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Boosting Employee Benefits With Paramedical Therapies








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Paramedical services like massage, physio, chiro are valued health benefits beyond provincial coverage. Employers provide paramedics to increase recruitment, retention, engagement. Experienced brokers design optimal plans meeting worker needs.

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Paramedical Services: A Critical Component of Employee Benefits Plans

Paramedical health services have become an increasingly important element of competitive employee benefits packages in Canada. Covering therapies like physiotherapy, massage, chiropractic, psychology, and more provides significant advantages for both employers and employees.

This article explores what paramedical services are, the benefits of coverage, common disciplines offered, associated costs, and how experienced insurance brokers help optimize plans. Read on for insights into maximizing this key component of total rewards strategies.

What are Paramedical Services?

Paramedical services refer to therapeutic care provided by regulated health professionals who are not physicians or nurses. This includes disciplines like physiotherapy, massage therapy, chiropractic, psychology, and many others.

Some key features of paramedical services:

- Focus on therapeutic treatment, pain management, injury rehabilitation, and promoting wellness.

- Provided by trained practitioners like physiotherapists, massage therapists, chiropractors, psychologists, etc.

- Usually offered on an outpatient basis at private clinics.

- Not covered under provincial healthcare plans in Canada.

Paramedical coverage helps pay for critical services beyond what basic provincial health insurance covers. This provides employees access to care that enhances health, mobility, mental wellbeing, and overall quality of life.

Benefits of Offering Paramedical Coverage

Providing coverage for paramedical services as part of the overall benefits package offers many advantages:

- Increased employee satisfaction and engagement by covering valued services. Paramedical benefits consistently rank among the most appreciated.

- Enhanced recruitment and retention capabilities by offering a strong benefits package that appeals to top talent. Paramedical coverage is a key draw for prospective hires.

- Reduced absenteeism and presenteeism by allowing access to therapies that help better manage injuries, pain, and health conditions without missing work.

- Stronger workplace wellness culture by providing healthcare benefits focused on injury prevention, active rehabilitation, and health promotion. This demonstrates a commitment to employee wellbeing.

- Potential cost savings on disability claims by enabling early access to treatments and interventions that support recovery and faster return to work. This reduces incidence of minor claims becoming major.

While adding coverage has costs, paramedical services generate measurable ROI through recruitment, retention, engagement, productivity, and disability management benefits.

Common Paramedical Services Covered

There is a diverse range of paramedical disciplines and specializations employers can choose to cover. Some of the most popular include:

- Physiotherapy - Help address musculoskeletal injuries, pain, mobility limitations, and more through techniques like massage, exercises, heat/cold therapy, and active rehabilitation. Physiotherapy is among the most utilized and appreciated paramedical benefits.

- Massage Therapy - Use of massage and manipulations to treat pain, reduce stress, aid injury rehabilitation, and promote overall wellness. Helpful for managing headaches, back/neck issues, arthritis, and other conditions.

- Chiropractic - Focuses on diagnosis and treatment related to the spine, muscular system, posture, and biomechanics. Spinal adjustments and manipulations help address back pain, neck pain, headaches, extremity issues, and more.

- Psychology - Assessment, diagnosis, counselling, and treatment of mental and behavioral health disorders. Help manage conditions like anxiety, depression, addiction, trauma, relationship issues, and stressful life circumstances.

- Osteopathy - Holistic manual therapy techniques focused on optimizing musculoskeletal function. Use massage, mobilization, stretching, and joint manipulation to treat pain and enhance mobility.

- Acupuncture - Insertion of thin needles into specific body points to correct imbalances in energy flow. Can help address pain, nausea, migraines, arthritis, infertility, stress, and various conditions.

- Podiatry - Treatment of foot, lower leg, and ankle issues through assessments, orthotic prescriptions, surgeries, specialty footwear, and other interventions. Critical for employees on their feet all day.

Assessing workforce demographics and job demands identifies the disciplines likely to provide greatest benefits.

Cost Considerations of Paramedical Coverage

Adding paramedical coverage increases benefit costs, though premiums remain reasonable compared to other major benefit lines. Cost factors include:

- Number of service types covered - Plans covering more disciplines have higher premiums. Can control costs by limiting to high-value therapies.

- Annual maximums - Most plans limit the dollar amount eligible per service per year. Typical maximums range from $300 to $800. Higher maximums mean higher costs.

- Reimbursement percentages - Typical plans reimburse 50-80% of visits up the annual maximum. Higher reimbursements increase premiums.

- Employee demographics - Workforces with more older employees or labor-intensive jobs will have higher utilization and premiums.

- Regional billing rates - Premiums track practitioner billing rates, which vary across provinces. Higher rates increase costs.

While costs rise with expanded coverage, the benefits warrant the premium investments for most employers.

Professional Insurance Brokers Provide Paramedical Benefits Expertise

While paramedical coverage provides advantages, designing optimal plans requires working with an expert group insurance broker who can:

- Recommend plan designs aligned to the demographics and occupational risks of your workforce based on experience designing similar plans.

- Source competitive pricing through established insurer relationships and group buying power. This provides significant cost advantages.

- Handle ongoing administration like new hire enrollments, employee communication, and claims management to control inappropriate utilization. This ensures maximum ROI on investments.

- Provide regular reviews and adjustments over time to modify plans according to evolving employee needs, legal changes, billing trends, and more to keep programs current.

- Offer cost containment insights related to maximums, reimbursement limits, and discipline mix to balance costs and coverage.

The right broker simplifies adding this valued coverage cost-effectively. Reach out to discuss paramedical benefits options that make your compensation package more attractive.

Paramedical Services Enhance Benefits Packages

Incorporating paramedical health services into employee benefits plans provides advantages related to recruitment, retention, engagement, productivity, and disability management.

While adding coverage requires budget considerations, the tangible benefits warrant the costs for most organizations. Partnering with an experienced group insurance advisor simplifies the process of securing optimal paramedical benefits aligned to your workforce needs and corporate benefits strategy.

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