As a business owner, building a comprehensive benefits package is one of the best steps you can take to attract and retain top talent—and Paramedical coverage makes the perfect addition to any good group benefits plan. What are paramedical services, and what types of insurance include them? Let’s take a closer look so that you have all the information you need to make an informed decision for your business.
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What Does Paramedical Coverage Include?
Paramedical coverage provides reimbursement for treatments that provincial health plans typically don’t cover. These services aim to alleviate chronic stress, improve sleep quality, manage pain, and improve overall wellbeing.
Common examples of paramedical treatments include:
- Occupation therapy
- Physical therapy
- Massage therapy
- Chiropractic therapy
- Speech therapy
Paramedical treatments are covered under Extended Health Care benefits.
Why is Paramedical Service Coverage Important?
While paramedical services don’t offer the same clinical value as, say, oncology treatments, they are a crucial addition to any group benefits package. These services can drastically improve your employees’ overall quality of life, leading to improved performance at work.
Employees who have access to preventive and therapeutic medical services are also less likely to suffer from stress-related health conditions. That means better medical cost control and less absenteeism.
Many employees have also come to expect paramedical coverage as a standard part of any group benefit plan. Without them, you could lose both new applicants and existing employees to the competition. Providing comprehensive benefits shows your staff that you care about them, fostering loyalty and community culture.
How Much Does Paramedical Coverage Cost?
Like most forms of insurance, paramedical coverage costs vary based on how much your employees use it and what services they use, among others factors. Of course, when building a group benefits plan, you want to include services your employees will actually use and benefit from. Generally, paramedical services fall into that realm, with more claims than nearly any other coverage type. That said, Extended Healthcare Benefits don’t have to be expensive.
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How to Reduce the Cost of Paramedical Coverage
There are a few ways you can help control the cost of paramedical coverage for your business. However, many can limit the benefits for your employees. Be sure to weigh the pros and cons when selecting coverage options.
Decrease the Claim Maximums
The most effective way to reduce paramedical coverage costs is to decrease the claim maximums. The annual maximum benefit amount for paramedical services is normally around $500 per practitioner per year. When an employee’s claims reach the maximum, they have to wait for the start of the following calendar year before they can claim again.
Setting Up Combined Maximums
Another way to control costs is to provide employees with a combined maximum. This maximum is higher than the paramedical claim maximum, but it includes other healthcare claims. By setting up a combined maximum, you allow employees to choose between treatments while reducing costs.
Eliminate the Use-It-Or-Lose-It Mentality
Paramedical coverage includes non-essential treatments such as massages or naturopathy. In other words, employees don’t need a medical reason to claim these benefits. When employees adopt a use-it-or-lose-it mentality, they often try to use up their benefits before the end of the calendar year, which ramps up costs.
Employers set up claims according to projections, and insurers typically don’t account for employees maxing out their claims. Consequently, a high number of paramedical claims is among the most common reason for cost increases when a group benefits plan renews.
Addressing the use-it-or-lose-it mentality among employees requires thorough communication. Educate your employees on the cost of benefits and encourage them only to use benefits when medically necessary. If possible, implement additional measures to contain costs.
Offer a Health Care Spending Account (HSCA)
A Health Care Spending Account provides medical coverage for expenses that employees can’t claim against traditional health plans, including paramedical services, but only to a set dollar amount.
If you start to see unsustainable claim numbers under an Extended Healthcare Benefits plan, consider removing paramedical coverage from your package. Instead, offer the coverage under a Health Care Spending Account.
A Health Care Spending Account will limit your employees’ paramedical claims and combine them with other treatments, much like a combined maximum. HCSAs also offer your employees tax-free benefits for a wide range of medical services beyond paramedical and offer you a tax deduction for your business.
Prioritize Value-Based Care
An effective way to provide your employees with optimal coverage while reducing costs is to provide coverage that prioritizes value-based care. This reimbursement model focuses on care quality instead of quantity. In other words, health care providers base their fee structure on the value the treatment provides to patients.
Find the Best Group Benefits Plan for Your Business
Are you looking for a Health Care Spending Account, Extended Health Care benefits, or group life insurance coverage for your employees? At Group Enroll, we can help you find the best possible plan at the lowest possible price.