Even before COVID-19 arrived, there were many employees being laid off in a variety of sectors, but here in Alberta, the oil and gas industry was especially hard hit. However, there have also been layoffs of teachers, nurses, restaurant, airline, and hotel staff.
Suddenly, many people who have lost their employee health benefit plans along with their jobs are looking for other options now. People moving from being “employees” to “entrepreneurs” are considering Personal Spending Accounts or PSAs.
In addition, employers are trying to add value to their Benefit Plans without sending their costs soaring. They have also been looking into “Flexible Spending Accounts” which are exactly the same thing as Personal Spending Accounts.
What are Personal Spending Accounts?
Whether they are held by employees or entrepreneurs, Personal Spending Accounts provide the individuals with flexibility in terms of where their health benefit dollars are spent. Especially with COVID-19, there has been an increased awareness of mental health issues, alternative health therapies and life/work balance in our society, and this means individuals are more interested in taking better care of their health through the use of a range of approaches and health professionals. The “one-size-fits-all” Benefits Plan no longer serves employees or entrepreneurs as well as it used to.
How do PSA’s Work?
A Personal Spending Account gives employees the opportunity to select their benefits from a range of options. Rather than being limited by dollar amounts in specific categories, some of which they will never use, employees can determine how best to spend their benefit dollars. This means they can choose to include working on preserving and maintaining health, such as with a gym membership, or home exercise equipment, even membership fees for sports teams. Employees are able to use benefits to pursue health rather than only using benefits to address health problems.
At Health Risk Services, we are able to create Stand Alone Personal Spending Accounts OR set them beside Traditional Plans, or combine them with Health Spending Accounts, creating what we call a “Flexible Spending Account.”
If you are interested in learning how a Personal Spending Account could be created at your company, or for you personally as an entrepreneur, talk to us. Health Risk Services has been creating and managing Personal Spending Accounts, Flexible Spending Accounts and Health Spending Accounts for over 20 years for many clients across Canada! We have the experience to create the type of “spending account” that will suit your personal, individualized, and unique circumstances.
Give us a call at 403-236-9430