Not all small businesses have a benefit package for their employees, especially for new associates in their initial 90 day period. Some can’t afford it (or only think they can’t) and others aren’t aware of the positive effect providing your staff with insurance and other benefits can have. Employees that have sufficient benefits are more satisfied in their position and contribute to higher morale because they feel taken care of. When your employees are taken care of, they will take care of you. Employers need to consider their financial limitations, whether or not they want to offer wellness programs, and what the insurance company’s administrative requirements are.  You should consider the quality of the insurance company’s customer service when making your choice. Studies show employees value health plans more than increased vacation time or other perks. The bigger your staff, the better deal you may be able to get. Providing benefits helps you retain good employees.

You want to find out if the insurance company is licensed, accredited, and financially secure. You’ll want to know if the plan is easy to administer. Does the plan offer enough types of doctors? What about extended plans for spouses and children? It’s better if the locations of the services offered are conveniently located for your employees. There are different types of services that different plans cover and don’t cover. You want to find out about out-of-pocket expenses for each employee and if they can be covered out of network should an emergency arise. Also consider aspects such as preventative care.

Besides health insurance, there are other benefits you can choose to include in the employee package. These can include sick leave, personal days, vacation time, a 401K or other retirement plan, life insurance, childcare coverage, and relocation or travel reimbursement. The choice and necessity for all these depends on the type, size, and budget of your business.  Of course, the more you are able to provide, the better.

Before you decide on a health (and other benefits) plan, you should sit down with your employees and find out what they need and want. Doing that first will avoid dissatisfaction in the future and you will learn what you really need to focus on and what you can do without.


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