Employee BenefitsCompaniesManulife Employee Benefits - Company Review 2024

Manulife Employee Benefits – Company Review 2024

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Employee benefits provide healthcare, disability, retirement and more. With rising costs, companies want top providers with competitive, quality plans.

This review examines Manulife Employee Benefits to see if it fits your needs. Manulife is a large Canadian benefits company. But is it right for you?

We’ll examine Manulife’s background, reputation, products, and services. You’ll see sample packages and pricing to evaluate whether Manulife offers what you need at a fair cost. We’ll also look at the experience of getting set up with Manulife and using its benefits.

By the end, you’ll know if Manulife has the right benefits for you at a fair cost. Let’s begin.

What is Manulife?

Before diving into Manulife’s employee benefits, let’s look at who Manulife (ML) is as an insurance provider in Canada.

Manulife's Employee Benefits Review IDC
Manulife’s Employee Benefits Review

Company Background

Manulife Financial Corporation is a leading Canadian insurance company founded in 1887. It operates as Manulife in Canada, Asia, and Europe. In the United States, it is primarily known through the John Hancock insurance brand.

ML employs over 38,000 people worldwide, with headquarters in Toronto. They have over $1.4 trillion in assets under management and administration.

Manulife is Canada’s largest insurance company and the 28th largest fund manager. Globally, it is one of the largest insurance companies in the world, serving approximately 30 million customers.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manulife

Services Offered

Manulife offers a wide range of financial services, including:

  • Insurance: life, health, disability, critical illness, long-term care, travel
  • Wealth and Asset Management: retirement planning, annuities, mutual funds
  • Banking: loans, mortgages, credit cards, accounts

Their insurance products are available for both individual consumers and group plans. Their employee benefits division provides customized group benefits packages for businesses of all sizes.

Awards and Reputation

Manulife has consistently received high ratings from insurance industry experts:

  • A.M. Best Financial Strength Rating: A+
  • DBRS Morningstar Issuer Rating: AA (low)
  • Moody’s Financial Strength Rating: A1

They have been recognized as one of Canada’s top 100 greenest employers. Manulife is included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index and FTSE4Good.

With over 130 years of experience, Manulife has earned a reputation as a trusted and recommended insurance and financial services provider. Their strong ratings and awards suggest they may be an excellent option for employee benefits.

Source: https://www.manulife.com/en/news/manulife-ranked-as-one-of-canadas-top-employers-2022.html

Manulife Employee Benefits Review

Now that we’ve covered some essential background on Manulife let’s review its employee benefits specifically.

What Employee Benefits Does Manulife Offer?

ML provides total insurance products and solutions for group employee benefits packages. This includes:

  • Health insurance: medical, dental, prescription drugs
  • Disability insurance: short-term and long-term
  • Life insurance: term life, accidental death and dismemberment
  • Retirement benefits: group RRSPs, defined contribution pensions
  • Critical illness insurance
  • Wellness programs, Employee Assistance Programs and more

The flexibility of Manulife’s offerings allows businesses to create a customized plan that meets their specific benefits goals and budgets.

What Makes Manulife Employee Benefits Unique?

There are a few key things that set Manulife’s employee benefits apart:

Custom Packages: Manulife doesn’t take a one-size-fits-all approach. They work with each organization to create a tailored benefits plan.

Health Focus: Manulife provides resources and programs for health promotion, disease prevention, disability management, and mental health. These include its Health eLinks® program and Health Risk Assessments.

Manulife Vitality: This optional program rewards employees for healthy behaviours. Employees can save up to 15% on their premiums.

Value-Added Services: Offerings like Best Doctors® give access to personalized medical support and second opinions.

Manulife Group Disability Insurance

Manulife offers short- and long-term disability plans to provide income protection.

Short-term disability (STD) replaces a percentage of income for illnesses or injuries causing disability for up to 26 weeks. ML’s STD plans offer features like:

  • Benefits starting after 0 or 7 days for accident/injury
  • Flexible coverage maximums based on income
  • Taxable or non-taxable options
  • Partial disability benefit provisions

For more prolonged disabilities, long-term disability (LTD) pays after the STD period ends, typically until age 65. LTD plan options include:

  • Replacement income between 50-70% of earnings
  • Own occupation and any occupation definitions of disability
  • Waiver of premium once disabled
  • Vocational rehabilitation programs
  • Cost of living increases while on claim
  • Survivor benefits

The STD and LTD policies can be customized based on the needs and budgets of each organization.

Manulife Group Health Insurance

ML offers comprehensive health insurance with many plan design options. A sample Manulife health plan could include the following:

Unique offerings like their eClaims allow for fast direct billing and electronic claim payment. Health Service Navigator provides tools and resources to help members navigate their health journeys.

Manulife Group Dental Insurance

ML dental plans cover cleaning, fillings, crowns, bridges, and dentures. Employers can choose the percentage coverage for:

  • Essential services like exams, fillings, cleanings
  • Major restorative like crowns
  • Orthodontics braces

Plans can be customized with different maximums, deductibles and co-pays. Unique dental offerings include:

  • Direct electronic claims submissions
  • Discounts on bleaching and other dental services
  • Options to enhance coverage with health spending accounts

Manulife Group Life Insurance

Beneficial Breakdown: Manulife's Employee Benefits Examined IDC
Beneficial Breakdown: Manulife’s Employee Benefits Examined

ML offers a variety of life insurance options for employers to insure their employees:

  • Basic term life coverage providing lump sum payment to beneficiaries
  • Optional accidental death and dismemberment
  • Supplemental employee-paid life coverage
  • Spousal and dependent life insurance

Life insurance features include:

  • Benefit amounts based on earnings or flat rate
  • Low-cost plans with minimal underwriting
  • Waiver of premium for disability
  • Conversion when leaving the group plan

Manulife Group Retirement Benefits

ML administers registered pension plans and group RRSPs for retirement savings.

Pension options include defined benefit and defined contribution plans. They also offer hybrid DB/DC combo plans.

Group RRSPs give employees tax-deferred retirement savings through payroll deductions. Manulife’s programs can include matching employer contributions.

Additional Manulife Benefits

Along with the significant medical, income and life insurance coverages, ML also offers access to:

  • Best Doctors®: Expert medical advice and second opinions
  • Optional critical illness insurance
  • Health spending accounts for flexible coverage
  • Wellness accounts for health promotion resources
  • Stock ownership plans

This wide range of options allows employers to create a Total Compensation Package tailored to their workforce.

Manulife Employee Benefits Packages

One advantage of ML is the ability to create customized benefits packages specific to your employee population and corporate needs.

How Does Manulife Create Customized Packages?

ML offers an extensive list of group insurance coverages. Their experts collaborate with you to design your optimal bundle.

It starts with a review of your organization, including:

  • History, goals, and budget
  • Employee demographics like age, gender, location
  • Existing benefits and what needs enhancement
  • Overall benefits objectives and concerns

Manulife then provides guidance and analytics to select suitable products and design each component. This results in a package matching your priorities with appropriate costs.

Throughout the process, ML helps model different scenarios. You see the costs and impacts of adding or changing coverages.

Sample Packages for Small, Medium and Large Businesses

Here are some examples of benefit packages for companies of different sizes to help you better understand how ML can create tailored plans.

Manulife Small Business Benefits Package

A small business with 15 employees might opt for a core package like:

  • Health insurance: Generic drug plan, $1,500 massage coverage, $300 vision, semi-private hospital
  • Dental insurance: 80% primary, 50% major restorative, $2000 maximum per year
  • Disability insurance: STD and LTD with 60% income replacement
  • Life insurance: $50,000 term life
  • Health spending account: $300 per year

Manulife Medium Business Benefits Package

A medium business could provide more comprehensive coverage, such as:

  • Health insurance: $7 prescription co-pay, paramedical coverage of $750 per practitioner
  • Dental insurance: 80% coverage on primary and foremost, 50% orthodontics, no maximums
  • Disability insurance: STD and LTD with 67% income replacement
  • Life insurance: 2 x salary life insurance, minimum $100,000
  • Critical illness: $25,000 coverage
  • RRSP: 3% group RRSP with 50% matching on the first 5% employee contribution

Manulife Large Business Benefits Package

A large corporation might offer higher-end coverage like:

  • Group Health insurance: 90% drug coverage, $2000 for massage, physiotherapy, etc.
  • Dental insurance: 100% basic, 50% major and orthodontics, unlimited maximums
  • Group Disability insurance: STD and LTD with 70% salary replacement
  • Group Life insurance: 2 x salary to maximum $1,000,000
  • Critical illness: $50,000 coverage
  • Retirement: Defined contribution pension plan with 6% employer contribution
  • Vitality Program: Premium savings for engaging in wellness

These examples showcase the diversity of plans ML can create based on the unique needs of each business.

Manulife A La Carte Benefits

ML also allows for a la carte benefits if you only want to “buy” certain coverages. For instance, a startup may offer:

  • $25,000 Critical Illness Insurance
  • $50,000 Group Life Insurance
  • Health Spending Accounts $200/employee

This modular approach allows you to provide critical benefits with the flexibility to expand later as the business grows.

Manulife Employee Benefits Costs

Employee-Focused Evaluation: Manulife Benefits Review IDC
Employee-Focused Evaluation: Manulife Benefits Review

A critical factor in choosing a provider is ensuring their premiums and rates are affordable for your budget. Here’s an overview of ML’s costs.

How Does Manulife Determine Premiums?

ML employs a team of dedicated actuaries and underwriters to develop competitive premium rates.

They use predictive analytics and sophisticated models to account for different variables that impact costs, including:

  • Coverage amounts, deductibles, and limits
  • Employee demographics like age, gender, smoking status, location
  • Industry and occupation risk factors
  • Past usage and claims history
  • Company size and enrollment

The modelling provides estimated claim rates and projected expenses to generate suitable premium rates tailored for each customer.

Pricing is developed based on the expected costs to fund and administer the benefits program properly.

Sample Manulife Premiums

To get an idea of ML’s pricing, here are some sample monthly premiums for critical coverages:

  • $50,000 term life insurance, female non-smoker, age 30: $20
  • $25,000 critical illness insurance, male non-smoker, age 40: $36
  • Health insurance for a family of 4, with 80% drugs, $750 paramedical: $375
  • Dental insurance for family, 80% basic, 50% significant: $89

For disability insurance, ML provided this sample monthly premium for a 40-year-old earning $70,000 per year:

  • $70,000 LTD Coverage: $86 per month

Actual premiums depend on the group’s details, so ML provides customized ratings.

Comparing Manulife Costs to Competitors

Finding the right employee benefits provider is an important decision for any business in Canada. With a range of options to choose from, it’s helpful to understand the landscape of top providers across the country. Some of the leading employee benefits providers in Canada include:

How do Manulife’s rates size up against competitor employee benefits carriers? Here is a high-level comparison:

  • For life and disability premiums, ML is competitively priced
  • Health insurance is mid-range among competitors
  • Manulife dental premiums trend slightly higher than average

In summary, Manulife’s overall costs are reasonably priced. They may not always be the absolute lowest, but they are certainly within the range of competitors in terms of coverage.

Working with Manulife

Beyond costs and coverage, it’s also essential to consider the whole experience of working with ML for your employee benefits.

Getting Set Up with Manulife

ML has experts to help you transition your benefits, making the process straightforward.

They gather information on your priorities, workforce, and existing plans. ML then builds and presents plan recommendations. You review the options to select the optimal package.

Once you decide on the benefits package, ML handles all aspects of setup and implementation. They conduct the enrollment, switch carriers, and communicate the new benefits. Their team also manages ongoing administration.

Ongoing Account Management

Each customer is assigned a knowledgeable ML account representative. They understand your business and benefits program. You can get quick answers to employee questions or changes.

Some ongoing support ML provides:

  • New employee enrollments
  • Assistance with claims issues
  • Updates on legislation changes
  • Plan renewals and funding analysis
  • Promotion of member benefits and programs

ML offers more hands-on account management and an annual business review for larger clients.

Customer Service

ML provides multiple channels for employees to get support on their benefits questions or issues.

This includes:

  • Toll-free call center with human agents to speak with
  • Customer website with self-serve tools and chatbots
  • Mobile app to access details on coverage
  • Email and live web chat options

Accessing Employee Benefits Information

Employees can access benefit details and claims through ML’s plan member website and mobile app. This allows 24/7 access to:

  • Coverage details
  • Claim forms and submissions
  • Drug and dental claim listings
  • Health spending account balances
  • Explanation of benefits statements
  • Access point for virtual healthcare bookings

The site provides a one-stop portal for everything related to the benefits plan.

Pros and Cons of Manulife Employee Benefits

When evaluating ML for your employee benefits, it’s essential to consider the advantages and potential drawbacks.

In-Depth Analysis: Manulife's Employee Benefits Explored IDC
In-Depth Analysis: Manulife’s Employee Benefits Explored

Advantages of Choosing Manulife

Here are some of the key benefits our research uncovered about partnering with ML:

  • Wide range of plan design choices and ability to bundle “packaged” benefits
  • Strong reputation as a trusted and recommended insurance provider in Canada
  • Excellent financial strength means the ability to pay future claims
  • Experience and expertise in developing benefit plans for 130+ years
  • Provides proactive health programs and disability management services
  • Competitive premium rates relative to competitors
  • Offers access to value-added services like virtual healthcare and Best Doctors medical support
  • Benefits for all group sizes – packages available for small groups of just two employees
  • Access to flexible benefits like health and wellness spending accounts
  • There is no obligation for initial quotes and consultations to review options

Potential Disadvantages to Consider

The advantages outweigh any negatives, but there are a few potential limitations to note:

  • Limited plan design options for startup and smaller groups
  • Less pricing leverage compared to jumbo groups of 1000+ employees
  • Mixed customer service reviews depending on the issue’s complexity
  • Doesn’t specialize in niche industry verticals (e.g. technology sector)

Overall, these cons should encourage most organizations to consider ML. However, they are essential to factor into the decision-making process.

Who Should Consider Manulife for Employee Benefits?

Is Manulife the right fit for your company’s particular requirements? Here is guidance on the best types of customers for ML’s employee benefits.

Best Types of Companies for Manulife Benefits

After thoroughly researching ML’s offerings, these are the organizations that seem particularly well-suited for their benefits packages:

  • For medium to large companies wanting a high level of customization, ML excels at tailoring benefits to meet complex needs.
  • Businesses that value health promotion and disability management – ML strongly focuses on holistic wellness.
  • Companies with some higher-risk jobs: ML has in-house expertise in pricing disability and life insurance for many occupations.
  • Organizations that need benefits for remote employees – ML provides access to virtual healthcare services.
  • Businesses looking for package deals to simplify – ML allows bundling of major insurance benefit lines
  • Startup and newer companies – ML has scalable benefits options even for groups with just two employees

When Manulife May Not Be the Right Fit

The following organizations may find better options to meet their specific needs:

  • Large enterprises requiring niche industry expertise – For unique risks like airline staff, other carriers specialize in deeper.
  • Companies with a very young or older demographic – Insurers experienced in those age profiles may offer lower rates.
  • Startups or small businesses wanting only voluntary benefits – Some providers offer more budget-friendly a la carte options.
  • High-tech firms that are looking for online-first insurtech experience – Newer online insurance startups cater specifically to this
  • Very cost-driven organizations where price is the highest priority – There may be cheaper carriers, albeit often with more primary coverage.

ML should be a good choice for many Canadian businesses looking for benefits. However, an alternative specialized provider may be optimal in the abovementioned situations.

Conclusion and Recommendation

After a detailed evaluation, here is a summary view along with thoughts on recommending ML for your employee benefits requirements:

Summary of Manulife Employee Benefits

ML is one of Canada’s leading insurance providers. They offer a full suite of customizable group insurance benefits.

Key strengths of ML’s offerings include:

  • Ability to bundle “packaged” plans for medical, dental, disability, life and more
  • Focus on healthcare prevention and disability management
  • Multi-size group friendly, including benefits for groups as small as two employees
  • Experience developing plans for 130+ years
  • Competitive premium rates and multiple financing options
  • Access to value-added health programs and services

Potential limitations center primarily on large, complex groups and some startup segments. Overall, ML delivers a positive experience that benefits everyone.

Exploring Excellence: A Review of Manulife's Employee Benefits IDC
Exploring Excellence: A Review of Manulife’s Employee Benefits

Recommending Manulife for Employee Benefits

With Manulife’s competitive pricing, flexible plans, health focus, and strong reputation, it is recommended for your organization’s employee benefits needs.

The ability to completely customize and bundle plans tailored to your workforce gives significant advantages. For most organizations with over 50 employees, ML should be on your shortlist of top employee benefits providers in Canada to evaluate and get quotes.

While only sometimes the cheapest, Manulife provides substantial value at reasonable rates for most businesses. Their consultative, customizable approach, paired with experience and plan choice, positions them as a top-tier benefits carrier to partner with your company.

Visit Ebsource for more employee benefits news for Canadian citizens.

Article Sources

At Ebsource, our mission is to empower Canadians to make prudent choices about employee benefits and human resources strategies. We provide comprehensive and unbiased insights to ensure Canadians have access to the information they need. Our advice comes from veteran finance professionals, aligning with industry best practices. The statistics we reference originate from respected government agencies and organizations like Statistics Canada and the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association, ensuring accuracy.

We conduct thorough, impartial research on Canada’s major employee benefits providers so we can offer recommendations tailored to individuals’ specific budgets and needs. Ebsource maintains high standards of objectivity, transparency, and independence in our materials. We pride ourselves on producing trustworthy counsel by referencing reputable sources and adhering to strict editorial guidelines. As Canada’s premier destination for employee benefits news and HR expertise, we are dedicated to equipping Canadians with the knowledge necessary to make informed benefits decisions.

Manulife Financial Corporation – thecanadianencyclopedia.ca
Get started with your Group Benefits – manulife.ca
Manulife Group Benefits: So Much More than a Traditional Claims Payer – healthinsight.ca
Manulife – en.wikipedia.org

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