The Great-West Life Assurance Co. is introducing a group benefits solution for small employers.

Small employers, with fewer than 100 employees, make up 98 per cent of organizations in Canada, noted a press release. And fewer than half (45 per cent) offer employee benefits, which can leave many without protection from routine and unexpected health costs. 

Flexbox is a self-serve, digital benefits platform that allows small employers to learn about group benefits at their convenience; design and determine an entry-level plan tailored to their budget; and purchase either on the spot or through an advisor.

Read: What stops small businesses from offering benefits?

It’s currently available in Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan to small businesses with two to 20 employees that don’t already have a group benefits plan or haven’t had one in place at some point over the last two years. Great-West Life noted it expects to expand the program nationally.

“Small businesses are the largest private employer group in Canada, yet many don’t offer employee health benefits, whether due to cost, lack of flexibility in plan design or difficulty researching provider options,” said Roger Maguet, senior vice-president of plan sponsor services for Great-West Life. “Not only can that make it more difficult for these small business employers to attract and retain employees, but it can leave a large segment of Canadians vulnerable to routine and unexpected health costs.”

Read: Great-West Life rolls out nationwide virtual health-care offering

Copyright © 2019 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on benefitscanada.com

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