The healthcare debate rages on, and often at the center of it are small businesses. Health insurance for employees is a cost of doing businesses, but as premiums continue to rise, small business owners are finding it’s difficult if not entirely unsustainable for them to continue carrying the costs. As a result, many businesses are either asking employees to carry more of the financial burden of their healthcare, or they’re completely eliminating benefits. This is problematic on its own, however, because it’s difficult to retain top talent when you’re not offering benefits. So what can small businesses do? There are some steps that can be taken to reduce healthcare costs.
Join a Health Benefit Card Program
One of the simplest ways to cut some of the healthcare costs for you and your employees is to join a healthcare card program like SingleCare. With SingleCare, you can join the program for free, and your employees can then save quite a bit on health services, including prescriptions and dental. This is a benefit that not only makes health care services more affordable, but it can also be offered to part-time and seasonal employees, and all the company needs to get your employees started is their name and basic information.
Focus on Preventative Options
There are a lot of things you can do that are free or inexpensive to help your employees stay healthier, thereby reducing some of the healthcare costs for your small business. You can offer things like flu shots and regular screening for cancer, as well as sessions to help people end unhealthy habits like smoking. You may be investing some money up front, but the businesses that have implemented these preventative wellness programs have found that they’ve ultimately saved a lot of money. It can also be a popular perk for employees, and it will improve productivity.
Introduce Health Savings Accounts
Health savings accounts can be a strong option for small businesses, and they’re tax exempt, which is something employees appreciate. These accounts can be used by employees to pay for medical expenses, so you reduce insurance costs, while employees get tax savings. Even tracking the financial essentials with HJS Recovery might be useful. These savings accounts are for people with high-deductible insurance plans, and if your employee leaves the company, they can bring the account with them.
Shop Around and Negotiate
Finally, you’re going to have to plan on shopping around probably every year with the way health insurance is currently going, and you also need to negotiate. A lot of small businesses think that if they receive a new premium amount that’s it, and that’s not necessarily true. Businesses do have the leverage to negotiate, particularly if they’re small businesses with 50 to 99 employees. You can also take the time to look around the SHOP exchange, which stands for the Small Business Health Options Exchange. This gives you the chance to see plans and prices, and view any applicable tax credit info that might be available to you. You can use the SHOP exchange to outline how much you want to pay toward premiums, and then employees can select from available plans. It’s a flexible way to offer different options that are well-suited to your employees.