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Employee group benefits plans (health and dental) in Canada - Our expert Mike Madison outlines the Western difference

Mike Madison is our Director of Employee Benefits Sales with Western Financial Group Business Solutions in Winnipeg, Manitoba. We offer a unique twist on health and dental for Canadian employers.

What are the basic coverages that come with your health and dental benefits plans?

Historically, employee benefits plans were designed to cover working Canadians in the event they become ill. More recently, we’ve seen the industry shift to providing more preventative treatments as opposed to reactive. This has created a new perception of an employee benefits plan. Our program’s goal is to replicate your existing coverage as close as possible but suggest enhancements after an in-depth review of your group’s claiming patterns.

An employee benefits program may provide coverage in four unique categories:

  • Life insurance
  • Disability insurance (short-term and long-term)
  • Extended Health Care (prescription drug coverage, massage, chiropractor, hospital, ambulance, vision, travel, etc.)
  • Dental Care (regular cleaning, fillings, crowns, etc.).

Plan design is client-specific and we can offer any coverage combination to suit your needs.

How do you introduce your health and dental program to a new business owner?

We are proud to differentiate ourselves from the endless number of health and dental options. We add value for Canadian employers in the form of a pooled program, which provides strength in numbers and removes the uncertainty around renewals. No longer are your rates determined by the claiming patterns of your small group. Instead, they are based on our entire pool of clients resulting in stability comparable to the largest corporations in Canada. Secondly, by working directly with our clients we eliminate excess administrative overhead, returning immediate savings to you, our client. In summary, we offer a less risky and more cost-effective method of buying employee benefits insurance with our pooled business model offered in a deal direct fashion to our clients.

How important is customer care and how do you assist plan members once they have joined?

Providing industry-leading support to our customers is the top priority of our Service team. All clients receive access to a dedicated Insurance Advisor who maintains all qualifications to provide accurate information should you require a consultation. With direct access to your insurance advisor, you have expert advice available at your fingertips.

Could you tell me about your team’s experience in providing group benefits?

Our program was launched in 2002. Today, we have a wide range of experts who have decades of industry experience. We’re ready to build the right plan for your business, your employees and their families. We are centrally located in Winnipeg, Manitoba and our team is licensed to sell in all provinces and territories across Canada.

I’m a small business owner seeking a health and dental plan. What does a spread of risk do for me?

Spread of risk is the true definition of insurance. Without it, small businesses are in danger of experiencing rate fluctuations at renewal time. With the rising cost of prescription drugs and a trend towards self-care in the workforce, it is no longer a matter of ‘if’ significant claims will arise, but ‘when’. Absorbing these costs as a small business may not be possible, ultimately leading to reduced coverage or, the elimination of the program altogether. Such a drastic step is unnecessary in our pooled program as the larger spread of risk mitigates the impact of increased claims. Essentially, our pool combined with our collaborative approach offers the ability to budget for renewals allowing you to avoid the chance of seeing a drastic spike in rates.