Health & Dental Insurance Online

Now you can buy individual and family health and dental insurance directly online:

For Manulife FlexCare and FollowMe plans click HERE 

For Sun Life HCC conversion health plans click HERE

For Sun Life PHI personal health plans click HERE


What type of coverage do you most need help with?
Life / Mortgage Insurance
Disability Insurance
Employee Health & Dental Benefits
Critical Illness Insurance
Personal Health Trust/PHSP
Total votes: 266

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Dear Rachel: I run a successful business with twenty employees and would like to start offering benefits, but want to get an idea of the cost first. I've looked online but can't find anything. Could you please give me some insight on what I'm getting myself into?

The answer is: it depends... but that's not very helpful! So, I've compiled a list of benefits, design options, and ballpark costs to get you started.


Age - Is your average employee age 35? Great news! Your Life Insurance and Long Term Disability premiums will reflect this. Conversely, if your employees are all in their 60's it can really affect costs.

Gender - Did you know that statistically, women are more likely than men to make a Long Term Disability claim? This can be reflected in your disability premiums when your employee base trends towards one gender or the other.

Volume - Single or family? Depending on whether your employees have dependents, rates for Health, Dental and Vision can vary. Expect to pay approximately double the Single rate for Family coverage.

Life and Dependent Life Insurance, Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D), Short and Long Term Disability and Critical Illness coverage amounts all vary depending on plan design. They can be indexed to earnings or offered as a flat amount; your premium cost is based on the total volume of coverage.

Sample monthly rates:

- Life Insurance can range from $0.10 to $1.00 per $1,000 of coverage; Dependent Life Insurance can range from $1.00 to $4.00 per employee with dependents.

- AD&D from $0.03 to $0.25 per $1,000.

- Short and Long Term Disability can range vastly depending on the plan design; expect to pay between $0.20 and $1.00 per $10 of weekly earnings for Short Term, and between $0.20 and $3.00 per $100 of monthly earnings for Long Term Disability.

- Critical Illness can range from $0.10 to $4.00 per $1,000 of coverage.

Industry - Are your employees working in a professional office at a desk? Or are they involved in manual tasks such as lifting inventory and using heavy machinery? Depending on what industry your business is in, your employees are more likely to make certain types of claims.

Turnover - If you've had a benefits plan for a while, have you marketed your plan more than every three years? Does your employee base have a lot of "churn"? This can add up to extra risk for the insurer that you may not be a loyal customer, or that there will be additional administration required. Insurance carriers love stable employee bases because it helps them to predict claiming patterns more accurately when setting rates.


Extended Health Coverage (EHC): What's driving the cost of EHC is prescription drug coverage; drugs tend to comprise the majority of claims your employees will make. Typical coverage is 80% coinsurance (or 20% out of pocket to the employee), and a marquee plan will offer 100%.

Other "rate affecters": Paramedical practitioner coverage for services such as physio, chiro, and massage. Typical coverage ranges from $200 to $500 per practitioner per year. Hospital room upgrades can include a semi-private or private room.

What You'll Pay: Rates for Health coverage generally range from $30 Single to $150 per employee with dependents per month.

Dental: Dental plans are usually divided into three increasing levels of coverage, Basic, Major and Orthodontic Services. Basic covers regular cleanings and check-ups. The best plans cover recall exams every six months, but this can range to 9 or 12 months. Major coverage is for more in depth work such as crowns and bridges. Orthodontics can be limited to dependent children only or be inclusive of adults.

Other "rate affecters": Each of these coverage levels comes with its own coinsurance level and possible deductibles. Cream of the crop plans offer 100% Basic, 80% Major and 50% Orthodontics, but for some small businesses offering only 80% Basic can be a welcome perk. Coverage maximums also affect the rate; offerings range from $500 to $3,000 for each of Basic and Major or a combination of the two. Ortho usually comes with a lifetime maximum of $1,000 but this can range from $500 to $5,000.

What You'll Pay: Rates for Dental coverage generally range from $30 Single to $150 per Employee with Dependents per month.

Health Spending Accounts / Cost Plus: There are ways to offer flexible personalized coverage without insurance. These arrangements allow small business owners to set annual limits, and employees to spend coverage credits at their own discretion.

Again, it needs to be said that these are ballpark figures and your rates will be specific to your plan and the employees it will cover. If you want to get started with a quote or for more information, please feel free to contact me at or 604.872.2866. Or, you can request a quote here.

When setting up your payroll system or doing T4s, you'll need to know which employee benefits are taxable.

The benefits for which an employer’s contributions are taxable are: Life & Dependent Life Insurance, AD&D Insurance, Critical Illness Insurance and Provincial Medical Services Plan premiums.

For other group benefits such as: Extended Health Care, Vision Care, Dental Care and Health Spending Accounts, employer contributions are tax-free.

In the case of Disability Insurance, employer contributions have potential taxation consequences for the employee if claims are paid.
Group Life & Dependent Life Insurance
·         Employer paid life insurance premiums are a taxable benefit to the employee, and added to the employee’s T4
·         Death Benefits are not taxable to the recipient
Accidental Death & Dismemberment & Critical Illness (Non-ROP) Insurance
·         Employer paid life insurance premiums are a taxable benefit to the employee, and added to the employee’s T4 (new for 2013)
·         Benefits are not taxable to the recipient
Extended Health Care, Vision Care, Dental Care and Health Spending Accounts (HSA)
·         Employer paid premiums are not a taxable benefit to the employee
Disability Insurance (Weekly Indemnity and Long Term Disability)
·         Employer paid premiums are not a taxable benefit to the employee
·         Any employer contributions to the premium will result in disability benefits paid to employees to become subject to income tax
·         Employers may choose to do payroll deductions from employees to ensure disability claim payments are tax free, OR, employers may pay the premiums and employees will pay income tax on the disability benefits received
·         Some companies choose to add the disability premiums to each employee’s T4 as is done with Life Insurance; however, the CRA may not find this an acceptable method of making the benefits tax free
Provincial Medical Services Plans such as BC MSP
·         Employer paid premiums are a taxable benefit to the employee

This information is provided for the purposes of designing benefits cost sharing arrangements; for detailed tax information please consult with your business accountant.

Many of our clients are champions of the environment, and we are proud to work on their behalf to provide benefits to employees in the most sustainable manner possible.

The insurance industry is still a very paper intensive business; but we are doing what we can to improve the situation. Here are the top 5 strategies that True Benefits suggests to create an effective and conscientious benefits plan.

#1: Suppress Printed Materials: True Benefits can arrange with your insurance carrier to reduce the printed material produced. Employee benefit booklets, contracting, and administrative guides can all be offered in digital format. Employees can log into a secure website that will contain all of their benefits details.

#2: Implement Online Management: Plan Administrators can save time and reduce paperwork by managing the plan online, using features such as archived billing and instant reporting; employees can set up direct deposit and email claims notifications, and access coverage information. True Benefits works one-on-one to train your Administrator, and review the online system with employees as a group.

#3: Offer Pay Direct Claims: A pay-direct card enables employees to submit claims directly from the point of sale to the insurer. This saves the employee from filling out a paper form, while offering the benefit of instant reimbursement.

#4: Choose the Right Insurer: Several carriers now offer employees the ability to submit their claims directly over the internet using a secure online portal. Claims can be adjudicated with no paperwork and paid directly into the employee’s bank account. An email confirmation is sent instead of the traditional mailed statement.

#5: Encourage and Support Employee Wellness: Offering an Employee Wellness Program provides employees with a confidential resource to make healthy choices such as quitting smoking, improving nutrition or fitness, and managing stress. Employees feel more engaged when their place of business pursues making a positive difference in their lives. Best of all, many insurers are now offering Wellness Programs as a complimentary component of their extended health care coverage.

At True Benefits our focus is employee benefits; we specialize in helping small and mid-sized BC businesses create fantastic plans. The clients we work with care deeply about their employees and are recognized for providing some of the most creative and sought after benefits available.


Now you can buy your individual health and dental plan directly online. Below are links to both Manulife and Sun Life plans.

Please note that both insurers offer conversion products designed for people leaving an employer group plan in the last 60 days, with no medical questions asked. Manulife's conversion plan is called FollowMe, and Sun Life's is called Health Coverage Choice.

Manulife's FlexCare and Sun's Personal Health Insurance plans offer varying levels of coverage. These products are designed for people who are self-employed or do not have access to a group plan. Please be aware that some of the plans require a medical questionnaire, and we recommend you speak with an advisor at our office (604.872.2866) before submitting any medical information to an insurer.


For Manulife FlexCare and FollowMe plans click HERE 

For Sun Life HCC conversion health plans click HERE

For Sun Life PHI personal health plans click HERE


Benefits Plans

True Benefits can help you find the best employee benefits plan.

We have access to over 25 insurers.

Clients Say:

"Rachel is professional, courteous and very knowledgeable while providing outstanding customer service. She is well prepared, delivers personal service, and understands our desire to provide the best possible benefit plan to our employees in the most cost effective manner."

Anne, HR Manager

"I appreciate having a person who is both local and accessible, and was impressed with the initial presentation outlining the options available to us. It is extremely helpful to have Rachel advocating on our behalf."

Sarah, Business Owner

"True Benefits has totally met our needs. Rachel gives personalized attention, and is very thorough. She has suggested many good ideas that we have used to benefit our employees."

Vicki, Controller

"I have referred many clients to Rachel in the past, and without exception, they have all commented to me on her professionalism, vast industry knowledge, great service, and fast response time."


Thank you for everything that you have done for our family. We are grateful for all your hard work. We look forward to working with you again in the future.


"True Benefits has an understanding and awareness of the importance of an effective benefits program. They're proactive in looking for cost effective improvements to plan design and cost containment strategies. My expectations were exceeded - Rachel delivered as promised in a timely manner."

Norrey, CFO

"Thank you Rachel. Great service as always. You anticipated our needs."

Pam, HR Director

I used True Benefits to sort through a tricky health insurance issue related to immigration status and an expired work permit.  Rachel recommended a cost effective solution and quickly verified the policy was the best choice for my situation.  My new health coverage was effective within 2 hours of my initial call to Rachel!  I highly recommend working with Rachel at True Benefits for cost effective solutions and friendly and efficient service.


Your attention to detail and willingness to never to never take "no" for an answer on my behalf left me in awe of your business ethics.

I will continue to use your services, based on your work ethic and my ability to trust that the policy you are suggesting is perfect for me.