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The “Use It or Lose It” Benefits Race

As year end approaches, we often see vendors aggressively promoting their services with witty and alluring advertisements that encourage employees to max out their benefits before they expire. This seemingly innocent marketing tactic can have damaging effects on your premiums and bottom line. 

With ad copy like “‘Tis the season to use up your benefits on a massage!”, “It’s like money down the drain!” and communication that encourages customers to “reap the benefits of your plan!” it’s no wonder that employees look at using their benefits as a holiday gift to themselves. These promotions sensationalize the “use it or lose it” mentality and encourage the false notion that benefits have to be maxed out. This further feeds the misconception that benefits are a part of the employee’s compensation and if they are not utilized it is “money down the drain”.

Not only is this incorrect and uninformed, this frame of thought is part of a deeper issue related to employee benefit abuse, and something we see far too often. Read our article on “3 Ways to Limit Plan Abuse” for a deeper dive into this topic.

The ugly side of this trend, and something that most employees don’t realize, is that an end of year influx of transactional costs can quickly lead to increases in premiums. This is why we encourage our plan administrators to caution employees to “use only what is needed” for their drug, dental or paramedical coverages. Alternatively, constantly maxed benefits can have damaging impacts to the company and what they’re able to offer their employees in future benefit plans. 

For more support on this topic and other HR issues, please contact us at hr@beneplan.ca