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Supporting Small Business

Making It Easier for Small Businesses to Offer Employee Health Benefits

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Marc Avaria

Executive Vice President, Group Benefits at Equitable Life

Small businesses employed more than 10 million Canadians last year.1

It’s no wonder they are often described as the backbone of the Canadian economy.

But running a small business isn’t easy. Just finding and keeping good people can be a big challenge. It’s more important than ever for small businesses to have competitive health benefits to help attract and retain top talent.


“A health benefits plan is becoming a must-have for smaller companies who want to compete for the best people,” says Marc Avaria, Executive Vice President, Group Benefits at Equitable Life. “The problem is, they’re competing with larger organizations with big budgets and more resources. They need a benefits solution that’s affordable, sustainable and easy to manage.”

That’s why Equitable Life recently introduced Equitable EZBenefits™ , a unique benefits solution designed specifically for the needs of small business. Available to organizations with between 2 and 25 employees, it allows small employers to offer competitive benefits without breaking the bank. 2

“We created EZBenefits to provide a benefits solution that’s affordable and easy,” says Avaria. “Easy to understand, easy to implement and administer, and easy to use.

Options to fit every need

Whether a small business is a start-up or in growth mode, EZBenefits offers a range of plan design options to match different needs and budgets, including a mix of Life, Health and Dental coverage. 3 Employers can also add Long-Term Disability (LTD) coverage or a Health Care Spending Account (HCSA).

Embedded health and wellness services

To provide employees with extra support for both their physical and mental wellbeing, EZBenefits includes additional health and wellness services at no extra cost. Employees will have access to Virtual Healthcare from Dialogue and an Employee and Family Assistance Program provided by Homewood Health®.

Extra HR support

Because of their size, small businesses often don’t have in-house HR departments or expertise to handle the day-to-day needs of their people and the personnel issues that can arise.

So EZBenefits also comes with built-in HR support tools and services through Equitable Life’s partnership with HRdownloads®. Employers receive access to an award-winning human resource information system, a library of over 3,000 HR documents and templates with 25 free downloads, a free Workplace Diversity and Inclusion online training course, and free HR advice call with a seasoned HR expert.

“We wanted to help take the heavy lifting out of common human resources tasks and provide small businesses with extra HR advice and support,” adds Don Bisch, Director of Group Marketing at Equitable Life. “That’s why we embedded HR client support and health and wellness services in each plan design,” Bisch explains.

Find out more

Small business owners interested in learning more about EZBenefits  and how it can help their small business should contact their advisor. Or they can visit info.equitable.ca/ezbenefits to explore plan design options and get connected with an independent group benefits advisor.

1 Statistics Canada, 2022
2 Not available in Quebec.
3 Dental coverage is not included with the Bronze plan design option.
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