Private health coverage enters benefits realm

To save money, some employers are paying for employees to get faster treatment
By Shannon Klie
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 09/12/2005

At any given time eight to 12 per cent of the workforce is off on disability leave and a single disability claim costs Canadian firms an average of $80,000, according to the Conference Board of Canada. The majority of these costs come from the long wait times in the public-health system. To save money, some employers are paying for employees to get faster treatment.

A benefit program for all employees that covers access to treatment in the United States or in Canada’s small, but growing, private sector will become more common, said a leading HR consultant.

“We’ll start to see plans evolving in this direction in the next two years,” said Daphne Woolf, managing partner of the Collin Baer Group in Toronto. “We’ll see this as pretty standard, amongst larger employers, within five years.”