Group Benefits


Group benefits: Employee benefits, ASO, group health insurance with DBA

Our customized group benefits and employee insurance solutions make your company an attractive place to work while saving you money. We recommend a mix of benefits that best suits the needs of your staff.

Your Trusted Group Benefits Provider

DBA is independent of all group insurance carriers. We work directly for our clients making our loyalty clear. We keep benchmarking data, up-to-date pooling levels/charges and out of country rates on file in our office which are used as a resource during our renewal negotiations. These resources position DBA to negotiate effectively on behalf of our clients.

DBA has established preferred relationships with many providers due to the size of our block of business, as well as our knowledge and commitment to the industry. These relationships allow us to request exceptions and explore different avenues to offer our clients better solutions.

Our goal is to offer our clients options that reduce costs but do not reduce coverage. We have been very successful at offering solutions to clients that reduce administration fees charged by the group insurance carriers. Under an Administrative Services Only (ASO) or Refund Accounting model, we can structure the plan so that our clients have access to surplus refunds. We have also been able to offer clients options to reduce costs for AD&D and Long Term Disability coverage through specialty providers.

Employee Support

We provide support for employees as they learn to navigate their employee insurance coverage. Whatever it takes to get your employees on the right track, our associates are standing by to help. We also provide Health Care Spending Accounts and Cost Plus arrangements to deliver tax effective compensation.

Types of Employee Benefits Coverage

Here are the types of coverage you may wish to include in your employee benefits plan.

Flexible Employee Benefits Plans allow employees to choose the benefits and the level of coverage that is most useful for them. For example, employees can either purchase more expensive plans or choose more basic coverage. Flex plans allow the employer and the employee to communicate and share the cost of the benefits.

Wellness Programs are a great addition to employee benefits plans. They help to promote health and wellness within your organization and can help retain and attract employees. These programs provide education and support for employees to live healthier lives and can be designed to cover a wide variety of eligible expenses such as gym memberships, child care, exercise equipment and more.

Within a group benefits plan, Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) provide immediate and confidential help for employees and eligible family members and are available anytime, anywhere.

EAP’s offer short-term counseling for challenges such as mental health concerns, grief and loss, addiction, debt management, finding child daycare or improving nutrition.

Group Life Insurance is a common group benefits coverage option. There are three types of group life insurance you can choose from:

Basic Life

  • Offers tax free payment to the beneficiary of your choosing
  • Typically based on multiples of salary and can include commission or bonus

Dependent Life

  • Covers your dependent (children) or spouse
  • Is a flat amount of insurance ranging from $2,500 to $25,000

Optional Life

  • Is the ability to purchase additional insurance through the group plan
  • Coverage is age banded and updated every 5 years
  • A completed medical questionnaire is required; acceptance is not guaranteed

Income Replacement or Group Disability Insurance are coverage options within a group benefits plan that protects your employees from unexpected life events.

Short Term Disability (STD)

  • Offers a percentage of your weekly income payable for up to 17 weeks
  • Can be structured as tax free or taxable depending on who pays the premium
  • STD can work in conjunction with Employment Insurance by implementing a supplementary plan

Long Term Disability (LTD)

  • Offers a percentage of your monthly income payable for 2 years, 5 years or to age 65
  • It can be structured as tax free or taxable depending on who pays the premium

AD&D Basic

AD&D Basic coverage is typically equal to the group’s life insurance coverage and pays a set benefit if the insured person dies or is dismembered in an accident.

AD&D Optional

AD&D Optional allows employees to purchase additional AD&D coverage through the group benefit plan above the basic AD&D amount.

Your organization’s employee insurance plan can include many Group Health Insurance coverage options including:

Group Health

Group Health Coverage provides coverage supplemental to government healthcare plans and can include many benefits such prescription drugs, physiotherapy, chiropractor, semi-private hospital, orthotics, and travel coverage.

Group Health Coverage is guaranteed to employees and their eligible dependents. There are no medical questions.

Dental Coverage

Dental Coverage allows for reimbursement for a variety of dental expenses such as cleaning, examinations, filings, x-rays and can include root canals, implants and even orthodontics.

  • HSA’s can be standalone plans or used to enhance existing benefits plans
  • Employees submit claims against their annual HSA for health and dental claims that would be CRA approved such as orthodontia, physiotherapy, glasses
  • HSAs give employees flexibility to customize their coverage to meet their needs
  • Expenses are deductible corporately and non-taxable personally

Critical Illness

Critical Illness Insurance complements disability, life, and health benefits within your company’s employee insurance plan. If employees should suffer a covered illness, they would be paid a one-time, lump sum benefit following a specified survival period and approval of their claim.

The benefit is paid regardless of whether they are able to work or what expenses they have incurred. Employees collect the full amount even if they make a full recovery. And they can use the money any way they want such as to seek other treatment, buy specialized equipment or pay down their mortgage.

Travel & Business Insurance protects your workers when working abroad. Coverage options include:

Business Travel

Business Travel can help employees access care while working outside of Canada. Coverage is flexible and can be customized to meet the needs of employees and meet the objectives of your business. Business Travel coverage can include trip cancellation, lost baggage as well as multi-trip insurance.

Emergency Out of Country Coverage

Out-of-Country Emergency Medical Coverage provides benefits during a medical emergency while plan members and their covered family members are temporarily outside Canada for vacation, education or business.

Expatriate Insurance Cross Border Employee Transfer

  • Allows employers in Canada to offer coverage to employees working overseas
  • Coverage is tailored to the country they are working in

US International

  • Ability to implement US Plans based on US coverage norms
  • Ability to set up plans with as few as 4 employees

Administrative Services Only Plans


An affordable alternative to traditional insurance

Administrative Services Only (ASO), also called Self-insurance, saves your company money on administrative and inflation costs.

Types of Employee benefits | David Burns & Associates

DBA is a firm believer in alternative funding arrangements such as the ASO model. Our philosophy is always to reduce the administration fees paid to the group insurance carriers while offering our clients the same, and sometimes better, coverage. One option is to implement an ASO on the lower risk components of the plan such as Dental coverage, due to annual maximums built into the plan. Most carriers would allow these to be implemented behind the scenes to reduce employee disruption.

The savings go deep

ASO generally leads to significant savings, read our sample spreadsheet to see where you will save.


Contact our office for a complimentary quote on an ASO model – you will be pleasantly surprised at the savings.