Between the time to assess and implement policies, administrative work to manage over time and costs, there’s no getting around it: employee benefits programs can be a pain. However, these programs provide a number of advantages employers cannot ignore. Business owners are not required to provide employees with health plans (in every state besides Hawaii), but for today’s workforce, they’re no longer a nice to have – they’re a necessity.
Employees expect to have some form of health care options from their employer, and about half (49%) of Americans obtain health care benefits through their place of work.
While the pros of health care benefits from the perspective of your employees might be clear, you may not understand how those benefits also impact your practice for the better.
Employees who are left to pay most of their health care costs out of pocket may choose to skip a visit to their doctor or accept necessary treatment for an illness, and are therefore less productive at work or call in sick.
On the other hand, those who feel they have adequate health coverage are healthier, more satisfied with their job, more engaged with colleagues and patients, and ultimately perform better. A happy staff means happy patients who will return to your practice time and time again.
Supporting staff with sufficient benefits also fosters loyalty. Two in five employees (42%) said that making improvements to their benefits is something employers could do to keep them in their jobs.
Today’s multigenerational workforce holds benefits to as high a standard – if not higher – as salary. Well over half (60%) of employees would take a job with lower pay but better benefits, while 16% said they had left or turned down a job in the prior 12 months due to the level of benefits offered.
This brings up the common challenge for business owners and employers to attract new talent. Two-thirds of small business owners surveyed in an eHealth study said they offer medical employee benefits in order to help them hire and retain the best employees. Additionally, according to a survey by Fractl and Harvard Business Review, 88% of job seekers gave better health, dental, and vision insurance some or heavy consideration when deciding whether to accept a job.
It may seem impossible to offer employees the benefits they want while maintaining your bottom line, but doing so actually comes with some cost perks. With more flexible plans available, employers are no longer expected to foot the entire bill for benefits; they can split costs with employees while providing more freedom when it comes to providers, treatments, and prescription medications.
Group plans are typically cheaper than individual plans, with lower premiums on average. In 2018, the average premium per person through a small business plan was $409 and the average premium for an individual health insurance plan was $440 and deductibles were 31% lower.
Additionally, businesses can deduct the entire cost of monthly premiums from federal business taxes, and health care compensation packages may also result in reduced payroll taxes.
Certain small businesses may even qualify for a tax credit if they meet certain criteria, including having less than 25 full-time or full-time equivalent employees, pay average wages of less than $50,000 annually per employee, and pay more than half of qualified employees’ health insurance premiums.
Built exclusively for Elite Hearing Network members and their employees, Advocacy Advantage, or A24U, is a robust benefits program that includes a variety of health, dental, vision, and short-term disability insurance options.
Employees value healthcare benefits above salary and other perks, and while there are cost and tax advantages for you, the positive impact that engaged and productive employees have for your business is priceless. Failure to provide the coverage your employees – both current and future – want and expect may seem like an easy way to save a buck, but it will come back to bite you in the long run.
Implementing a benefits package for your staff doesn’t have to be a burden. A24U is Elite Hearing Network’s exclusive health and wellness program, designed to streamline the process of assessing employee health plans and putting those plans into action. Contact us today to learn more about how this program can save you time and money while keeping employees happy.