Canadian Businesses Turning to Flexible Benefits Plans

While Canada continues to experience a growing multigenerational workforce, employers are currently trying to figure out how to not only encourage cohesion and collaboration among the generations, but also how to care for all of them.

The needs and concerns of one generation do not necessarily overlap those of the others, so when it comes to finding the right benefits plan to best suit their employees, Canadian businesses are seeking flexibility, according to a Benefits Benchmarking 2019 study conducted by The Conference Board of Canada.

Mental Health and Wellness

With mental health and wellness being a topic on everyone’s minds, a growing number of employers are seeking benefits plans that incorporate them into their coverage. Approximately two thirds of responding businesses indicate that they’re making enhancements or new introductions into their benefits plans to help cover more mental health and wellness services such as psychological services and fitness and wellness apps.

Virtual Healthcare

Apps aren’t the only digital inclusion that employers are incorporating into their benefits plans though. With preventative measures and accessibility in mind, a growing number of employers have begun to welcome benefits plans that offer virtual and tele healthcare and pharmacogenetics coverage. An example of this is the popular Akira app by Right Health, which can be included as part of any benefits plan design with The Benefits Trust.

Health Care Spending Accounts (HCSAs)

A trend that has been embraced and is steadily increasing with Canadian employers are Health Care Spending Accounts. In fact, a growing number of employers – nearly two thirds of Canada’s largest employers – now offer some form of HCSA to their employees. HCSAs allow employees flexibility in how they allocate their benefits spend, and also provide employers with more stability and predictability in their share of the costs. Is your healthcare plan design keeping up with these trends? Watch our video to learn more about HCSAs.

Medical Cannabis Coverage

With the legalization of cannabis in October 2018 came a flurry of change in the medical community. Now that marijuana was legalized, doctors could prescribe it to their patients for various ailments. But insurance companies and health benefits have to keep up. Currently only 6% of responding businesses in the Benefits Benchmarking study offer coverage for medical cannabis, but a notable 48% reported considering coverage in the future. Medical cannabis coverage can be included as part of any benefits plan design with The Benefits Trust.

A Clear Need for Flexible Benefits

While many Canadian employers continue to stick with traditional healthcare plans, the growing demand for flexible benefits plans is undeniable. With the large baby boomer generation aging and increasingly putting a greater strain on the national health care system, the average age of retirement in Canada rising, and younger generations such as millennials and Gen Z growing in the modern workforce, there have never been so many preferences and pressures necessitating the flexibility of benefits provided by employers.

For 25 years, The Benefits Trust has been a leader in providing flexible benefits to small- and mid-sized Canadian businesses. Our Custom Group Benefits Plans offers employees the flexibility and coverage they want, while also providing employers with the cost stability they require. With dozens of customizable benefits options, we can help businesses design a flexible benefits plan that’s right for them.


The Benefits Trust helps successful business owners build a better benefits plan than they can get anywhere else. Get in touch with us today!

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About Mike Ignatz

Mike Ignatz has managed Business Development at The Benefits Trust since 2005. His drive and focus has helped The Benefits Trust provide better benefits plans to small and mid-sized businesses throughout Canada.

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