The state of small business healthcare.
It’s 2019, and small businesses face unique challenges when it comes to providing healthcare for their employees. Although small businesses don’t have a legal requirement to offer health benefits to employees, many choose to do so anyway.
Employers value their employees’ health, and they know that employees who are unsatisfied with their benefits will look elsewhere for employment. But, what are small businesses offering and where do they fall short?
Studies show that roughly 65% of small businesses offer some form of health insurance to their full-time employees. However, this number falls to just 11% for part-time employees.
Generally, part-time and casual employees pay much more for their insurance through their employer. This can cause people to search for jobs elsewhere or go for other private insurance options.
The same study showed that only 29% of small businesses have options when it comes to employee health benefit plans. This includes the choice of deductibles, co-pays, and coverage percentages.
In general, most small businesses that offer health insurance offer the following for their employees:
- Dental Benefits
- Flexible Spending Account
- Health Savings Account
- Hospital Discount Card
- Prescription Discount Card
- Vision Benefits
- Wellness Programs
Additionally, there are more popular benefits and add-ons. A lot of smaller businesses will offer the following but not match any employee contributions:
- Health Reimbursement Arrangement
- Health Savings Account
- High-deductible plan
- HMO insurance plan
- PPO insurance plan
The single biggest challenge small businesses face when they want to offer health benefit coverage for their employees is the cost. It can be extremely difficult for small businesses to have the funding on-hand and ready to go for their annual fees. It gets even more difficult if the business has a higher turnover rate. That’s because they are constantly adding and removing employees.
Another challenge is trying to keep health insurance costs affordable for all employees. Small businesses must strike a balance between administrative costs and deductible amounts. Deductibles are what employees will be most concerned about. The ability to offer choices services can be problematic as well.
Some employees would like vision and dental coverage while others would never use it. Getting comprehensive coverage that appeals to employees across the board may not be possible. If you don’t offer good enough health benefits, it can send them searching elsewhere for employment that caters more to their needs.
Yes and no. The constantly changing healthcare landscape is making it easier for small businesses to go through private lenders to get the health insurance they want for their employees. However, cost is still a factor many of these businesses have to find a way to deal with.
New technology is allowing businesses to cut their healthcare costs. For example, virtual doctor visits are gaining traction. When this happens, it helps employees avoid the higher costs of a physical doctor visit and co-pays. This simple alternative to traditional doctor visits could save small businesses thousands of dollars every single year.
Looking toward the future, more small businesses will be looking into health benefits for their employees. They need their employees to be healthy to perform their best, and employees are more likely to go to the doctor if they know they have benefits.
As technology advances, it’s allowing small businesses a greater flexibility to offer different tiers of health insurance. These options can keep their employees and their employee’s families happy and healthy all year round.