The Affordable Care Act does not require small businesses to provide health benefits to their employees, but a quality health insurance plan can be an invaluable asset anyway. Current employees value the benefit and are more likely to stick around for the long haul, and prospective workers will give health insurance considerable weight when deciding between job offers. On top of helping your business attract and retain the best workers, health insurance keeps them healthier and improves workplace productivity.
But of course, group health insurance comes at a cost. If you’re worried about the cost of premiums, you might be interested in learning some creative tactics to help you manage them.
Combine a high-deductible policy with a health savings account (HSA). As with any type of insurance, a higher deductible translates into a lower premium for you. But of course, your employees might not be too happy about having to meet a high deductible before their health benefits kick in each year. First, remember that some plan features, like preventive care, might not be subject to the deductible. So your employees will still reap some value from their plan, regardless of whether they meet their deductible each year. But when you combine the plan with a health savings account, you help your employees manage their health care expenses by offering them a way to save pre-tax money for out-of-pocket costs.
Keep premiums low by reducing payouts. When you provide employees with incentives to mange their own health, you can reduce payouts and keep insurance costs low for everyone. Many employers have begun offering wellness programs and free gym memberships to workers. Some even sponsor weight loss or smoking cessation “contests”, provide healthy options in the break room, and even reward employees who attend health information sessions. Show you care for your workers while also helping to manage your own overhead expenses.
Use the SHOP Exchange. The Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) can help you locate lower-cost group health insurance plans, and also take advantage of tax credits that might be available to you. Compare the cost of providing group health insurance with the savings you receive through a tax credit, and you might be pleasantly surprised!
These are just some of the ways you can provide valuable health care benefits to your employees, while saving money on premiums. For more help with your health insurance options, call our office to schedule a consultation. We specialize in helping small business owners locate the right insurance options at an affordable price.