Employee BenefitsCompaniesSaskatchewan Blue Cross Employee Benefits - Company Review 2024

Saskatchewan Blue Cross Employee Benefits – Company Review 2024

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Saskatchewan Blue Cross is a leading provider of employee benefits in Canada, offering comprehensive and flexible group health, dental, life, disability, and wellness programs to companies across Saskatchewan. With over 75 years of experience serving the province, Saskatchewan Blue Cross has built a reputation for excellent customer service, quality coverage, and giving back to local communities.

This in-depth review will examine Saskatchewan Blue Cross employee benefits packages to assess if they are one of Canada’s best employee benefits providers. We’ll look at what coverage their plans include, how they differ from competitors, who their offerings are best suited for, and any potential downsides to consider. By the end, you’ll clearly see Saskatchewan Blue Cross’s strengths and weaknesses to determine if their benefits fit your organization.

What Makes a Great Employee Benefits Provider?

Beneficial Breakdown: Saskatchewan Blue Cross's Employee Benefits Examined IDC
Beneficial Breakdown: Saskatchewan Blue Cross’s Employee Benefits Examined

When searching for an employee benefits provider to partner with, several vital factors set the top options apart:

Flexibility: Various plan designs and contribution models allow you to tailor coverage to your workforce’s unique needs and budget. Look for the ability to select specific benefits, set coverage maximums, and tier contributions based on salary or job class.

Cost: While robust benefits have value, cost control is also crucial. Seek reasonable premiums, built-in cost containment strategies, and opportunities to keep renewals predictable. A not-for-profit provider may have advantages here.

Range of Coverage: The best providers offer comprehensive menus with all core insurance options — health, dental, disability, and life — and value-added programs in mental health, wellness, employee assistance, etc.

Customer Service: You want a provider that offers responsive support and educational resources to help you administer benefits and puts your employees first when claims arise.

Health & Wellness Programs—Forward-thinking providers emphasize whole health, offering programs and tools that address physical, mental, financial, and social well-being. This shows a commitment to prevention and engagement.

When weighing potential employee benefits partners, remember these criteria to determine who measures up and brings the most to your organization. Now, let’s see how Saskatchewan Blue Cross stacks up.

Is Saskatchewan Blue Cross a Top Employee Benefits Provider in Canada?

Overview of Saskatchewan Blue Cross Employee Benefits

Saskatchewan Blue Cross is a home-grown company that has been providing health insurance in the province since 1946. What started as a group of seven doctors who wanted Saskatchewan residents to have equal access to healthcare has grown into a recognized leader in benefits and insurance.

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

Key facts about Saskatchewan Blue Cross:

  • Headquarters in Saskatoon, SK
  • Local not-for-profit company
  • 200,000+ covered members
  • 1,000+ employer clients
  • Solutions in group benefits, life, disability, health insurance, and travel
  • Rated one of Saskatchewan’s Top Employers and Top 100 Companies
  • Part of the Canadian Association of Blue Cross Plans

With deep roots in Saskatchewan, Blue Cross understands the local health and insurance landscape. Their offerings leverage insight into the provincial market to craft relevant benefits and curb costs. As a not-for-profit, revenue gets reinvested into employee benefits innovations so clients can access emerging solutions.

Saskatchewan Blue Cross Employee Benefits Offerings

Saskatchewan Blue Cross provides feature-rich employee benefits programs covering all core insurance needs and beyond. Here’s an overview of what they offer:

Health Insurance – Comprehensive plans with unlimited emergency hospital/medical, dental coverage, vision care, prescription drugs, paramedical practitioners, medical equipment and travel benefits. Saskatchewan Blue Cross health insurance also includes a Member Assistance Program for mental health support.

Dental Insurance covers basic, primary, and orthodontic dental care, such as exams, fillings, crowns, bridges, and braces. There are options for employee/employer cost-sharing. Many dental providers offer direct payment through the Blue Cross network, saving employees paperwork.

Life Insurance—Employer-paid basic life insurance is provided for all eligible staff, plus optional supplemental life insurance that employees can purchase for extra protection. Dependent life and living benefits are also available.

Disability Insurance: Disability income benefits help replace lost wages if employees can’t work due to illness/injury. Saskatchewan Blue Cross has strong expertise in claims management and rehabilitation support.

Wellness Programs—Products such as Personal Wellness Accounts, Employee Family Assistance Plans, Online Doctors, and more aim to promote whole health and prevent small issues from becoming major claims.

Member Portal: Employees manage coverage, submit claims, and access health resources through secure websites and mobile apps. It is easy to use and understand.

Travel Insurance—Out-of-country emergency medical coverage through Saskatchewan Blue Cross travel plans offers protection while vacationing or on business trips.

Flexible Spending Accounts: Custom accounts reimburse employees for health expenses not covered under other benefits. Employers can target specific wellness areas.

How Saskatchewan Blue Cross Benefits Compare

Saskatchewan Blue Cross offers one of the most well-rounded benefits portfolios compared to leading group benefits carriers in Canada, such as Canada Life, Sun Life, Beneva, etc. Their plans aren’t limited to traditional medical/dental coverage — they emphasize whole health through life insurance, disability protection and new virtual offerings.

Their benefit plans offer above-average flexibility, too. Employers can select specific benefits of interest and set varying levels of coverage for different classes of employees. Contributions are also split into employer-paid, employee-paid, or shared funding.

According to client reviews, Saskatchewan Blue Cross wins marks for local, personalized support and simplifying benefits administration. Their website and app make it easy for employees to submit claims quickly and understand what’s covered. As a not-for-profit focused on community health, they’re seen to put people before profits.

What Do Saskatchewan Blue Cross Employee Benefits Cover?

Employee-Focused Evaluation: Saskatchewan Blue Cross Benefits Review IDC
Employee-Focused Evaluation: Saskatchewan Blue Cross Benefits Review

Now, let’s examine the details of what Saskatchewan Blue Cross benefits actually cover for your employees. We’ll outline key inclusions and limitations by insurance type.

Saskatchewan Blue Cross Health Insurance

Health insurance from Saskatchewan Blue Cross provides comprehensive coverage for a wide range of medical needs and practitioner visits:

  • Doctor visits and lab tests: This coverage includes visits to general practitioners, specialists, walk-in clinics, and diagnostic testing.
  • Hospital stays: Private or semi-private rooms, surgeons, and other in-hospital care.
  • Ambulance: Emergency medical transport, such as paramedics or air ambulances.
  • Prescription drugs: Formulary and non-formulary medications with cost-sharing options. Some coverage maximums exist.
  • Medical equipment: Wheelchairs, hospital beds, braces, breathing equipment etc.
  • Paramedical practitioners: Chiropractors, physiotherapists, massage therapists, psychologists etc. Up to policy maximums per type of practitioner.
  • Vision: Eye exams, prescription eyeglasses/contacts, laser eye surgery up to stated maximums.
  • Out-of-country emergency medical: $5 million per trip for unexpected illness/injury while travelling.

Only some health services are covered. Exclusions exist for experimental procedures, elective cosmetic surgery, or treatment of professional sports injuries. Pre-approval requirements also apply to some high-cost services.

Saskatchewan Blue Cross Dental Insurance

Dental coverage through Saskatchewan Blue Cross provides the following services within plan fee guides and maximums:

  • Preventive visits: Regular dental checkups and cleanings. Often, there is no cost-sharing.
  • Primary dental care: X-rays, fillings, extractions, root canals, and denture repairs covered at 80-100%.
  • Primary dental care: Crowns, bridges, inlays, onlays, and dentures are covered at 50%.
  • Orthodontics: Braces for children/teens are reimbursed at 50%. Lifetime maximums per person apply.
  • Accident dental: Repair of natural teeth damaged in an accident.

Like most carriers, Saskatchewan Blue Cross excludes some procedures like cosmetic dentistry and dental implants from coverage.

Saskatchewan Blue Cross Life and Disability Insurance

  • Life Insurance: Employer-paid basic life insurance for all employees plus optional supplemental life insurance for added protection.
  • Dependent Life: Up to $10,000 in coverage for spouse and children.
  • Accidental Death & Dismemberment: Provides lump sum payment if the employee dies or suffers the loss of limb/sight from an accident.
  • Disability Insurance replaces lost income if an employee cannot work due to illness or injury. The benefit amount depends on the plan selected.
  • Critical Illness: Pays lump sum upon diagnosis of a covered critical disease like cancer, stroke, heart attack, etc. Available as an option.

Disability benefits come with partial exclusions for high-risk activities, self-inflicted injuries, etc. and have pre-existing condition clauses.

Source: https://www.sk.bluecross.ca/workplace-benefits/blue-essentials/coverage-details/

What Makes Saskatchewan Blue Cross Stand Out?

There are a few key advantages that differentiate Saskatchewan Blue Cross in Canada’s employee benefits marketplace:

Local Focus: Headquartered in the province, they leverage insights into Saskatchewan employers and employees to craft relevant plans.

Not-for-Profit: As a not-for-profit, they reinvest revenue into improving products versus shareholder profit.

Health Literacy: Saskatchewan Blue Cross partners with local organizations to research and address health barriers facing members.

Whole Health: Their benefits philosophy targets physical, mental, financial, workplace, and community health. This comprehensive approach promotes overall well-being.

Service Excellence: Employees appreciate personalized, caring service from the Blue Cross team, especially when claims arise.

Innovation: Maple’s new virtual health options, such as Online Doctors, demonstrate their commitment to investing in emerging solutions.

Community Support: Saskatchewan Blue Cross directs corporate giving to health charities, volunteerism, Indigenous relations, diversity, and sustainability.

Associations: Blue Cross National Association members provide resources and insights from coast-to-coast industry collaboration.

In-Depth Analysis: Saskatchewan Blue Cross's Employee Benefits Explored IDC
In-Depth Analysis: Saskatchewan Blue Cross’s Employee Benefits Explored

Are There Any Downsides to Saskatchewan Blue Cross Benefits?

While Saskatchewan Blue Cross offers robust and well-rounded benefits, there are a few potential limitations to keep in mind:

Service Range: As a provincial carrier, their administration and provider networks are concentrated in Saskatchewan. This suits Saskatchewan-based companies that want to buy locally, but organizations with a national footprint may find coverage restricted outside the province.

Plan Design Rigidity: Saskatchewan Blue Cross allows for some benefit selection and customization but less flexibility than other carriers. You get access to their full slate of products.

Claims Processing Speed: With a smaller back office versus national insurers, claims turnaround times are sometimes slower with Saskatchewan Blue Cross, especially at peak periods.

Premium Cost: Provincial plans can carry pricing premiums over national insurers with more significant risk pools to spread costs. However, Saskatchewan Blue Cross’s not-for-profit status helps offset this drawback.

Few Frills: Compared to slick insurers, Saskatchewan Blue Cross’s service model offers less flash but more substance. Their focus is providing stable local benefits versus flashy promotions.

Who Are Saskatchewan Blue Cross Employee Benefits Best Suited For?

The ideal employers for Saskatchewan Blue Cross benefits include:

  • Saskatchewan-based companies who want to partner with a local insurer that understands their workforce and Provincial health systems.
  • Organizations that value health literacy programs and want their benefits partner to support community health causes via corporate philanthropy.
  • Small, mid-size and large employers are looking for strong benefits fundamentals with the flexibility to customize coverage for different classes of employees.
  • Businesses seek an intuitive online portal and app for employees to manage their coverage and submit claims digitally 24/7.
  • Companies with multigenerational employees need benefits tailored to younger millennials/Gen Z and older baby boomers.
  • Any employer seeks excellent local support and service from a provider who puts people before profits.

In particular, Saskatchewan Blue Cross shines for Saskatchewan-headquartered organizations wanting to align with a hometown benefits carrier active in their community. Their localized model may suit those with employees concentrated inside the province better than national employers with dispersed staff.

Conclusion

Exploring Excellence: A Review of Saskatchewan Blue Cross's Employee Benefits IDC
Exploring Excellence: A Review of Saskatchewan Blue Cross’s Employee Benefits

This in-depth look at Saskatchewan Blue Cross’s employee benefits offerings reveals they provide one of the top benefits programs available to Saskatchewan companies. Their plans tick all the boxes regarding coverage breadth, flexibility, innovation, service quality and local relevance. While not perfect for every organization, Saskatchewan Blue Cross brings tremendous advantages as an insightful local not-for-profit provider committed to employee health on a whole level.

For Saskatchewan employers wanting to offer solid coverage with a partner invested in their success, Saskatchewan Blue Cross deserves a close look. Their benefits packages allow employers to care for their team’s well-being through life’s ups and downs. With knowledgeable support from a Canadian benefits leader on your side, Saskatchewan Blue Cross makes it easier to manage costs without sacrificing valued coverage.

While national insurers have scale, Saskatchewan Blue Cross counters by delivering vibrant employee benefits aligned with local companies via personalized service and community health engagement. Their dedication to Saskatchewan shines through.

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:

Article Sources

At Ebsource, our sole mission is to empower Canadians to make informed employee benefits and human resources decisions. We provide unbiased, comprehensive insights so Canadians understand all their options and can choose what best fits their circumstances. Our guidance comes from veteran finance experts, aligned with industry best practices. We exclusively reference statistics from trusted sources like Statistics Canada, guaranteeing total accuracy.

We thoroughly research major Canadian benefits providers so we can make tailored recommendations based on individuals’ budgets and priorities. Ebsource maintains high standards of independence and transparency in everything we publish. We take pride in producing reliable counsel by citing reputable sources and following strict editorial policies. As Canada’s definitive source for employee benefits news and HR knowledge, we aim to empower Canadians by equipping them with the information they need to make optimal benefits choices.

Saskatchewan Blue Cross named one of Saskatchewan’s Top Employers for 8th year in a row – newswire.ca
Group benefits – sk.bluecross.ca
Saskatchewan Blue Cross – mysask411.com

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