What Are Flexible Benefits and Why You Should Offer Them

What Are Flexible Benefits and Why You Should Offer Them

Nowadays, people look at more than just a salary and hours when choosing where to work. Flexible benefits are one of the best ways for businesses to retain loyal employees, but you need an insurance policy that provides the right coverage. So today, Group Enroll is here to discuss the advantages of flexible benefits and why your business should offer them.

Table of Contents

What Are Flexible Benefits?

Flexible benefits are a type of small business insurance that allow employees to choose benefits and contributions on their work insurance plans. Flexible benefits allow employees to prioritize benefits according to their preferences to create a personalized insurance plan. 

Additional benefits on top of Canada’s universal healthcare help businesses attract and retain top-tier talent. According to a 2021 employee confidence survey from Glassdoor, nearly 80% of employees say they would accept additional benefits rather than a pay increase.

Flexible benefits include several types of coverage, including:

  • Remote work expense coverage
  • Professional development
  • Career planning
  • Flexible spending accounts
  • Additional healthcare coverage (e.g., vision and dental)
  • Accident and life insurance
  • Tuition reimbursement
  • Wellness program coverage
  • Income and unemployment protection
  • Retirement saving accounts
  • Employer-matched donations
  • And more

How to Implement a Flexible Benefits Plan

If you are considering switching your business to a flexible benefits plan, ask yourself the following questions. 

  • How quickly do I need to implement this plan?
  • What kind of administration do I need for flexible plans?
  • How can I facilitate communication about plan benefits?
  • What will the flex dollar structure look like?
  • What anti-selection controls will I need?
  • What kind of benefits do employees prefer?
  • How should I structure employee feedback channels?

Types of Flexible Benefits Plans

Most flexible benefits plans work by providing employees with “flex” dollars that they can use to add additional benefits to their plan. Employers have several options to implement their flexible benefits plans for employees.



Core Plus


Healthcare Spending Account (HSA)

Coverage Waivers and Plan Restrictions

Employers must consider two important factors when designing flexible benefits plans for employees: coverage waivers and anti-selection restrictions. 

Coverage waivers. With a flex plan, an employee can choose not to select benefit options by waiving coverage. Generally, employers require all employees to have certain benefits to cover them from things like critical illness. 

Anti-selection limitations. With flex plans comes the risk that employees will over-choose only those benefits they think they will utilize the most. To combat this kind of anti-selection bias, employers institute a few types of anti-selection restrictions on flex plans. 

  • Step-down limitations prevent employees from increasing or decreasing coverage levels more than a few times per year. That way, employees cannot immediately change benefits if they discover they have a condition that warrants specific coverage. 
  • Packaged plans combine benefits into a single option to prevent increased utilization. For example, employers may combine an extended health insurance policy with a dental policy.   
  • Locked-in plans lock employees into a particular benefits allocation at the beginning of every two or three years. Locking employees into benefits prevents them from changing plans throughout the year. 

Advantages of Flexible Benefits

Flexible benefits are not just for small or large businesses. Below are some ways that all businesses can benefit from flexible benefits plans for their employees.

Retain Workers

Attract Top Talent

Manage Benefits Costs

Address Employee Needs

Increase Productivity


Flexible Benefits Packages for Small Businesses

Group Enroll offers a quick and easy way to compare the best small business insurance policies. Whether you are looking for group dental, disability, or extended health care insurance, our quote tool can help you compare quotes from Canada’s top group benefits insurance providers.

If you would like to explore flexible benefits options for group insurance policies, receive a quote today by filling out our quote form!

For more information about group benefits, email our Group Enroll team at hello@groupenroll.ca or visit our office at 10 Great Gulf Drive, Unit 5, Vaughan, ON, L4K 5W1.