Netflix-style approach to wellbeing: Why PHSPs are the future of mental health

In the current climate, it's incumbent employers do everything they can support their people authentically

Netflix-style approach to wellbeing: Why PHSPs are the future of mental health

As we move further into 2022, wellness and health have become two of the most pressing concerns for HR leaders. Employers are urged to move away from the archaic ‘one-size-fits-all’ benefits approach and instead embrace the future – tailored, accessible plans.

Speaking to HRD, Fiona Wahl of Brock Health, revealed that the next few years should see HR look for a more nuanced style of wellbeing strategy.

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“I would really hope that the future of benefits in Canada would be something that employees are able to maximize - a benefits plan that they're actually able to use,” she explained. “A lot of the complaints that we hear from clients is that, while they have coverage, it's not for things that apply to their employees. That’s hands down the biggest issue.”

This is why employers are urged to consider alternative approaches to benefits – specifically Private Health Services Plans (PHSP), otherwise known as Health Spending Accounts (HSA). These plans offer the much-needed flexibility for employers and their employees, allowing people to prioritise health expenses that apply to them.

“When our clients find out about Health Spending Accounts, they're absolutely thrilled,” added Wahl. “That’s because they know that their employees are going to be able to use it. We're seeing companies want to offer benefits that their employees can use in their own time. The flexibility of HSA’s offer high value to employees for which employers can easily budget based on a straightforward fee structure. Once the annual dollar limit is set, employees can basically customize their own coverage. Counselling, orthodontics, and fertility treatments are just some of the more unique expenses that are eligible with these plans.”

PHSPs allow staff to take control of their wellbeing – giving some adaptability to choose how they spend their annual amount. This flexibility has been embraced by many employers, who’ve seen a rising demand for mental health services since the pandemic – something that Wahl believes will only continue to grow in 2022 and beyond.

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In the current climate, where over half of employees are suffering silently with depression and stress, it’s incumbent that employers do everything they can support their people authentically. Independent benefits plans mean that workers don’t have to be dictated to when it comes to psychological health. If they believe they’d benefit from one-on-one therapy rather than an online group course, they can – and without any extra cost to you as the employer.

Realistically, it comes down to promoting independent health – a Netflix-style approach that allows employees to pick and choose what works for them. And, if we’ve learned anything over the past few months, it’s that no one employee is the same. What works for one won’t necessarily work for another. So, get ahead of the game, and invest in real-time, personalized plans – it’s the future of Canadian health.


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