If recent trends are any indication, a growing number of Canadians will continue their path to contract or self-employment in the years ahead. That movement, which accelerated during the COVID-19 crisis, has been ongoing for some time. The challenge is that gig, freelance, contract and self-employed individuals—not to mention smaller organizations with between one and 15 employees—have had few worthwhile group benefits coverage options. That is until now.
We’re very pleased to introduce Bridgewell Financial’s new Small Biz and Solopreneur Benefits program. Our goal was to offer a flexible, comprehensive package that provides families with the extended health and dental care that’s either been priced out of reach—or simply hasn’t been available—to micro-companies and on-demand professionals.
Just as importantly, our Small Biz and Solopreneur Benefits offer a wide range of wellness and mental health programs designed to help address your total well-being. That means employee assistance programs including everything from virtual access to counsellors and personal trainers to consultations with nutritionists and HR professionals (for business owners in need of talent-management expertise). Our plans also offer insurance such as income replacement and critical illness coverage to provide employees with added peace of mind.
The features don’t end there. Our fully digital platform is built to serve your needs as they evolve. We offer access to the world’s largest employee discount program—perfect at a time of soaring prices, when both consumer goods and services are subject to inflationary pressures—rewards and recognition programs to help enhance employee engagement and retention. Our program also offers a wide variety of voluntary lifestyle benefits ranging from pet insurance to legal assistance and consulting packages.
Take a look at our new Small Biz and Solopreneur Benefits page for the full details on our Gold, Silver and Bronze plan options.
A changing labour force
We believe that overall wellness starts with financial stability and security. That means having the right group benefits coverage options, whether you work for a large corporation, an SME or for yourself. Put simply, every Canadian should be able to address their physical and mental health, lifestyle and wellness needs, no matter their income or employment status. A growing number of group benefits providers are embracing the idea that it is possible to provide the kind of benefits flexibility that our changing workforce demands. And their timing couldn’t be better.
A recent survey found that as many as 30 per cent of ‘traditionally-employed’ Canadians plan to move to self-employment by the end of 2024. Fully 87 per cent say they’ll make the jump to self-employment as a choice rather than as a last resort—indicating that the trend is part of a permanent shift, rather than being driven by temporary macro-economic or market factors.
But Canadians who choose to take the entrepreneurial plunge also want to be able to rest easy knowing that if they need insurance coverage in case of disability or illness, or simply want to take a 30-day fitness challenge with their colleagues, they’ll have access to the resources they need to do it.
A plan built for dynamic businesses and workers
To deliver on that promise of accessibility, our Small Biz and Solopreneur Group Benefits are available on an automatic acceptance basis, with no medical exam required or exclusions for pre-existing medical conditions. They’re also portable and can move with you between employers or projects, ensuring that your coverage remains consistent even if your work situation changes. Besides being fully web-based to allow for a user-friendly digital experience and ease of use, our plans are also fully tax deductible. That enhances their affordability and makes it even easier to build a plan that caters to your total well-being.
This benefits package is a tool to empower solopreneurs and small businesses. It’s a way of delivering a wellness experience that’s never been available in the past, one that acknowledges that work is changing—and both workers’ and employers’ needs are changing along with it. Gone are the days when only large companies and corporations were able to offer relevant, comprehensive benefits to their employees. Now, even on-demand talent and smaller organizations can build a plan that’s customized to their needs—and take it with them wherever they go.
That’s a major step forward in the group benefits sector, and we’re excited to be on the forefront as our sector continues to evolve and adapt.
The Bridgewell Team