Should You Offer Extended Coverage, or Are Provincial Benefits Enough?

Should You Offer Extended Coverage, or Are Provincial Benefits Enough?

When deciding which benefits to offer your employees, there are a lot of factors to consider. Cost, level of coverage, your employees’ unique needs, and long-term sustainability all impact the best policy for your company. It may be tempting to let your employees rely on provincial benefits rather than offering a plan, but the reality is that this is often not a wise decision for your business. 

When Are Provincial Benefits Enough for Your Employees?

Whether or not provincial health benefits are enough to meet your employees’ needs depends on which area of coverage you’re discussing. Generally speaking, offering an employee benefits package is an essential aspect of keeping your employees happy and productive, but surprisingly, there may be some areas in which you can indeed count on the government to look after your staff. 

Chronic Illness Medications

One area in which provincial benefits might be enough is drug coverage. Under the Canada Health Act, prescription drugs administered in Canadian hospitals are provided at no cost to the patient. 

Outside of hospital care, provincial governments typically provide some measure of drug coverage, which can sometimes be sufficient to cover your employees’ medication needs. Similarly, Ontarians can get many of the prescriptions they need more easily than before because of recent changes to provincial drug coverage

This is particularly good news when it comes to chronic illness medication coverage, which can drive up the costs of employee benefits plans across the board. 

Dental Coverage

On the flip side, dental coverage is one area in which relying on provincial benefits is simply not enough. The Canadian Dental Association has reported that nearly one-third of Canadians don’t receive dental insurance from any source. The number climbs even higher in lower income brackets, with half of lower-income Canadians not having any sort of dental coverage. 

Because of the lack of provincial benefits for dental coverage, even a basic/preventative dental plan is one of the greatest investments you can make as an employer. 

Mental Health Coverage

Mental health benefits are another area in which provincial coverage is often simply not enough to meet your employees’ needs. While both the federal and provincial governments do offer mental health-focused programs for Canadians, these are often focused on providing disability benefits to workers diagnosed with specific mental health conditions.  

Offering a plan that covers things like wellness programs and coverage for counseling appointments is one of the cornerstones of a good benefits plan today. This is especially true since 2020, when mental health benefits became an even greater priority for companies and workers alike

Create the Perfect Benefits Plan with Zarmac

Zarmac Benefits has been providing benefit programs to both new and established businesses for over 20 years. We take the time to analyze what you need and customize a benefits package specifically for your business style, now and for the future. 

Zarmac provides critical analysis specific to your business to deliver real choices, advise on trends, streamline renewals, and optimize your plan design. We make it easy for you and your team by supporting the management of your program. We also proactively educate and eliminate questions to ensure there are no surprises. 

Ready to protect your business and your team? Find out more about the Zarmac difference!


We have some exciting news at Zarmac Benefits! We are extremely pleased to announce our merger with Marquee Benefits Inc., a highly respected benefit and pension solutions consultant based in Barrie, Ontario. Our newly combined firm will be conducting its practice as Marquee Benefits Inc., effective February 13, 2024.

Marquee Benefits shares the same values as we do. A genuine approach based on extensive knowledge of the industry and genuine desire to help create the right benefit solution for your organization. Please feel free to connect with us if you have any questions.

You will be redirected to the Marquee Benefits website shortly or, click to be redirected now.