4 “Must-Haves” for a Small Business Employee Benefits Plan
As a small business owner, you know that a lot of hard work and determination are required in order to succeed. Your core group of employees are invaluable, and you want to both reward and support them. You think that now might be the right time to sponsor an employee benefits plan. So what next?
Benefits can support your small business
As a small business owner, you always look to balance quality with cost containment. You don’t have a lot of room in your budget to spend money carelessly, but you recognize the need for investing in your business by investing in your employees. There are a number of ways that an employee benefits plan can support your small business.
- Retain employees – Employee benefits plans have become commonplace and more and more employees want access to them. Employees increasingly understand that employee benefits are considered part of their “total compensation.” This is one way to reward employees and help discourage them from looking for employment elsewhere. Retaining good employees is an important strategy to grow your business and save money.
- Support employees – Your team works hard and likely assumes a wide range of roles within your small business. You value them and want to ensure they have the physical and mental support they need in order to live a healthy life. Employee benefits is an effective mechanism to offer this support.
- Increase productivity – Employees who are healthy and happy are more productive. If they have the tools to take care of their physical and mental health, they can focus on doing their best work. They’re less likely to be absent and they’re less likely to show up for work when they’re unwell. It’s a win/win.
- Attract new employees – When it comes time to grow your small business, an employee benefits plan can help you attract new employees. Prospective employees are more likely to choose a company with an employee benefits plan than one without. Sponsoring an employee benefits plan can help you compete for the best employees.
Now that you know some of the ways that an employee benefits plan can support your small business, it’s time to look at which benefits you should include in your plan.
- Extended Health and Dental – The foundation of any employee benefit plan, extended health and dental are a must-have. They are the most utilized and the highest-profile of all employee benefits.
Extended health benefits typically cover prescription drugs, paramedical services (like massage and chiro) and vision care. This coverage is important to help treat health issues that arise, such as antibiotics that are required to treat an infection. It’s also important for preventing issues from arising or escalating. For example, a vision test may identify the onset of a health issue such as diabetes.
- Disability – When an employee is absent due to a disability, they will likely find it very challenging to pay for their day-to-day living expenses without any income. Disability benefits provide some replacement income to help employees during a very challenging time. At GroupHEALTH, these benefits also come with disability management services to help the employee get back to work as soon as they’re able. They’re a must-have in any employee benefit plan.
- Life Insurance and Critical Illness Coverage – These coverages are an important element to your employee benefits plan because they provide some financial security during life’s most challenging times. Life insurance pays a lump sum upon the death of a covered individual, while critical illness coverage pays if your employee is diagnosed with a covered critical illness. Unfortunately, these things do happen, but your employees can have some comfort in knowing that if the unthinkable happens, there will be some financial support available.
- Wellness – Making a deliberate effort to improve the health of the mind and body is what wellness is all about. It’s a must-have for your employee benefits plan because its effects are far-reaching. A benefits plan that includes a wellness element helps employees feel happier and healthier. It is a cost-containment feature because it helps prevent negative health events from occurring. It encourages people to become fit, stop unhealthy habits (like smoking cessation) and nurture their mental health. This translates into lower claims to the employee benefits plan, but also to higher employee satisfaction. Wellness benefits may include free short-term counselling, online resources for health and fitness, virtual healthcare and a host of other benefits.
Smart Plan for Small Business
GroupHEALTH asked small businesses what they need, and they told us that they were looking to balance excellent employee benefits coverage with cost containment. In order to meet this objective, we developed the Smart Plan for Small Business.
The plan was designed for small businesses (with at least 3 employees) that have not sponsored an employee benefits plan before. The objective was to offer a flexible, configurable plan with cost transparency.
The Smart Plan for Small Business covers the “must-haves” and allows you to pick and choose so you cover only the benefits you need. In addition to the “must-haves,” the basic plan includes sought-after benefits such as virtual healthcare, medical second opinion and access to a user-friendly employee benefits app. For you, the small business owner, the Smart Plan for Small Business is easy to implement and it’s easy to see what it’s going to cost.
Good Advice is Key
Are you interested in sponsoring an employee benefits plan for your small business? Have you thought about your “must-haves” and researched what a good benefits provider looks like? Review your options with one of our licensed advisors on the phone or in-person or contact us for a comparison quote.