Obamacare: Creating an Employee Health Benefits Package for Small Businesses

When starting a small business, you need to decide whether you want to secure an office space for rent or whether you will purchase an office space outright. That decision will be made depending on your type of business and how much startup capital that you have. Chances are you will decide to rent an office space. Whichever way you decide to go, just make sure that your operating budget will not be stretch to the limit. You need to allow for other expenditures such as employee benefits plans and also have a cushion for emergency expenses that might arise unexpectedly.

As an incentive for small businesses, the government gives tax breaks for certain employee benefits plans. If you have several employees, you will probably want to provide health benefits for yourself and your staff. These benefits might include health insurance, life insurance and health savings accounts. Employees like the flexibility of choosing from a variety of benefits offered. By providing these benefits, you will boost employee morale, and place your small business in a better position to retain your current employees. A good benefits package will also assist in attracting new employees.

When contemplating whether or not to add these benefits, you will need to consider whether you will pay for these benefits entirely, or whether you will make the decision to ask your employees to pay for a portion of the benefit costs. Many small businesses will have to share these costs with their employees. If employees are asked to pay a portion of the costs, it would be advisable that you seek out the most cost effective premiums available for your employees. Most employees cannot afford high premiums for group insurance, especially for family coverage.

When searching for an insurance carrier, you will probably want to find an insurance agent that represents several different providers in order to get a competitive rate on the insurance. Another option would be for you could to entertain quotes from several different insurance agents, and then choose the best plan for your company. That is the key – to find the plan that is right for your small group. Group insurance is a wonderful way to insure your employees; with group coverage, everyone in the group is accepted, no matter what pre-existing conditions they might have. Health insurance is considered a very important employee benefit because making just one trip to the hospital for treatment of a major illness, without having health insurance, could potentially mean financial ruin for your employee. A catastrophic illness would certainly bankrupt them. And let’s face it, good employees are hard to find these days. You certainly do not want to lose your best employees due to a lack of health insurance coverage.

There are a variety of health insurance carriers to choose from in the United States. Blue Cross Blue Shield is one option for small businesses. They provide plans for 2-14 employees for health insurance, and also provide dental insurance plans. United Healthcare is another option. And there are many more companies from which to choose. So do your research. Offering a plan that is just right for your small business is the key to successfully recruiting employees, as well as retaining those employees. It is also paramount in sustaining satisfaction and productivity among your employees.

According to About.com, health savings accounts are a benefit that has become very popular among small businesses today. These accounts are tax-exempt, and they can be used to pay for certain types of medical expenses. In addition to providing your employees with a tax break, these plans can also help to minimize the health insurance expenses for your small business. These accounts may be used to pay for insurance deductibles and other health related expenses, such as prescription drugs and office visit/service co-pays. As stated in HSACenter.com for 2012, the amount a single person may contribute is $3,100; as much as $6,250 may be contributed for a family account. And for persons who are 55+ years of age, they may contribute $1,000 more to their health savings plan. With a benefit such as this, everyone is likely to participate.

No matter your size, a small business needs to protect its employees, and owner as well, with a health insurance plan. There are a variety of plans out there from which to choose. Just make sure that you plan adequately so that you can choose the best plan available for your small business. Money spent on a health benefits plan will be a good value to your company, not only for yourself, but for your employees. Everyone is more likely to remain healthy. And don’t forget, with group health insurance, everyone is accepted in the group – pre-existing conditions will not make them excluded from the plan. So go out there and find the best plan you and for your small business group. Your employees will thank you, and in the long run, you will ultimately save money because your employees will be healthier and remain on the job more. Employees are more likely to remain with your small business if you provide them with a good benefits package.

Eric Thompson is a guest Blogger for the Guardian Express. He hails from the great State of Texas, where he lives with his two dogs, who help him keep away depression, and squirrels.

You can view his blog here: http://www.officespaceforrent.org

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.