Half of benefits plan members (49 per cent) and plan sponsors (48 per cent) say they have a health-care spending account in 2022, compared to 39 per cent of both plan members and plan sponsors that said the same in 2021, according to the 2022 Benefits Canada Healthcare Survey.
In 2017, when this question was first asked, 31 per cent of plan sponsors and 26 per cent of plan members reported having an HCSA. This year, the majority of plan members and plan sponsors (94 per cent and 93 per cent, respectively) also agreed an HCSA is an important part of their health benefits plan.
More than two-thirds (69 per cent) of plan sponsors said they provide a traditional benefits plan and 29 per cent said they provide a flexible plan that enables employees to choose levels of coverage. In 2021, 78 per cent provided a traditional plan and 22 per cent provided a flex plan, while in 2017, the results were 80 per cent and 19 per cent, respectively.
Among plan sponsors with a traditional plan, 40 per cent said they’re considering switching to a flex plan and 24 per cent would like to switch but said there are too many barriers, such as collective bargaining and lack of resources.
About a third (30 per cent) of plan sponsors and 21 per cent of plan members reported that they include a wellness account in their health benefits plan and a majority of plan sponsors and plan members (95 per cent and 86 per cent, respectively) agreed a wellness account is an important part of their plan. In 2017, only 14 per cent of plan sponsors offered a wellness account.
Employers with flex plans (62 per cent), a unionized workforce (57 per cent) and 500 or more employees (55 per cent) were more likely to offer HCSAs and wellness accounts. Among plan members without these accounts, 89 per cent would like to have a wellness account and 87 per cent would like to have an HCSA.
Among plan sponsors without these offerings, more than a third were considering adding an HCSA (36 per cent) or a wellness account (34 per cent) to their benefits plan. Among plan sponsors that would like to add these benefits but said there are too many barriers, 25 per cent said they would add an HCSA and 20 per cent would add a wellness account.