That, however is a topic which will be covered in a different article.

Group Insurance


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