How Pacific Blue Cross is innovating for healthier British Columbians
The need for benefits as flexible as you are
From the rise of telecommuting and flexible work-from-home arrangements to the end of the 9-to-5 workday, the norms of the modern workforce have transformed dramatically over the last half-century thanks to large-scale shifts in the generational makeup of the workforce. Independent, self-employed workers in British Columbia are often choosing more flexible contract jobs and short-term “gigs” over permanent workplace positions. Contrary to popular belief, this new part-time economy is made up of not just millennials, but also a growing number of retiree-aged workers turning to freelance opportunities to supplement their retirement income. While increased flexibility brings new autonomy, it can mean less security for workers who find themselves without the traditional health benefits packages that come with permanent jobs. Thankfully, due to modernized health benefits plans, British Columbians do not need to choose between flexibility and security. As the largest direct-to-consumer health insurance provider in British Columbia, Pacific Blue Cross has proactively worked to develop and modernize its product offerings to meet the unique needs of this changing workforce.
Extended health benefit options for the self-employed
With the second-largest population of self-employed workers in the country, British Columbia’s growing gig-economy workforce needs a flexible health benefits plan on par with the level of coverage offered by a traditional employer. To develop a benefits plan tailored to the unique needs of the self-employed or gig-economy worker, Pacific Blue Cross partnered with local company Vancity, a credit union with a long history of serving entrepreneurs and small businesses, to launch the Vancity Member Health Benefits Plan. The plan’s architects engaged a community of entrepreneurs and small businesses to help build a modular and flexible plan – designed by workers for workers – that can be customized to meet every individual’s needs, providing smaller employers with more flexible coverage than traditional business plans and more robust coverage than individual plans. With the largest network of health providers in the province, time-strapped entrepreneurs and small-business owners need not worry about submitting a claim or paying up front; providers will bill the plan directly, so you can focus on what’s important: your hustle.
Flexible health benefits plans for retirees
As seniors continue to live longer into their retirement, the increased likelihood of developing chronic degenerative conditions may mean extended periods of informal care, and more sustained out-of-pocket costs for additional expenses outside of provincial primary health care coverage. In recognition of the long-term nature of senior medical care, the Pacific Blue Cross Retirement Health Benefits Plan was designed to accommodate changes in retirees’ health-care needs. The first of its kind to allow members to modify their coverage on an ongoing basis, the plan allows members to adjust their health, prescription and dental coverage depending on their changing individual care needs. Another differentiator of the Retirement Health Benefits Plan is its coverage of prescription drugs. Knowing that pharmaceutical costs often constitute the bulk of health expenses in retirement, and given the increasingly high costs of drugs entering the market, the plan offers the highest level of prescription drug coverage of any personal health retirement plan to help you get the lowest prices in retirement.
Visit pac.bluecross.ca to learn more.