Even companies with three or four employees can qualify for the Chambers Plan
The Chambers Plan will suit your company’s needs, deliver expert advice and offer rate stability
Without question, the Chambers Plan is popular: this group insurance plan is endorsed by 900 chambers of commerce and boards of trade across Canada, and more than 30,000 businesses currently participate in it.
But many eligible participants don’t know the specifics of the plan, which was designed to protect small and medium-sized businesses. Still others may have misconceptions about what type of company can qualify for protection.
“For example, a lot of people assume that small firms with only three or four employees won’t qualify for the Chambers Plan. Or that home-based businesses won’t qualify; or that high-risk sporting businesses such as rock-climbing or aviation-related adventure will have limited benefits. Not true at all,” says Ramon Solinas, president of Solinas & Associates Insurance Services Inc.
In fact, all for-profit businesses with anywhere from one to 50 employees that are members of a participating chamber of commerce or board of trade are eligible. And they can renew coverage indefinitely, as long as they maintain their chamber membership.
Guaranteed approval is another attraction of the plan: there are no health questions or medical exams separating applicants from a benefits program. Organizations with from one to nine employees can choose extensive dental coverage, and those with 10 or more can add orthodontics (this is in addition to options such as extended health-care benefits, critical-illness insurance and long- and short-term disability insurance, with the ability to adjust as the business expands).
Another major benefit of the Chambers Plan is rate stability: unlike most carriers, the plan utilizes a fully pooled and partial pooling concept on health and dental benefits. Small fluctuations in a firm’s claims do not automatically factor into the rates, giving it greater rate stability over the long term. In addition, all surpluses are reinvested in the plan to help control premiums.
But that’s not all, Solinas says: “One of the plan’s latest features is Business Assistance Services (BAS), which directly address the fact that most small businesses can’t afford specialists to help deal with unexpected problems that require an expert opinion.”
The BAS confidential service provides up to nine hours of professional accounting, counselling, legal and human resources experts, all presided over by Arete Human Resources Inc., which manages a national network of professionals just a quick, toll-free phone call away. The human-resources component is especially salient to any small business owner who has faced everything from termination processes and overtime pay to legislative or labour-law concerns.
Solinas & Associates Insurance Services Inc. is ideally positioned to link clients with a local advisor.
“It really is something small and medium-sized businesses should consider, and we are on hand to answer any questions they may have about it. Benefits are a big part of financial security, and the Chambers Plan is a simple, stable and smart choice for group benefits needs,” Solinas says.
You can find out more information about the plan and connect with a local advisor at Chambersplan.ca.