Since 1998, our healthcare survey has monitored the pulse of Canadians with employer-sponsored health benefit plans. We continue to track respondents’ overall satisfaction with the healthcare system as a whole and their own benefit plan, their concerns about their health and the health of their families, and their understanding of certain chronic illnesses.
Canadian employers that decide to set up shop in the United States will notice a big difference when it comes to benefits costs. In the United States, the average premium for family coverage for employer-sponsored health-care benefits was US$17,545 in 2015, according to an annual survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation. For single coverage, the average premium was US$6,251. Conversely, in Canada, the average cost of providing benefits for employees was $8,330 (in Canadian dollars) per full-time equivalent that same year, according to a study by the Conference Board of Canada.
As pointed out in a recent story by The Associated Press and posted on benefitscanada.com, a growing number of employers are combining sick leave and vacation into a single category called paid time off.
The issue: Cancer patients can face crippling financial hardship, forcing some into bankruptcy. Solutions: All provinces should cover the cost of expensive out-of-hospital cancer drugs; government benefit programs should better respond to cancer patients’ needs.
In May 2015, the Ontario government appointed two Special Advisors (Michael Mitchell and The Honourable John C. Murray) to review the modern-day workplace and to consider whether the Ontario Labour Relations Act, 1995 (“OLRA”) and the Ontario Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA”) require amendments to reflect workplaces as we know them today (the so-called “Changing Workplaces Review”). The Review was initiated to deal with the government’s primary concerns with key workplace-related issues, including non-standard working relationships, the expanding service sector, workplace diversity, technological change and globalization, and trade liberalization.