Employees have noted they believe their employers have handled health and safety, technology and flexible work hours well. However, with employee’s mental well-being continuing to be a key issue since the Covid-19 pandemic began, it demonstrates that maintaining the status quo is not enough for employers to retain specifically younger employees. Employees under the age of 40 are more likely to reconsider their job as compared to Canadian employees over the age of 50.
Employers Need To Prioritize Employee Communication & Well-Being
Employers need to be proactive in prioritizing communication and the well-being of employees in everything they do. 81% of Canadians say Covid-19 is negatively affecting their mental health, and of note, a significant percentage of employees are considering changing careers despite having positive opinions of how their employer handled the pandemic.
With new information constantly being released, employers must continue to check in on their employees well-being to maintain a productive and healthy workforce.
The Chambers Plan Dental Coverage: What a Mouthful!
The Chambers of Commerce Group Insurance Plan offers a wide range of dental options, designed to meet a variety of budgets and employee expectations. Basic coverage includes such things as check-ups, cleanings and x-rays; while more comprehensive coverage includes services like crowns, dentures and orthodontic services. So take a few moments and make sure your dental plan is up-to-date. A regular visit to the dentist will not only help you to maintain a healthy smile, but a healthy body as well!
What is Included in Dental Coverage with The Chambers Plan?
Whether you’re looking for basic maintenance or major coverage, our Dental insurance plans can help cover the cost of dental care for your employees and their families. Payments for Dental claims are typically processed within 48 hours. Employees can also track claims, review coverage and even see when they’re next eligible for a check-up by going online and using my-benefits.
Basic Dental coverage can include:
Check-ups and complete dental exams
Fluoride, polishing and scaling
Dental x-rays, periapical films and panoramic film
Pit and fissure sealants
Minor restorations including fillings and prefab crowns
Oral surgery – removal of erupted or impacted teeth or residual roots, and associated anesthesia
Endodontic and Periodontal procedures include:
Root canal therapeutics
Major Dental coverage can include:
Crowns and onlays, dentures and bridges
Denture relining and rebasing, repair of dentures or bridgework
Orthodontic Dental coverage can include:
Orthodontic exams, X-rays and casts
Braces and retainers for dependents not yet 17 years old
Take care of your employees with dental coverage through The Chamber Plan. Get a free quote from YXE Benefits today.
As businesses scrambled to adapt to strict new health measures, even the most stringent of change-evaders were forced to bend to forces beyond their control. Employees began working remotely, keeping in touch with clients from their at-home offices and connecting with co-workers via Zoom or Microsoft Teams.
For some employers, the experience was a hard push into a trend that had already been happening long before the pandemic. And for some, the biggest and most surprising lesson they learned from the experience was that people working remotely actually works.
Of course, it doesn’t work for everyone. Businesses that require employees to be on-site because the work is physical in nature or retail shops that serve customers in-store need real people at work. But for those with employees who already do the bulk of their work digitally – and for those who discovered during the pandemic that they were still doing well without people in the office – taking a deeper look into hiring more remote workers may be worth the effort.
The Benefits of Having Remote Workers
Research undertaken by organizations such as Gallup, Harvard University, Global Workplace Analytics and Stanford University shows a number of ways employers benefit from remote workers.
On average, teleworkers are 35-40 per cent more productive than their office counterparts.
Employees working remotely are more strongly engaged than their in-office counterparts, with 41 per cent lower absenteeism.
Employers who offer the ability to work remotely have better retention of employees. 54 per cent of employees say they would change jobs for one that offered them more flexibility – like where they can work from.
Organizations save an average of $11,000 per year per part-time telecommuter.
Another benefit: hiring employees who work remotely means you can access skills that might be scarce locally. Thanks to technology, employers can literally hire employees from anywhere around the world.
How Do You Hire The Right Remote Worker For Your Business?
Pay attention to their behaviour, even before they interview.
Do they respond quickly to your emails? Do they communicate clearly, politely, respectfully? Can they spell? How they communicate with you reflects how they’ll communicate with your clients.
Make sure they’re suited to working remotely.
Just because someone wants to work from home doesn’t mean they’ll be good at it. Weed out the couch surfers from the keeners by asking if they’ve worked remotely before and if they’re set up with the equipment to complete your projects. In the interview, ask them to walk you through a typical workday.
Ensure they’re a good fit for you and your culture.
Invite some of your employees to sit in on the interview and ask their own questions, including questions that aren’t all “business” so you can get a sense of the candidate’s personality and if it fits with your work culture. And don’t forget that your current employees can be a great resource. Ask them if they have recommendations for potential hires.
Give them actual work.
For candidates who look particularly promising, give them a paid test project with a firm deadline. The assignment should involve all aspects of the job – including working with your team and with supervisors – so you can see how they work, how well they meet deadlines and how they interact with the rest of your staff.
Looking for a way to save time managing your group benefit program? MyBenefits from the Chambers Plan can help!
What is MyBenefits?
MyBenefits is a secure, online tool that you can conveniently use anywhere, anytime. It provides you, as a business owner, a quick and easy way to access your company’s coverage and premium information.
Whether you are looking to ensure a new employee is set up for benefits or calculate payroll deductions, you can use it to keep employee records current. MyBenefits allows you to add new plan participants, change their coverage, or terminate benefits of former employees.
What are the Benefits of MyBenefits?
Contact Your Advisor
If you need to contact your benefits advisor, your employee’s assistance provider or anyone else connected to the plan, it is all just a convenient click away.
Instead of call centres, talk to a real life person. At YXE Benefits, we know being able to contact the Chambers Plan to speak with someone who ensures your needs are met is crucial for busy small to medium sized business owners, as well as your employees.
Access Group Benefit Publications
With MyBenefits you have access to a variety of group benefits publications. You also have access to time saving tools and resources like an employee deduction calculator and taxable benefit report. It’s like having your own personal benefits plan assistant at your convenience!
Provide your employees easy access to their own personalized benefits and claims information and more! Give them the details and resources they need, leaving more time for you with less questions being directed towards you.
MyBenefits is eco-friendly when you register online! Do away with paper mailings by registering to receive billing statements online as soon as they are ready. No need to wait for the mail to be delivered when you have everything available to you online via phone, tablet or computer.
Start saving time by administering your group plans online today. To register visit my-benefits.ca and follow the instructions.
A partner in managing the Chamber Plan’s drug program is TELUS Health. They provide efficient processing, consistency of claims and develop polices to enhance sustainability for members.
One of these policies, which has a substantial impact by protecting the affordability of the drug plan, is the Health Enhanced Generic Interchangeability policy.
What is Generic Interchangeability?
Picture this. You and another person get prescribed the same drug. However, you are using the generic brand and they are using the brand name drug. They are a direct substitute of each other, so what is the difference?
Price. You paid less for the generic brand than they did for the brand name.
In most cases, when a generic brand is available over a brand name drug, the pharmacy is advised to substitute the generic drug.
This is Generic Interchangeability, which is a designation given to generic drugs that have been identified as a direct substitute for a brand name alternative. Not only are the same active ingredients shown in generic and brand name drugs, generic costs less.
One thing to note, is that the pharmacy is advised to substitute the generic drug and under the Chamber Plan, TELUS will reimburse the generic costs. This practice is not always followed by pharmacies, depending on the provincial drug rules. When you are prescribed a brand name drug, YXE Benefits encourages you to ask your pharmacist if a generic brand is available to cover your bases.
Most Chambers Plan Extended Health options include generic substitution for prescription drugs. What if your physician indicates there is no substitution on your prescription? Then the requested drug will be covered based on the brand name cost, as long as it is listed by TELUS.
At YXE Benefits, we encourage Plan members to speak to their healthcare providers about prescribing generic brand alternatives. This will reduce your expenses and contribute to the sustainability of their drug plan.
If you are interested in learning more about The Chamber Plan and how it could benefit you, contact us for a free quote or more information. Chambers Plan combines accessibility, flexibility and the stability of pooled benefits so whether you are looking to start a benefits plan or make additions throughout the pandemic, we are here to help.
Anytime is a good time to think about our daily habits—things we’d like to change, but have yet to put into action. Many consider diet change or exercise regimens, but without considering the value of moderation. Many resolutions are not sustainable, and, as a result, go up in flames weeks after launch. A basic online definition of moderation is “avoiding excess or the extreme.” What we do while we are not at work matters, and moderation in our personal lives can positively impact our business lives.
Whether it’s choosing a small instead of the large popcorn at the movie theatre, or saying “no thanks” to work that doesn’t meet your business or personal priorities at the time, opportunity to practice moderation is everywhere.
It’s safe to say, moderation is everything when it comes to the food and drinks we consume. In a world where we face open boxes of donuts in the office kitchen, and huge portions at restaurants, we are up against a lot. That is, our will power has to be rock solid.
The latest cleanse challenge or hip diet might seem like the way around this, but more times than not, we turn into ticking time bombs. Once the cleanse is over, we go right back to eating what we always eat (and sometimes over eat to make up for lost time). We are social beings—showing up at the pub for a water and salad is hardly fun, but choosing the healthy option 5 out of 7 days a week can take us a long way.
Moderation tip: If you’re eating out today, consider saving half of your meal to take home, or eat it later this afternoon.
Everyone knows, when it comes to exercise, consistency is key. Like cleanses and diets, exercise challenges can be fun, but usually only produce short-term gain. If you’ve gone from working out 2-3 days a week to 6 days a week, it can also be a recipe for injury if not supervised by a professional. A challenge is fun, but do it safely. If the gym bores you, change it up! Monday, yoga, Wednesday, gym, Friday kick-boxing, or whatever gets you pumped.
Moderation tip: Commit to that exercise slot in your schedule the same way you commit to showing up to work on time. The commitment to yourself is as important as the commitment you make to your boss, partner, or co-workers.
Stop it. You are burning yourself out, not leaving enough time or energy for personal growth, relationships, business growth, or whatever is important to you. As President and CEO of Lead from Within, Lolly Daskal says, “You can be a good person and still say no.” It’s been said a hundred times before—define your priorities, vocalize your goals, put them somewhere visible, and you will know what to say yes to, and what to delegate.
It also helps to have something prepared, like a script, so you feel confident you can turn away work without offending or burning bridges when you’re asked. Your instinct can actually be a strong indicator of whether or not a project is aligned with your business goals. Hang on to that initial feeling when you were asked to participate; if there was a sense of excitement from the beginning, it’s probably work you won’t regret taking on.
Moderation Tip : Above all else, give yourself permission to respect your own personal boundaries.
According to Stats Canada, in 2017, “Canadian households in the lowest income brackets spent an average of $33, 764 on goods and services, compared with $105,493 for those in the top 20% of household incomes,”—a good indication that we tend to live up to the lifestyle we make for ourselves. In other words, we spend what we earn.
But imagine, this year, you stay put and decide against a bigger mortgage, buy an older vehicle, take one less shopping spree, try a staycation. There might be a natural cleansing to be experienced in having less “stuff” and more in the bank account. We are a consumer culture, but if you step back for a moment the next time you are about to make a purchase and ask, do I really need this? Or better yet, will this make me happy for longer than a day, what will your honest answer be? If you don’t make the purchase, what will you have left at the end of 2020? It might be worth the experiment.
Moderation Tip : If you were to make a personal budget, what would it look like?
Whether you are moderating your single-use plastic consumption, trading in the car for public transportation, cutting back on screen time, or choosing the single-patty burger instead of the double, we all know, but sometimes fail to acknowledge less, more times than not, is more.
What if you had an accident and couldn’t work for a while?
Your disability insurance would provide income in place of your salary until you were on your feet again, but what about those business bills! Unfortunately, none of us can predict a sudden illness or injury. It’s wise to consider how your absence would impact your business and make sure you’re prepared for unforeseen circumstances.
Designed for self-employed business owners who generate all of their firm’s sales and revenues and who are involved in the day-to-day operations of the business, BOE covers your business’ fixed expenses if you’re away for an extended period of time due to disability. BOE must be purchased in conjunction with Long Term Disability benefits.
Available in blocks of $100, coverage is available from $500 to $2,000 per month. The benefit will pay eligible business expenses, after a 30 day waiting period, for up to 18 months while you are disabled. Eligible business expenses are the actual, normal and customary expenses incurred by you, the owner, in the operation of your business. For partnerships, your assumed portion of such expenses is covered.
Eligible business expenses include:
Rent, electricity, telephone
Business taxes and licenses
Property taxes for the place of business
Leasing and amortization costs of equipment, including automobiles
Interest including the interest portion of mortgage payments, unpaid bills or lines of credit
Amortization or periodic repayment of capital including mortgages
Salaries of personnel who do not generate income and whose services are essential during your disability
Professional services of an outside accountant
Professional dues and professional liability insurance
Postage and office supplies
You can purchase Business Overhead Expense coverage in conjunction with Chambers Plan Long Term Disability benefits. Together, it’s the coverage business owners need, at an affordable price.
With quick claim payments, rate stability, and guaranteed renewable coverage, the Chambers Plan makes it easy for you to invest in the health and well-being of your employees. 3,000 small businesses just like yours join the Plan every year. With the help of our local advisors at YXE Benefits, let us design a plan to fit your needs and your budget from an array of benefits and options:
With quick claim payments, rate stability, and guaranteed renewable coverage, the Chambers Plan makes it easy for you to invest in the health and well-being of your employees. 3,000 small businesses just like yours across Canada join the Plan every year. With the help of your local advisors at YXE Benefits , the Chambers plan design a plan to fit your needs and your budget from an array of benefits and options including disability insurance.
Comprehensive Protection: Short Term & Long Term Disability Insurance
Disability insurance, whether short or long term, gives employees a financial cushion in the event they become disabled due to an injury or illness and are unable to work for a period of time. Although Health insurance will typically cover the costs of treating an injury or illness, most people will have a difficult time paying for basic necessities if they aren’t able to work.
Short Term Disability Insurance (Weekly Indemnity)
We understand that each of our clients has a different budget and unique needs. You will be able to decide how long your employees must be off work before they may begin to collect benefits, and how long they may collect benefits. For employees under age 65, Short Term Disability insurance benefits represent 66 2/3% of their gross income to a maximum of $1,200 per week.
Long Term Disability (LTD) Insurance
Insuring employees for the long term, LTD coverage can help provide financial security so a disabled employee can focus on recovery and returning to work. Chambers Plan LTD benefits provide employees with:
Up to $7,000 per month
Benefits for 2 or 5 years, or until age 65
Guaranteed coverage to groups with 3 or more employees (non-evidence limits vary from $1,200 to $3,000)
The Chambers Plan offers an innovative group retirement savings plan designed to help Saskatoon businesses like yours be competitive and assist in your employees’ future financial needs.
Stay Competitive With a Group Retirement Savings Plan
Access support tools and reports that are easy to read and understand.
Having access to our online retirement planning tools, statements, and educational materials, Chambers Plan Group Retirement Solution works well with your company’s overall compensation approach by enhancing the future financial security of your employees and their families. Implementing a comprehensive retirement savings plan will help you to stand out when recruiting and retaining employees and create a sense of long-term loyalty and pride in your team.
Benefits to Your Employees
Low fees. The investment management fees (IMFs) in a group plan are typically lower than the management expense ratio fees charged by individual mutual funds and banks.
Immediate tax savings. Employees see immediate tax savings with the group RRSP if contributions are deducted from their gross pay, which means they pay income tax only on the reduced amount.
Simple online administration:
Fast and easy online enrolment
A secure website featuring comprehensive education and support tools
Ongoing online administrative support, including access to live support through our customer service centre and from licensed financial education specialists
An annual statement that is mailed to the employee’s home, summarizing account activity
Stop-loss Insurance takes claim off the Employer’s shoulders
When an employee has a health issue requiring expensive treatment, the associated high-cost claims can be significant for their benefits plan sponsor. But it’s impossible to predict when a large claim will arise, so stop-loss insurance, which takes the claim off the employer’s shoulders, is one option to help protect against these unexpected costs.
As a type of insurance policy that sits on top of a benefits plan, stop-loss is available to both fully- and self-insured plan sponsors. When choosing stop-loss insurance, an employer selects a threshold up to which it can reasonably cover claims — ranging from between $10,000 and $100,000 — and any claims beyond that will be covered by the policy.
Stop-loss not a substitute for plan management
The main benefit of stop-loss insurance is its ability to protect the Saskatoon employer from catastrophic claims. For
self-insured groups, it primarily acts as a budgeting tool so there aren’t any unexpected hits that could affect accounting.
On the other hand, stop-loss can become costly. While a claim may be mitigated in the first year, premiums can rise
in the following years, essentially providing only short-term stabilization. This is especially difficult if the claim is reoccurring, which is the case for most drug claims.
“Stop-loss doesn’t help you avoid cost; it simply helps you prevent an unexpected surge in costs in a given year. It’s not a substitute for plan management.”
Another drawback is that most plans only have a single market for stop-loss insurance, meaning employers can only purchase it from one group, typically their own health insurer, which limits them to that insurer’s quote.
To limit risk, employers can use a pre-existing condition clause for an employee’s first year of employment by setting benefits to a specific limit so they can’t bring in unexpected expenses. Another option is to put a limit on drug reimbursement levels or incorporate provincial drug programs into the benefits plan.
While stop-loss prevents large, unexpected claims from affecting a plan sponsor, it’s important to understand that issues can still arise after a claim is made and employers should be aware of all the available options, so they can make a decision before it’s too late.