Employee Choice™


Design a plan that works for your Alberta-based business, your employees and your budget.

Build your plan and get an estimate

Employee Choice™ automatically includes a Health Spending Account (HSA) as well as access to Balance®, our online employee wellness program.

Get started by choosing from the benefits below and view an estimate based on your employee information and allocation amounts.

Select your benefits

Besides your core spending accounts and Balance® benefits, which additional benefits would you like to provide your employees?

1The estimates for Life Insurance and Enhanced Critical Illness are based on industry averages and may change in your final quote.

2The estimate provided for Life Insurance is based on the $25,000 option. The estimate provided for Enhanced Critical Illness is based on the $10,000 option.

Disability benefits

We need some additional information about your employees to provide accurate costs for Short and Long Term Disability benefits, so we can't provide an estimate at this time.
However, if you want to offer these benefits to your employees, select them here and we'll make a note to review this later on in the process. To be eligible for disability benefits, you must also select Life Insurance.

Employee information

A single employee is one with no dependents. This field has a max length of 4 digits.
This means they have a husband, wife, common-law partner and/or children. This field has a max length of 4 digits.
Total employees: 0

Spending account allocation

We recommend at least $2,000.
Single employee allocation amount: $2,000
We recommend at least $3,000.
Family employee allocation amount: $3,000

Plan estimate

This quote includes applicable taxes and admin fees, and is meant as a general guideline only.

Benefit details

Read more about the available Employee Choice™ plan options below.
Spending accounts and core benefits

An HSA is an affordable and flexible way for you to provide health coverage to your employees outside of a traditional plan. HSA dollars can be used to pay for health and medical expenses not covered by a provincial health care plan, or to cover individual health plan premiums—and they are 100 per cent tax free.

It's simple. You choose how much money to give to each employee. That amount is then deposited as HSA credits into your employees' accounts. They can then use these credits to cover eligible health expenses including, but not limited to, the following:

  • health, such as massage, physiotherapy and psychology;

  • dental and orthodontic;

  • vision care;

  • prescription drugs;

  • ambulance;

  • diagnostic services; and

  • supplemental individual health plan premiums.

For a list of additional expenses, please visit Canada Revenue Agency

Once an employee receives health services or purchases a health product that is eligible, all they have to do is submit their claim online through our member site—it's that easy!

A WSA gives employees more control over their health and wellness by giving them access to a broader array of health and wellness products and services so they can lead healthier, more balanced lives. WSAs show you care about your employees and can help your organization recruit and retain staff without increasing your plan costs.

With no extra cost to you, you can add a WSA to support the health and wellness needs of your employees. Employees can choose to allocate a portion of their spending account credits to their WSA to pay for health and wellness products and services not covered by their HSA, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • gym membership,

  • fitness equipment and apparel,

  • educational courses,

  • nutritional counselling,

  • personal learning courses,

  • dependent care, and

  • contributions to RRSPs and TFSAs.

Claims paid from WSAs are considered taxable income to the employee and applicable taxes will be deducted from your employees' pay.

Balance® is an online wellness program that helps you and your employees make wellness a priority. Balance® aims to help you improve the overall health of your organization by providing unique wellness support tailored to each employee's needs. Through information, leading-edge practices, action and rewards, Balance® will increase employee engagement and productivity as well as reduce costs associated with poor employee health.

With Balance®, your employees have access to the following:

  • programs to help encourage physical activity;

  • mental health supports, tools and trackers;

  • weight management and nutritional resources;

  • healthy and delicious recipes;

  • personalized goal-setting and reminders;

  • 30-day challenges;

  • incentives with chances to win prizes; and

  • much more.
Optional benefits

Complement your spending account with comprehensive coverage for unexpected and catastrophic health events.

This recommended benefit gives your business a competitive edge and your employees extra peace of mind that they will be covered no matter what life throws at them—be it a hospital stay or emergency travel coverage.

Peace of mind coverage includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • out-of-province emergency travel,

  • emergency dental,

  • Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) counselling services,

  • ambulance and emergency hospital stays,

  • home nursing care,

  • prosthetics, and

  • second opinion.

Virtual care allows you and your employees to connect with physicians and other health care providers, so they can get health care services from licensed Canadian providers conveniently, comfortably and securely.

Virtual care allows your employees to do the following:

  • see a medical professional,

  • get a prescription or referral,

  • check their symptoms, and

  • digitally monitor their health.

Life insurance is one of the key benefits employees look for when searching for a job. Offering a life insurance policy is an affordable way to set your business apart as an employer of choice, helping you attract and retain top talent.

Providing life insurance tells your employees that you're invested in their well-being now and into the future. Giving your employees the confidence of knowing their loved ones will be taken care of should the worst happen, you increase employee job satisfaction, loyalty and workplace culture—which is good for your business.

The costs in our calculator are estimates based on industry averages only and based on the $25,000 option. In the application, you will have the option to select from two coverage levels:

Option 1

Life Insurance coverage at $25,000
Employee Life Insurance$25,000
Dependent Life InsuranceSpouse: $10,000 | Child: $5,000
Accidental Death and Dismemberment1$25,000

Option 2

Life Insurance coverage at $50,000
Employee Life Insurance$50,000
Dependent Life InsuranceSpouse: $25,000 | Child: $12,500
Accidental Death and Dismemberment1$50,000

In addition to Life Insurance and Accidental Death and Dismemberment, Optional Life Insurance and Optional Accidental Death and Dismemberment will be available to the employee during their plan enrolment. Your employees will have the option to increase coverage amounts. Any additional coverage may be subject to medical review. This may affect the total cost of the group plan. It is up to you to decide how much to deduct from payroll.

For a more accurate quote, further employee information will be required at time of application.

1Accidental Death and Dismemberment only covers employees. Employees will have the option of adding coverage for dependents during their plan enrolment.

As a result of a critical illness, such as a heart attack, cancer or a stroke, an individual may face substantial out-of-pocket expenses, even after they've recovered. These costs can place a major burden on your employees and their loved ones. Critical Illness coverage helps employees manage these expenses by providing funds to pay for the care and resources needed after a life altering illness.

Where eligible, this one-time payment can be used however the employee sees fit, there are no restrictions on how the money is spent. For example, an employee could choose to use the money to

  • pay off outstanding debts,

  • help with home renovations required to accommodate new physical limitations, or

  • pay for the costs of bringing home friends or family members in their time of need.

Illnesses or conditions that are eligible include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Alzheimer's disease,

  • life-threatening cancer,

  • major organ failure,

  • multiple sclerosis,

  • Parkinson's disease,

  • severe heart attack, or

  • severe stroke.

The costs in our calculator are estimates based on industry averages only and based on the $10,000 option. In the application, you will have the option to select from two coverage levels:

Option 1

Enhanced Critical Illness coverage at $10,000
Employee Critical Illness$10,000
Dependent Critical IllnessSpouse: $2,000 | Child: $1,000

Option 2

Enhanced Critical Illness coverage at $25,000
Employee Critical Illness$25,000
Dependent Critical IllnessSpouse: $5,000 | Child: $2,500

In addition to Enhanced Critical Illness, Optional Critical Illness will be available to the employee during their plan enrolment. Your employees will have the option to increase coverage amounts. Any additional coverage may be subject to medical review. This may affect the total cost of the group plan. It is up to you to decide how much to deduct from payroll.

For a more accurate quote, further employee information will be required at time of application.

It's hard to recover from an illness or accident when you're worried about finances. Short Term Disability provides a monthly income for a specific period of time should an employee find themselves unable to work due to illness or accident. Short Term Disability helps get employees back to work in a timely and safe manner by coordinating a rehabilitation plan tailored to the employee's recovery needs.

With the funds provided by Short Term Disability, your employees will be able to focus on recovery and return to work successfully. If an employee requires a longer recovery period, then Long Term Disability would need to be included in the plan.

Typically, Short Term Disability provides for a percentage of an employee's pre-disability earnings high enough to cover basic life expenses.

Short Term Disability options
CoverageUp to 66.67%
Duration of benefits17 weeks, to age 65
First day hospital optionAvailable

You must have 5 or more employees to be eligible for Short Term Disability.

While the goal is always to get employees up and back to work safely and sustainably, sometimes an illness or accident can require long-term recovery or even lead to permanent disability. When this happens, Long Term Disability supports both the employee and employer.

Long Term Disability provides a monthly income to employees facing a lengthy or permanent disability that alters or impedes their ability to work. With Long Term Disability, employees receive a percentage of their pre-disability earnings so they can continue to cover living expenses. At the same time, employers can be confident that their employees are taken care of while avoiding the heavy financial burden of providing income to employees unable to work.

Long Term Disability options
CoverageUp to 66.67%
Duration of benefitsto age 65

You must have 3 or more employees to be eligible for Long Term Disability.

Frequently asked questions

The Employee Choice™ plan was specifically designed for small to mid-size Alberta-based companies looking to provide valuable health coverage that is flexible enough to meet their employees' needs while remaining reasonably priced.

To be eligible, a business must employ two or more individuals who are not dependents, married or common law; work 20 or more hours per week; and are residents of Canada.

The amount you choose to allocate to your employees' Health Spending Account is totally up to you. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

Consider your return on investment.

Health coverage is one of the key factors when potential employees are looking for work. It can go a long way in recruiting and retaining top candidates as well as increasing employee productivity by reducing absenteeism, supporting employee loyalty and boosting workplace culture.

How much can you reasonably afford?

This plan is intended to give employers more control over plan costs while providing employees better flexibility. You decide how much to provide for different groups of employees and once the budget is decided, employee expenditures may not exceed the Health Spending Account maximum you've set.

Because the Health Spending Account is the central component of your Employee Choice™ plan, it is important to allocate an amount sufficient enough to cover basic health costs your employees may encounter.

Consider average costs of health care services and products.

According to research by National Crowdfunding and Fintech Association of Canada,

  • the average annual health care cost for an adult between the ages of 18 to 44 is $2,985,

  • the average for children and youth between the ages of five and 17 is $1,921, and

  • an adult dental exam can cost as much as $200 and a root canal and crown can total over $2,000.

If you're not sure, we recommend starting with the allocations below and adjusting to see what best fits your budget.

  • $2,000 annually per single employee.

  • $3,000 annually per employee with dependents.

During the application phase, you will be able to select different allocation amounts for each employee.

Don't worry, we're just looking at options right now. If you don’t know your employees’ living situations, just use these averages to estimate.

For most businesses, 65 per cent of employees will have dependents and 35 per cent will have no dependents³.

For example, Business A has 55 employees in total.

  • Employees with dependents: 55 x 0.65 (65%) = 33

  • Single: 55 x 0.35 (35%) = 17

Remember, we are just looking at options for now. Once we get to the application stage, you will need more specific employee details including exact totals for single employees and employees with dependents.

³Alberta Blue Cross® data

The Employee Choice™ plan is ideal for small to mid-size businesses looking to provide effective and affordable health coverage for their employees.

Unlike standard benefit plans where the cost can fluctuate significantly from year to year depending on employees' use of benefits, this plan will keep your costs predictable and stable. You have complete control over plan funding by determining how much to allocate to your employees' Health Spending Accounts. Once that is set, employee expenditures cannot exceed this limit, so your costs won't increase.

Employees will appreciate the flexibility and control this plan gives them over their own health. Once you set the amount, employees can choose where and how they spend their allocated dollars to best meet their needs within the set amount. This gives your employees flexibility to choose how to spend their health care credits on things like vision care, chiropractic care, physiotherapy and so on.

On top of the Health Spending Account, employers can choose what additional benefits they'd like to offer depending on their budget, such as our recommended peace of mind coverage, virtual care and life insurance.

Employees get choice and employers get cost certainty.

Employees have two years to use the spending account dollars you allocate to them. If they don’t use their credits in that time, they will be credited back to you.