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Employee BenefitsCompaniesCo-Operators Employee Benefits - Company Review 2024

Co-Operators Employee Benefits – Company Review 2024

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Co-Operators is a top insurance and financial services cooperative in Canada. They provide group benefits plans to organizations nationwide. Co-Operators has over 75 years of experience serving Canadians. They are a premier source of employee benefits.

This review looks at the group benefits Co-Operators offers. These include health and dental coverage, life insurance, and disability protection. We’ll examine the features of their plans. We’ll see what makes them different from competitors. We’ll help you see why you should consider them as your employee benefits partner.

Overview of Co-Operators Employee Benefits

Co-Operators History and Founding

Unveiling Value: Co-operators' Employee Benefits Review IDC
Co-operators’ Employee Benefits Review

Co-Operators was founded in 1945 by farmers who joined to provide fire insurance to rural Canadian communities. The organization was structured as a cooperative focused on serving the needs of members and investors in the communities where they operate.

This cooperative structure remains today, with Co-Operators owned by over 50 member organizations across Canada. As a cooperative, profits are invested in the business to improve service and products rather than maximizing shareholder value.

The organization has grown beyond its roots to become one of the country’s premier property, life, health, travel and commercial insurance providers. Co-Operators employs over 6,000 Canadians, providing coverage to over $56 billion in assets.

Source: https://protectyourwealth.ca/co-operators-life-insurance-review-canada/

Co-Operators Group Benefits Offered

Co-operators provide full group benefits options for organizations to build tailored employee packages. Their flexible plans allow businesses to mix and match various levels of coverage across:

  • Health insurance: Extended health care, emergency travel assistance, dental plans, health spending accounts, virtual healthcare and more.
  • Life and income protection: Life insurance, accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D), critical illness, short-term and long-term disability.
  • Health and wellness: Access to employee assistance programs (EAPs), online health resources, second opinion services and health care navigation.
  • Savings and retirement: Group RRSPs, defined contribution pension plans and retirement planning advice.

This diversity of products empowers businesses to assemble benefit plans that align with their priorities, workforce demographics and budget.

Co-Operators Health Benefits Review

The core of most employee benefit plans is providing robust and affordable health insurance. Co-Operators offers extensive options for health coverage.

Their health plans provide insurance for prescription drugs, dental, paramedical practitioners, medical equipment, and travel coverage. Health care represents one of the largest investments in benefit plans, and employees highly value this coverage.

Some of the key health benefits offered by Co-Operators include:

Co-Operators Extended Health Care Coverage Details

The extended healthcare benefit provides supplementary insurance to government healthcare plans by covering services and costs not fully funded provincially. This includes semi-private hospital rooms, prescription drugs, paramedical services and medical equipment.

Co-operators allow businesses to tailor this coverage by selecting different reimbursement levels, maximums, deductibles and eligible expenses. Some highlights of their extended health offering include:

  • Prescription drug coverage with options for generic substitution and managed formularies to control costs.
  • Coverage for physiotherapy, massage therapy, psychology, chiropractic and more.
  • Medical equipment benefits include wheelchairs, hospital beds, prosthetics, hearing aids, and diabetes supplies.
  • Emergency out-of-country/province treatment for trips under 60 days.
  • Ambulance transportation reimbursement.
  • Nursing, long-term care facility and in-home care coverage.
  • Dispensing fee maximums and deductibles to share costs.

Co-Operators Vision and Dental Coverage

Many health plans also provide supplementary insurance for vision care, such as eye exams and corrective lenses, and dental services, including preventative checkups, fillings, and other major treatments.

The dental plan from Co-Operators covers basic, restorative, orthodontic, and other specialized services. Features like fee guides, annual maximums, and coinsurance levels allow businesses to design an affordable plan that balances costs and care.

Add-on vision benefits are also available to cover eye exams, prescription lenses and hardware. Vision insurance ensures employees can access the eye care needed to perform their work safely and comfortably.

Co-Operators Drug Plan Options

Prescription medications represent one of the highest healthcare costs for group plans. To provide affordable and sustainable drug coverage, Co-Operators offer:

  • Flexible formulary designs to align covered drugs with member needs. Formularies range from open plans covering all Health Canada-approved drugs to managed plans optimized around cost-effective treatment.
  • Generic substitution policies encourage the uptake of more affordable generic medications when available.
  • Dispensing fee maximums to control pharmacy charges.
  • Deductibles to reduce premiums by having members pay the first portion of costs.
  • Coinsurance levels set the percentage of expenses paid by the plan vs. the member.
  • Pay-direct drug cards for electronic claim adjudication at the pharmacy.

These drug plan features support cost-effective coverage while providing access to necessary medications.

Co-Operators Mental Health Care Coverage

With growing awareness of the importance of mental health to overall well-being, progressive benefit plans have expanded coverage in this area.

Co-operators offers organizations the option to enhance their mental health benefits by:

  • Increasing annual psychology maximums to $2,500 or $5,000.
  • Expanding the types of practitioners eligible for coverage, such as counsellors, psychotherapists, and clinical social workers.
  • Covering alternative delivery methods for mental healthcare like internet-based cognitive behavioural therapy programs.

Giving employees improved access to mental health services provides timely treatment, reduces disability leaves and promotes an overall culture of health.

Source: https://newsreleases.cooperators.ca/2018-01-31-The-Co-operators-increases-employee-mental-health-benefits-by-ten-times-to-5-000-per-year-for-each-family-member

Co-Operators Health Spending Accounts

Employee-Focused Evaluation: Co-operators Benefits Review IDC
Employee-Focused Evaluation: Co-operators Benefits Review

Businesses can add health spending accounts (HSAs) to their plans through Co-Operators for additional health expense flexibility. These accounts can cover any medical expense eligible under the Income Tax Act.

HSAs are funded by employer contributions and allow employees to pay for health expenses like deductibles, vision hardware, prescription drugs, and more. Depending on the plan design, any unused balance can be carried forward or forfeited.

For employers, HSAs provide cost predictability while empowering employees to use funds as they see fit to achieve health objectives.

Co-Operators Emergency Medical Travel Assistance

Co-operators include emergency medical travel assistance with many of their extended health plans. This provides employees travelling internationally with peace of mind, knowing support is available if a medical issue arises.

Through their partner Europ Assistance USA, the Co-Operator’s travel benefits include 24/7 access to assistance coordinators, referrals to physicians and hospitals, payment to providers, medical evacuations and more.

Having emergency travel coverage gives employees security when working or vacationing abroad. According to insurance surveys, 60% of Canadians see travel medical as the most valued part of their employee benefits plan.

Read more: Employee Benefits in Canada

Co-Operators Disability Benefits Review

Employees value income protection when they are unable to work due to illness or injury. Co-operators deliver disability coverage through both short-term and long-term offerings.

Their disability plans provide valuable income replacement when employees are unable to work. Features like rehabilitation programs, return-to-work bonuses and automatic plan enrollment demonstrate their commitment to helping members recover.

Co-Operators Short Term Disability Options

Short-term disability (STD) coverage provides continuous income for temporary disability leaves.

Having STD coverage bridges the gap to long-term disability and gives employees peace of mind. Co-operators offer STD either as a standalone plan or packaged with long-term disability for comprehensive protection.

Co-Operators Long Term Disability Offerings

For disabilities that persist longer, the Co-Operator’s long-term disability (LTD) plans to provide coverage after the STD ends.

Co-Operators LTD includes standard features like partial disability benefits, rehabilitation programs, early intervention and survivor benefits that pay out to the family upon a member’s death.

Co-Operators Disability Management Services

The best disability plans look to prevent leaves proactively through workplace wellness and early intervention when absenteeism emerges.

Co-Operators offers a suite of disability management services, including:

  • Employee assistance programs for mental health counselling and treatment referrals.
  • Ergonomic consulting to improve workplace safety and prevent injury.
  • Early intervention programs to identify and address causes of absenteeism.
  • Return to work and accommodation policies outlining processes.
  • Workplace wellness programs focused on health promotion and education.

Reinforcing disability prevention lowers costs by reducing claim incidence. According to data from Sun Life Financial, 90% of employers saw a decrease in disability leaves after implementing absence management.

Co-Operators Rehabilitation Services Overview

If an employee does go on disability leave, getting them healthy and back to meaningful work quickly is the priority. Co-Operators LTD plans to integrate rehabilitation programs focused on treatment and recovery.

Services covered include physical therapy, job retraining, a gradual return to work programs, workplace modifications, counselling and more.

Co-operators also incentivizes employee participation in rehabilitation through offerings like:

  • Return-to-work bonuses are paid out when members recover and resume employment.
  • Rehabilitation expenses were paid above the LTD benefit amount.
  • Coverage for services like psychological counselling, addiction treatment programs and medications.

Having rehabilitation integrated directly into LTD coverage eliminates delays in getting employees the needed help.

Co-Operators Disability Coverage and Integration Details

A key consideration in designing disability benefits is how coverage integrates with other income sources. Co-Operators LTD plans allow businesses to coordinate with government programs and paid sick leave.

For example, LTD benefits can be reduced by CPP/QPP disability payments per an “offset” clause. Similarly, benefits are offset by any paid sick leave or salary continuation received in the waiting period.

These integration options prevent “over insurance” situations, where the total payout exceeds pre-disability income. They also help design affordable, sustainable disability benefits.

Beneficial Breakdown: Co-operators' Employee Benefits Examined IDC
Beneficial Breakdown: Co-operators’ Employee Benefits Examined

Co-Operators Life Insurance Benefits Review

Life insurance is frequently part of benefit packages, providing financial support to families if an employee passes away.

Co-operators delivers solid group life insurance options, including:

  • Basic life insurance in flat amounts or multiples of salary.
  • Dependent life provides smaller amounts of coverage for spouses and children.
  • Optional life insurance for added coverage that includes evidence of insurability.
  • AD&D provides additional payouts in cases of dismemberment/death by accident.
  • Early access to individual conversion policies without medical underwriting if employees lose group eligibility.

Many businesses opt for basic life insurance at 1-2x the annual salary. A reasonable minimum benefit ensures adequate support.

Co-Operators Accidental Death & Dismemberment Options

The accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) benefit ensures additional financial protection if employees experience specific injuries or death through an accident.

Co-operators provides robust AD&D options such as:

  • Coverage for dismemberment, paralysis, loss of sight, speech or hearing.
  • Worldwide coverage is available 24/7, including business and personal travel.
  • Coverage for other losses like repair/replacement of eyeglasses and prosthetic limbs.
  • Additional benefits include child education, home/vehicle modifications, and rehabilitation.
  • Extra protection when travelling as a fare-paying passenger on public transit.

The AD&D coverage attaches to the group life benefit as a flat amount or percentage, ensuring employees get this added financial protection.

Co-Operators Critical Illness Insurance Overview

Rounding out income protection, critical illness insurance provides funds if an employee survives a major health event like cancer, stroke or heart attack.

Co-operators critical illness insurance has advantages like:

  • Guaranteed issue for groups with minimal or no health questionnaires.
  • Coverage of up to 25 critical conditions, including Parkinson’s, MS and coronary artery bypass.
  • Portability to individual policies if employees lose group eligibility.
  • Coverage is available for spouses and children.

This financial support empowers employees to focus on recovery rather than making ends meet. The payouts can assist with lost income, medical expenses, home health care and lifestyle changes post-diagnosis.

Additional Benefits Offered by Co-Operators

Co-Operators Wellness and Prevention Programs

Maintaining employee health through wellness helps minimize benefit costs and workforce absenteeism. Co-operators supports wellness through:

  • An online portal with health assessments, self-guided improvement programs and benefits information.
  • Second-opinion services allow employees to have their diagnoses and treatments reviewed by medical experts.
  • Access to preferred pricing on health products, gym memberships and holistic practitioners.
  • Healthcare navigators assist with understanding diagnoses, explaining treatment options and organizing second opinions.

Co-Operators Virtual Healthcare Benefits

To provide convenient access to care, Co-Operators offer virtual healthcare benefits to clients. Through partners like EQ Care (now TELUS Health), employees can connect to a doctor for minor illnesses 24/7 via phone or video.

Virtual healthcare benefits include treating common conditions like rashes, infections, muscle strains, etc. Doctors can prescribe medications, order lab tests and make specialist referrals.

It provides easy access to primary care when in-person appointments are delayed or inconvenient. Over 50% of millennials prefer virtual healthcare options.

Co-Operators Group Retirement Plans

Helping employees save for the future with retirement benefits fosters financial wellbeing. Co-operators delivers tailored retirement solutions like:

  • Group RRSPs offering tax-deferred savings with employer contributions.
  • Defined contribution pension plans with predictable costs for employers.
  • Access to managed portfolios or individual fund selections.
  • Online tools for projections, fund transfers, account updates and planning.
  • Retirement consultants should engage employees through seminars, resources, and 1:1 advice.

Bolstering retirement readiness helps retain older workers who may otherwise leave for higher benefits elsewhere. Almost 90% of employees view retirement benefits as important when evaluating job offers.

Co-Operators Group Home and Auto Insurance Savings

Co-operators also allow employers to provide group discounts on home and auto insurance for employees. This exclusive pricing provides savings of up to 40% for staff.

With home and auto bundled together, group members can save on each policy while getting protection for what matters most to them. Other advantages include:

  • Monthly payment flexibility and convenient payroll deductions.
  • First, accident forgiveness protecting rates.
  • Property/vehicle safety program discounts.
  • Seamless claims experience with fast repairs/replacements.
  • Personalized service and support from Canadian advisors.

These group discounts align with a total rewards mindset, allowing employers to stretch their benefit dollars further.

Online Services for Co-Operator Members

In-Depth Analysis: Co-operators' Employee Benefits Explored IDC
In-Depth Analysis: Co-operators’ Employee Benefits Explored

Benefits Now for Members Overview

Co-operators provide employees with access to benefits information using Benefits Now, an online portal and mobile app.

Benefits Now allows members to:

  • View benefit details like maximums, eligible expenses and practitioner lists.
  • Access and print personalized claim forms.
  • Submit claims online, including uploading documentation.
  • Check the status of claims and explain benefits statements.
  • Sign up for direct deposit of claim reimbursements.
  • Access wellness education resources.
  • Print or store benefit cards/ID numbers.

Seamless digital access ensures employees understand and maximize their benefits. Over 70% of millennial employees prefer self-service administration of their benefits online.

Online Claims Submission

The ability to submit claims digitally provides significant convenience for employees.

Benefits Now allows members to file claims directly to Co-Operators in several ways:

  • Upload and attach documentation from dentists, doctors, pharmacies and paramedical providers.
  • Snap pictures of receipts using a mobile device.
  • Populate claims forms directly online.
  • Receive alerts when claims are processed.
  • Access direct deposit for fast reimbursement.

This digital experience reduces paperwork and speeds up out-of-pocket payouts for members.

Accessing Plan Details Online

Beyond claims, Benefits Now also provides a complete view of the employee’s benefit details in one centralized location.

Members can access information on:

  • All coverages elected for health, dental, disability and life benefits.
  • Up-to-the-minute balances showing claims paid and sums remaining in annual maximums or lifetime limits.
  • Eligible expenses are covered for health practitioners like massage therapists and psychologists.
  • Details on coverage include orthodontic maximums, day surgery benefits, and out-of-country emergency treatment.

Equipped with plan specifics, employees can optimize the use of their benefits and budget appropriately for out-of-pocket costs.

Mobile App Availability

In addition to the online member portal, Co-Operators also provides the Benefits Now app for iOS and Android mobile devices.

The app allows employees to:

  • Have proof of coverage handy for providers.
  • Submit claims and upload documentation from anywhere.
  • Use features like ID card scanners to simplify submissions.
  • Access emergency travel assistance contact details.

The mobile app extends self-service convenience and instant information access into the palms of members’ hands.

Why Choose Co-Operators for Employee Benefits?

Canadian Owned Cooperative Company

As one of the only Canadian-owned insurance cooperatives, Co-Operators distinguishes itself on the values front. The cooperative model aligns the company’s interests with the wellbeing of clients and communities.

Cooperatives often score higher in client satisfaction, trust and transparency. Member organizations in the cooperative elect the Board of Directors, allowing clients to guide the business.

With no shareholders to appease, Co-Operators reinvests profits into improving products, services and social impact initiatives that resonate with Canadian employers.

Plan Sponsor Support and Tools

Choosing a supportive group benefits partners and can significantly ease HR administration. Co-operators provides plan sponsors with resources like:

  • BenefitsNow is an online portal that allows users to access reports, billing, member info, and support tools.
  • Dedicated account managers and client service teams are available by phone, email and chat.
  • Onsite visits to review plans and assist with renewals and employee education.
  • Quarterly newsletters with benefits insights, workplace tips and product updates.
  • Communications support, including posters, presentations and promotional materials.

These platforms and people resources help businesses manage plans seamlessly while engaging employees.

Access to Expertise and Fund Managers

Accessing benefits expertise brings confidence and peace of mind to employers. Co-Operators group coverages leverage the knowledge and capabilities of leading partners.

For example, prescription drug benefits are powered by Express Scripts Canada, which serves over 6 million plan members nationally.

Their managed formularies, specialty drug expertise and clinical focus provide cost-effective drug plans.

Exploring Excellence: A Review of Co-operators' Employee Benefits IDC
Exploring Excellence: A Review of Co-operators’ Employee Benefits

Likewise, co-operators’ retirement and savings plans utilize investment management from respected firms like NEI, Addenda Capital, Fidelity, and more. This brings specialized insight across industries, geographies and asset classes.

Tapping into established partners supplements the experience and skillsets within Co-Operators to support benefit programs.

Choose Co-Operators as your employee benefits provider to unlock significant advantages for your organization and workforce. Their consultative approach, cutting-edge capabilities, and cooperative heritage make them a top option for your group insurance needs.

You can refer to other leading employee benefits providers in Canada, such as:

Article Sources

At Ebsource, our mission is to equip Canadians with comprehensive and truthful information to facilitate prudent choices regarding employee benefits and human resources guidance. We leverage the expertise of seasoned financial professionals to ensure our advice aligns with industry best practices. The statistics we cite originate from reputable government and industry bodies such as Statistics Canada and the CLHIA to verify accuracy.

Our recommendations stem from thorough, unbiased research of the major employee benefits providers in Canada. This enables us to tailor suggestions to individuals’ unique budgets and needs. Ebsource upholds rigorous standards of objectivity, transparency, and independence across all of our content. We pride ourselves on furnishing counsel readers can trust by referencing credible sources and adhering to editorial principles. As Canada’s most dependable outlet for employee benefits news and HR insights, we are dedicated to empowering Canadians to make informed benefits decisions.

The Co-operators Group Insurance: All You Need to Know – groupenroll.ca
The Co-operators enhances group benefits offering with virtual care services – insurancebusinessmag.com
The Co-operators is the right choice for your Group Benefits plan – cooperators.ca
The Co-operators – en.wikipedia.org

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