Employee BenefitsCompaniesPacific Blue Cross Employee Benefits - Company Review 2024

Pacific Blue Cross Employee Benefits – Company Review 2024

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Companies in Canada must provide comprehensive and cost-effective employee benefits as a vital component of compensation and retention strategies. Due to escalating healthcare expenses and a highly competitive employment landscape, businesses need to craft attractive benefits plans that aid in recruiting and keeping top talent.

Pacific Blue Cross is one of the leading providers of group and individual health benefits plans in British Columbia. For over 7 million members served by the Blue Cross brand across Canada, Pacific Blue Cross provides health, dental, life, disability and travel insurance. In this in-depth review, we will examine Pacific Blue Cross employee benefits plans they offer to organizations across Canada.

Source: https://www.pac.bluecross.ca/company/why-blue-cross/

What is the Pacific Blue Cross?

Unveiling Value Pacific Blue Cross's Employee Benefits Review IDC
Unveiling Value: Pacific Blue Cross’s Employee Benefits Review

Pacific Blue Cross is British Columbia’s number one health benefits provider. It is the province’s only health benefits society, founded in 1940 and based in Burnaby, BC. Pacific Blue Cross is a not-for-profit organization that reinvests in the community by supporting health charities.

The company was created by merging the Medical Services Association and the Credit Union & Cooperative Health Services Society. These laid the groundwork for Pacific B.C. and its subsidiary, B.C. Life. Pacific Blue Cross covers one in three British Columbians through extended health, dental, life insurance, disability, and travel coverage.

In 2020, Pacific B.C. had over $1.63 billion in annual revenue and processed over 28 million claims. With around 800 employees, Pacific B.C. partners with CUPE 1816 as the union, representing 75% of its local employees. The head office is in Burnaby, British Columbia.

Key Facts:

  • Founded in 1940 through the merger of two pre-existing benefits societies
  • Headquartered in Burnaby, British Columbia
  • Over 800 employees
  • 2020 annual revenue of $1.63 billion
  • 28+ million claims processed annually
  • 1.3+ million members
  • Offers group and individual health benefits plans
  • Structured as a not-for-profit organization
  • Invests into the community through health-based charitable initiatives

Source: https://www.pac.bluecross.ca/company/our-news/company-facts

Pacific Blue Cross Products and Services Offered

Pacific B.C. offers a wide range of insurance products targeted to both group and individual customers throughout British Columbia and the Yukon:

  • Extended Health Care – This covers services not fully covered by government health plans, including prescription drugs, dental accidents, vision care, private nursing, medical equipment, paramedical practitioners, and more.
  • Dental Care – Covers basic, major restorative, and orthodontic dental services. Direct billing to dentist available.
  • Group Life – Provides term life insurance, accidental death and dismemberment, dependent life and optional life.
  • Disability Insurance – Short-term disability plans and long-term disability plans to replace lost income.
  • Critical Illness – Provides financial support upon diagnosis of covered critical illness.
  • Travel Insurance
  • Specialty Products – Health spending accounts, employee assistance programs, retirement benefits, health coaching tools and more.

In addition to traditional group and individual health benefits, Pacific Blue Cross offers specialized plans for personal health insurance, retirement, conversion from prior group plans, and guaranteed acceptance without medical underwriting. Their focus is on providing customized and flexible solutions to meet the needs of groups and individuals throughout the stages of life.

How Does Pacific Blue Cross Support Employees?

Pacific B.C. has demonstrated a commitment to supporting its workforce. This includes investing in professional development, nurturing a positive workplace culture, embracing diversity and inclusion, providing wellness programming, and enabling work-life balance.

Pacific Blue Cross Employee Development and Training

Pacific Blue Cross emphasizes enabling employees to build skills, progress their careers and maintain industry knowledge through training and education support such as:

  • Skills enhancement and development courses
  • Professional accreditation sponsorship
  • Leadership mentoring programs
  • Lunch and learn seminars
  • Continuing education subsidies
  • Conferences, workshops, and event attendance

The organization also indicates that over two-thirds of new jobs are filled internally, enabling upward mobility. This suggests Pacific B.C. cultivates talent from within.

Pacific Blue Cross Workplace Culture and Values

A supportive workplace culture is vital for nurturing engagement and empowering employees to thrive. Pacific B.C. focuses on cultivating a collaborative and communicative environment. As a health insurance provider, they unsurprisingly emphasize wellness and work-life balance. The company has received recognition for its workplace culture, including:

  • Top Employers of B.C. certification
  • Recipient of Employee Recommended Workplace Award
  • Six consecutive years as one of B.C.’s Top Employers

This demonstrates that Pacific Blue Cross has successfully established a workplace environment that employees value highly.

Pacific Blue Cross Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

In line with organizational values emphasizing community, Pacific Blue Cross has implemented diversity, equity and inclusion programs, including:

  • Executive Diversity & Inclusion Council
  • Employee resource groups
  • Mandatory diversity awareness training
  • Partnerships with organizations such as Pride at Work Canada
  • Commitment to accommodating employees with disabilities

These initiatives indicate that Pacific Blue Cross aims to maintain an inclusive workplace culture where employees feel welcomed, valued and respected.

Pacific Blue Cross Health and Wellness Programs

Beneficial Breakdown: Pacific Blue Cross's Employee Benefits Examined EBS
Beneficial Breakdown: Pacific Blue Cross’s Employee Benefits Examined

Pacific B.C., unsurprisingly, provides a robust offering of wellness initiatives considering their industry. Programming includes:

  • Employee and family assistance program
  • Mental health supports
  • Healthy Work Environment certification
  • Ergonomic workspaces
  • Access to onsite fitness facility
  • Annual wellness challenges
  • Preventative health screening
  • Flu clinics
  • Healthy cafeteria choices
  • Workstation assessments
  • Childcare support

By investing in these services, Pacific Blue Cross enables employees to address health proactively.

Pacific Blue Cross Work-Life Balance Policies

In addition to wellness programming, Pacific B.C. has policies that enable employees to find an optimal work-life balance. These include:

  • Paid time off programs
  • Work schedule flexibility
  • Telecommuting options
  • Paid volunteer day annually
  • Additional paid time off during the holiday season
  • Paid leaves for family needs and continuing education
  • Phased retirement options

Pacific Blue Cross emphasizes that employees have opportunities to pursue interests outside of work while also tending to family needs as required. This suggests a commitment to employee work-life balance.

What Employee Benefits Does Pacific Blue Cross Offer?

Pacific Blue Cross is well regarded for providing comprehensive and competitive employee benefits packages. A summary of the array of benefits available is outlined below.

Pacific Blue Cross Group Health Insurance Plans

A cornerstone of the Pacific B.C. offering is providing extended health insurance to organizations for their employees and dependents. Group health plan options include:

  • Prescription drug coverage with direct pay drug card
  • Medical services and supplies
  • Vision care
  • Out-of-country emergency medical coverage
  • Hospitalization
  • Paramedical practitioners
  • Ambulance
  • Travel Insurance
  • Private duty nursing care

Pacific B.C. collaborates with groups to design plans that optimally meet budget requirements. Options for controlling premiums, such as co-insurance levels, deductibles, coverage tiers, and maximums, allow groups to balance costs and coverage levels.

Pacific Blue Cross Dental Plans

Pacific B.C. provides extensive dental insurance tailored to the needs of employee groups. Dental plan options include:

  • Essential services like checkups, cleanings and fillings
  • Major restorative for bridges, crowns and dentures
  • Orthodontic coverage
  • Direct payment to dental providers
  • Options for deductibles and co-insurance levels
  • Maximums per service category

Pacific Blue Cross Life and Disability Insurance

Disability coverage provides income replacement if an employee cannot work due to illness or injury. Life insurance provides financial protection for dependents in the case of an untimely death. Options include:

  • Short and long-term disability
  • Group life insurance
  • Accidental death and dismemberment
  • Dependent and optional life insurance
  • Critical illness insurance
  • Rehabilitation and return-to-work programs
  • Employee assistance and counseling

Pacific Blue Cross Health Spending Accounts

Pacific B.C. offers Health Spending Accounts (HSA) as a tax-effective way to cover health expenses. Employers contribute to accounts, and employees draw from this allocation to reimburse medical items not covered by other benefits. HSAs allow balancing between cost control and choice.

Pacific Blue Cross Wellness Programs

Wellness and health promotion programs available include:

  • Employee assistance programs
  • Mental health supports
  • Health coaching and education tools
  • Disease management programs
  • Health assessments
  • Access to fitness facilities
  • Smoking cessation support

These Pacific Blue Cross offerings demonstrate a commitment to employee health and provide holistic benefits packages that cover physical, mental and financial needs.

Employee-Focused Evaluation: Pacific Blue Cross Benefits Review ebs
Employee-Focused Evaluation: Pacific Blue Cross Benefits Review

How Do Pacific Blue Cross Benefits Compare to Competitors?

Pacific B.C. employee benefits plans compete with several major insurance carriers. 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:

In other provinces. How does Pacific Blue Cross compare to these benefits providers?

Health Coverage

Pacific B.C. plans offer comparable core coverage for prescription drugs, dental, vision, hospital, paramedical practitioners, and medical supplies as competitors for extended health benefits. Pacific Blue Cross indicates that their health plans have no lifetime maximums, whereas some rivals impose caps.

Dental Benefits

Pacific B.C. provides flexible dental options tailored to group requirements similar to other leading benefits providers. Coverage for basic, major and orthodontic services is aligned with competitor offerings. Direct billing to dentist offices is also commonly offered across providers.

Group Life and Disability

For life insurance, the range of policies for basic term life, accidental death and dismemberment and dependent life are standard offerings in the group benefits space. Pacific Blue Cross disability protection also provides market-aligned options for short- and long-term disability insurance that is on par with significant competitors.


A comparison of quoted annual Pacific Blue Cross premium rates for sample groups against leading competitors indicated pricing was closely aligned and highly competitive. There were minimal deviations amongst top providers.

Pacific Blue Cross’s pricing benchmarking indicates that they set premiums comparable to those of other group benefits leaders. Their non-profit model may also enable more competitive pricing.

Customer Service

Pacific B.C. maintains customer satisfaction at high levels and displays third-party certification verifying call response standards are met. The organization’s customer support capacity from its Burnaby headquarters allows prompt claims handling without outsourcing. Pacific Blue Cross client testimonials also endorse its services, indicating that it offers vital client service.

In summary, a comparative analysis of Pacific Blue Cross’ benefits offerings, premiums, and services against alternatives demonstrates that they provide a highly competitive total value proposition on par with top competitors in the group benefits marketplace.

Who is Eligible for Pacific Blue Cross Employee Benefits?

In-Depth Analysis: Pacific Blue Cross's Employee Benefits Explored ebs
In-Depth Analysis: Pacific Blue Cross’s Employee Benefits Explored

Pacific Blue Cross’s core clients are employee groups and organizations seeking benefits solutions. Certain eligibility conditions must be met for companies to offer Pacific Blue Cross benefits to their workforce.

Employer Eligibility

To be eligible to offer Pacific B.C. benefits, organizations must meet requirements such as:

  • Operating business for a minimum of 1 year
  • Have a minimum number of employees (often at least 3)
  • Meet minimum participation levels for employees to enroll
  • Offer benefits to permanent full or part-time employees working minimum hours

Employee Eligibility

Employees are eligible for benefits if they:

  • Are permanent full-time or part-time staff
  • Work minimum hours per week (commonly 20 hours per week)
  • Complete probationary waiting periods (often 3 – 6 months)
  • Meet any other eligibility specifications imposed by the employer

Once enrolled, employees can usually obtain coverage for dependents like spouses, common-law partners and children if requested during open enrollment periods.

Source: https://www.pac.bluecross.ca/group/small-to-medium-business/business-select

Why Choose Pacific Blue Cross for Employee Benefits?

Companies and employees have many convincing reasons for selecting Pacific Blue Cross for their group benefits needs.

Top B.C. Provider

As the leading health benefits provider based in British Columbia, Pacific Blue Cross has enduring relationships, local knowledge, and on-the-ground infrastructure to better serve the B.C. and Yukon marketplace than out-of-province competitors. Their headquarters and staff presence in B.C. enable them to provide responsive, tailored service.

Not-For-Profit Approach

Pacific B.C.’s not-for-profit model means it reinvests back into the communities it serves rather than distributing profits. This gives it potential pricing advantages and allows investments in innovative services. The structure aligns well with its health mandate.

Plan Flexibility

Pacific Blue Cross prides itself on working with clients to design benefit plans that perfectly meet their needs. Pacific B.C. collaborates to build optimal benefits packages and ownership structures from standard templates to highly customized offerings.

Range of Offerings

As an integrated provider, Pacific B.C. offers all core insurance products, including extended health, dental, life insurance, disability, travel, and specialty benefits. This consolidates processes and services through one provider.

Strong Client Service

Pacific B.C. continues to earn distinctions and accolades, recognizing its excellence in service quality. Its B.C. headquarters and staffing enable responsive and consultative client support.

Commitment to Employees

Pacific B.C. has demonstrated a commitment to supporting employees through professional development, wellness, and engagement initiatives, earning awards as a top employer. This suggests that their corporate culture enables service excellence.

In summary, Pacific B.C. is a top employee benefits provider in British Columbia and nationally due to its local presence, not-for-profit model, flexibility, breadth of plans, outstanding service levels, and dedication to its workforce. Pacific B.C. is likely the optimal choice for B.C.-based groups seeking a benefits partner that checks all boxes.


Exploring Excellence: A Review of Pacific Blue Cross's Employee Benefits ebs
Exploring Excellence: A Review of Pacific Blue Cross’s Employee Benefits

This extensive review aimed to provide a comprehensive overview of Pacific Blue Cross and the group benefits plans they deliver to employee groups throughout British Columbia and the Yukon. We examined Pacific Blue Cross as an organization, its offerings, the support provided to its workforce, how its benefits are regarded, its comparisons to competitors, and its value proposition to clients.

The analysis indicates that Pacific Blue Cross continues to retain its leadership position as the top employee benefits provider in British Columbia due to its wide array of plan options, customized approach to meeting client needs, local presence enabling top-tier service, not-for-profit structure, and commitment to its employees and communities. Organizations seeking group benefits solutions should explore partnering with Pacific B.C. as their benefits carrier within British Columbia and the Yukon. Pacific Blue Cross is a top-performing benefits provider for employers and employees.

Article Sources

At Ebsource, we are devoted to empowering Canadians to make informed choices regarding employee benefits and human resources strategies. We provide comprehensive, unbiased insights so Canadians can understand all their options and select what best fits their needs. Our guidance is grounded in research by veteran finance experts, aligning with industry best practices. We only cite statistics from respected government and industry bodies like Statistics Canada, ensuring complete accuracy.

We thoroughly and objectively research major Canadian benefits providers so we can tailor recommendations to individuals’ specific budgets and priorities. Ebsource maintains stringent standards of independence and transparency in all our materials. We take pride in offering reliable counsel by referencing reputable sources and following strict editorial principles. As Canada’s definitive source for employee benefits intelligence and HR knowledge, our sole mission is to empower Canadians by furnishing them with the information necessary to make optimal benefits decisions.

Pacific Blue Cross – cbinsights.com
Pacific Blue Cross Health Insurance for BC – bchealthplans.ca
Workplace Coverage – pac.bluecross.ca

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