Employee Benefits

Virtual Care Services in the Modern Benefits Landscape

By Doug Birks on August, 16 2022
3 minute read

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Doug Birks

Junior Associate

It is important to understand your options for virtual care services when choosing a group benefits plan to promote employee health and wellness. Encouraging employees to utilize accessible programs that assist their mental and physical health can help to increase overall well-being.

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Long-term Effects of Employee Mental Health 

The long-term effects of employee mental health may be greater than you think. According to the Mental Health Commissions of Canada and an article written by Benefits by Design, over 2 million Canadians aged 15 years and over are faced with a mental health-related disability, representing 7% of Canadians. As an employer, educating employees on the wide variety of resources available to help combat daily stresses is a key tool in promoting wellness, reducing claims and preventing employee absenteeism. To learn more about the rise in disability claims, visit here.

The insurance world has evolved greatly over recent years, particularly within shifting their focus to preventative care solutions. However, whether your firm has had an employee benefits plan for years or is just getting started, the various resources and tools available can seem overwhelming resulting in services beyond traditional health coverages being under-utilized. If you are struggling to educate your workplace on your company’s suite of wellness services, talk to your advisor to help strategize your approach so you can begin taking a much more proactive approach to educating your employees on the many benefits of virtual care services.

Learn how to create a successful workplace wellness program from the ground up  >>
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Virtual Care Services You Can Offer Employees

Virtual care services include many benefit plans, and often are built into existing services by insurers at no additional cost or can be added with minimal financial impact. Please check with your advisor as plan coverages vary from employer to employer. Below is a list of common virtual care options that might currently be available in your benefits plan or can be incorporated into your benefits plan. 

  • Wellness Program: Wellness programs help employees learn how to make healthier choices and manage their well-being. This often is good for employees who currently need help managing an existing condition or employees who need help identifying areas of concern. 
  • Employee Work-Life Assistance Program: The modern employee assistance program is at the forefront of a benefits plan’s virtual services. Most utilized as an effective tool for confidential mental health support and counselling, EAP’s now offer a robust suite of work-life services. 

  • Medical Second Opinion: Get an expert medical opinion from renowned specialists so you can have the answers and confidence to make informed decisions about your health. If facing a complex health issue, medical second opinion services will refer you to the most appropriate medical expert to work in collaboration with your own physician, allowing you greater certainty in your diagnosis and treatment plan.

  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Program: Interactive online mental health care management systems engineered to help members and their dependents identify and talk to their healthcare providers about mental health concerns. Assists with early diagnosis, treatment, and follow up for common and often debilitating mental health conditions. 

  • Telemedicine: Get medical support through video-conference sessions from the comfort of your own home. Telemedicine enables video or phone appointments between a patient and their health care practitioner, benefiting both health and convenience. Individuals on disability can get the additional support they need through video-conference sessions from the comfort of their home and are able to return to work with confidence sooner.

Key Takeaways

Educating employees on how their employee benefits can help to combat both more advanced mental health challenges and the daily stressors of life goes a long way toward increasing employee loyalty, productivity, and positioning your organization as an attractive employer. 

During your next team meeting, discuss with your employees the resources currently available and how these resources can help to improve their daily lives today.

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