ASO Employee Benefits Plans

Redefine your employee benefits experience. With our ASO plans, you gain a clear view of your expenses while enjoying the freedom to customize benefits to your employees’ exact needs.

What is an ASO Plan?

An Administrative Services Only, or ASO plan, is an alternative way for employers to fund their employee group benefits. Using this funding model, an employer will assume the cost of predictable claims while being protected by pooled stop-loss insurance. This self-funded plan allows your company to use their own money to pay for their claims. This model is often used for larger businesses, but not offered to smaller businesses by other insurance companies.

Catastrophic risk elements of the benefits plan (life insurance, A.D. & D, and long-term disability) remain insured in a traditional fully insured pool.

The Benefits Trust, a budgeted ASO provider, offers benefits plans specifically designed to serve the needs of successful smaller employers.  The result is more competitive administration fees of 12% to 20% for the same size businesses (compared to traditional group benefits providers).

We work with your benefits advisor to build an Administrative Services Only plan for your company. We can also refer you to a benefits advisor in your area with ASO plan experience.

Budgeted ASO Employee Benefits Plans

At The Benefits Trust, we are proud to offer budgeted ASO plans (i.e. equal billing) for businesses across Canada.

With budgeted ASO, you pay a predictable fixed amount every month based on your previous claim history, while your employees enjoy their typical coverage.

The budgeting process is straightforward. Should your actual claims exceed the budgeted amount, you are responsible for the excess. If your claims are less than anticipated, the surplus is yours to keep, instead of into an insurance company’s pocket.

With our full and transparent monthly reporting, you stay completely aware of your surplus or deficit position.


ASO Employee Benefits Plan

For companies that like the familiarity of a traditional benefits plan, but with more cost control and flexibility.

Plan Highlights

  • Pick and choose your benefits and build your own plan based on your compensation philosophy, business objectives, budget, and employee groups (executives, management, hourly staff, seasonal employees, etc).
  • Use the flexibility to reward employees, increase retention, control costs, and many other business benefits. It’s up to you.
  • No need to reinvent the wheel; we can copy elements of your existing plan that you like and remove the elements that you don’t. (e.g. you don’t have to include Life Insurance, LTD, Massage, etc.)
  • Create an Executive Class and add Executive Benefits to your conventional plan.

Coverage Amount

  • Coverage limits and percentage paid (e.g. 80%) are customized and set by employer.

Administration Fees

  • 10 – 20% of contributions
  • No setup fees, annual fees, per-claim fees, or fees for booklets.

What’s Covered?

Fully customize your plan. Pick and choose from the benefits below.

Optional Catastrophic Coverage

Optional catastrophic coverage can include the following:

  • Travel insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Accidental death and dismemberment
  • Critical illness
  • Long-term disability
  • Catastrophic drug coverage up to $1 million over a lifetime.

Online/Smartphone App Claim Submission?


Benefits Card?


Pay Direct Drug Card?


Interested in a Budgeted ASO Plan for Your Business?

Talk to your advisor, call us for a 10-minute chat, or submit a callback form.

Common Questions and Resources

Why are ASO plans growing in popularity?

Administrative Services Only plans have historically been only accessible to “big businesses” due to the administrative and computing resources required. Smaller employers had very little choice in group benefits plan design.

However, advancements in technology have allowed a new breed of group insurance administrators to emerge – Third Party Administrators (TPAs) like The Benefits Trust – that now offer ASO plans to smaller employers.

Frustrated by the lack of transparency and flexibility from their traditional group benefits providers, successful employers are turning to ASO plans in ever-growing numbers.

What’s the difference between budgeted ASO plans and traditional group benefits plans?

When comparing traditional plan funding with budgeted ASO plans, it is important to remember that with budgeted ASOs, you only pay for your actual paid claims experience.  This works just as effectively for small groups of 5 to 50 as it does for large groups of hundreds of employees. Not to mention, with the budgeted ASO model smaller employers gain full transparency and flexibility for their group benefits plans.

The key pricing factors to consider when comparing benefits plan providers are the competitiveness of the administration fees for the services provided and who has ownership of any surpluses or deficits (the employer or the insurer).  In effect, in the benefits plan game, the employer becomes the “house”, and keeps any surplus in lower claims years, while being protected from the risk of catastrophic claims costs through pooled stop loss insurance.

Budgeted ASO plans set funding levels based on the same factors as traditional group benefits plans:

  • Premiums for insurance to protect against catastrophic risk, such as life insurance, long term disability, out of country emergency medical, etc.,
  • Claim costs for routine medical and dental claims, and
  • Administration fees to manage the program.

Unlike a Budgeted ASO arrangement, the monthly premiums for traditional insured plans also include insurer reserves, and significantly higher inflation factors, which add to the renewal cost of an employer’s plan. Insurers also tend to apply high administration fees to smaller businesses, generally ranging from 25% to 35%.

View the Full Discussion and Comparison Chart

Administration Questions

Most Traditional Employee Benefits Plans Look the Same

Consider the following when choosing a new plan.


Budgets are always on the minds of small business owners – and we can’t blame them! At The Benefits Trust, we provide the most value and maximize cost efficiency with customized plans that cater to the needs of your employees.


Delivering more value means more than offering comprehensive employee benefits. It means creating a partnership with your provider that’s based on dedicated representative customer service. It means flexibility in the solutions we offer and responding to your inquiries immediately.

Plan Design

We think outside of the traditional benefits box. Our clients (and their employees) enjoy custom benefits plans that have been specifically designed to cater to business and employee needs and goals.


At The Benefits Trust, we prioritize unparalleled support for our clients. Think of us as your benefits department; from the initial setup to ongoing management, we ensure your benefits plan runs smoothly.

We Can Match Your Existing Plan

Keep the benefits blueprint you trust while enhancing it to make it exactly what you need it to be. Our team can quickly adjust and change your existing plan to work perfectly for you.


The Benefits Trust Creates a Custom Benefits Plan to Meet Your Company’s Needs

With a third-party administrator like us:
  • You pay for the insurance you want
  • You only pay for the claims you have
  • Administrative costs are fixed and transparent

Have An Inquiry About Our Plans?

Navigating benefits can be complex; lean on us for clear, concise answers to all your plan-related questions.

Call us at 1-800-487-2993

Email us at [email protected]

Regular Hours of Operation:

Monday – Friday 8:30am – 5:00pm

Inquire About Our Budgeted ASO Plans

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What’s Covered?

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