Group Health Insurance for Manitoba Businesses

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January 7, 2021

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If you’re a Manitoba small business owner, you should consider a group health insurance program for your employees. 

Group health insurance benefits everyone. It helps take care of your team, it makes your business more appealing to current and future employees, and compared to other insurance options, it can even reduce your costs.

Keep reading to learn more about how group health insurance works, and how it can benefit you.

What is Group Health Insurance?

Group Health Insurance is a type of insurance designed for businesses that lets employers offer health insurance benefits to their employees, as part of a group package. It benefits employees by helping them pay for healthcare costs that are not covered by the government. It benefits employers by spreading both the risks and the costs associated with traditional health insurance across all employees.

How does group health insurance work in Manitoba?

In Manitoba, when group health insurance is purchased, the employer pays a portion of the premiums for that policy, and the employees pay for the rest. From there, any claims made through the policy are pooled together to manage risk and assist in keeping premiums affordable.

What Does Group Health Insurance Cover?

Group health insurance is a type of private health insurance, so it covers things that your government-funded health insurance often doesn’t. Depending on what’s included in the group plan (as determined by the employer), group health insurance can cover costs associated to expenses, such as:

  • Prescription drugs
  • Paramedical practitioners (like massage therapists and chiropractors)
  • Semi-private hospital rooms
  • Vision care (including eye exams, glasses, and contact lenses)
  • Dental (basic, major, and orthodontic)
  • Employee Assistance Programs (like counselling)

Group Health Requirements for Small Businesses in Manitoba

If you’re thinking about purchasing group health insurance for your small business, you’ll want to consider three things: the number of employees you have, the type of employees you have, and how long employees need to be with your company before they can access their benefits.

1. Number of employees

The number of employees you need to have in order to qualify for group benefits varies, but companies with as few as two employees can qualify! It all depends on the guidelines set by the insurance company you partner with.

Get in touch with our individual Insurance Advisors to confirm your unique requirements.

2. Type of employees

Typically, group health insurance plans are offered to full-time employees only. The definition of “full time” varies by insurance company, but the industry standard is 24 hours of work per week.

Group health insurance is usually only offered to those employees who have employment agreements with your company on a regular basis, so contractors, consultants, seasonal, and casual employees don’t typically fall under these group plans.

3. Probation periods

Most employers only offer access to benefits following a probationary period of around 3-6 months, but sometimes new employees will qualify right away. It all depends on what is written into their employment agreement.

How Much Does Group Health Insurance Cost?

Like other types of business insurance, the cost of your group health insurance premium depends on the types of benefits you want included. Costs can be affected by things like:

  • Past claims experience
  • Co-insurance (the amount paid out after the deductible)
  • Deductibles
  • Benefit maximums

Typically, plans cost roughly 3% of payroll expenses, with employers paying a minimum of 50% of the total premiums.

Is group health insurance cheaper than individual insurance?

Yes, group insurance is often more affordable than individual insurance plans.

Group plans are more affordable for employers because they spread the risk across your entire organization — and even across your industry — which reduces costs for all businesses involved.

And, they’re more affordable to employees, too! As long as the employer contributes to the overall cost of the premiums, individual costs are much lower than they would be if each employee purchased an individual health insurance plan.

Are group health insurance premiums tax-deductible?

Yes, some aspects of a group health insurance plan are tax deductible for both employers and employees. However, certain factors can affect your ability to claim the premiums. We recommend double-checking with your accountant before banking on that!

Protect Your Employees with Group Health Insurance

If you’re interested in purchasing a group health insurance plan for your Manitoba small business, get in touch with us. Together, we’ll determine your needs, set your budget, and find the best plan for you.