You already know that offering small business health insurance pleases your employees. It keeps them healthier, protects their families and gives them peace of mind. It makes them likelier to stick around and gives you peace of mind as well, knowing you are helping them.
Plus, it’s getting more common. Small businesses, which are defined as having three to 199 employees, are increasingly offering insurance, and the figures get higher as the number of employees rises.
According to a Kaiser survey, “44% of firms employing between three and nine offered health benefits in 2014. That figure rose to 64% for firms employing between 10 and 24 workers, 83% for firms employing 25 to 49 workers and 91% for companies with 50 to 99 employees.”
That’s a lot of firms offering health insurance, and if you don’t want to get left or ignored by good employees, it’s critical you think through this basic perk. Here are the top six reasons to offer small business health insurance plans to your employees.
Reasons You Should Offer Health Insurance
1. May Be Required by Law
The most important factor in your decision-making is whether or not you are required by law to offer health insurance. Many small businesses don’t know that there is a mandate to offer health benefits once you reach a certain size.
As we explain here, “If your business has at least 50 full-time equivalent employees (FTE), you are considered a large applicable business and mandated to offer qualified and affordable health benefits or be subject to a tax penalty.” However, “If your business has less than 50 employees, the mandate and tax penalty do not apply to you.”
The requirement that you offer insurance to your workers if they number more than 50 full-time is known as the “employee mandate,” and is rigorously enforced in states across the nation. Don’t chance a hefty fine or damage to your credibility by ignoring it.
Check the link above to figure out if you are a “large applicable employer,” meaning you have to offer benefits.
2. Possible Tax Credits
Some businesses are eligible for tax credits in return for offering small business health insurance. According to the Internal Revenue Service, that credit currently accrues to businesses that “have fewer than 25 full-time equivalent employees, pay an average wage of less than $51,600 a year” and “pay at least half of employee health insurance premiums.”
You can even amend prior year returns in which you were eligible but did not take the tax credit. So, talk to your accountant about whether or not you’re qualified for further savings.
3. Better for Your Employees
Obviously, giving your employees health insurance is better for their health and happiness. Not only do they stay healthier, but they’re less anxious about “what could happen” … which in turn increases their serenity and makes them less likely to get sick. It’s a virtuous cycle.
4. Increases Employee Loyalty
Because of this – greater health and peace of mind – your employees are more likely to stick around. No longer must you lose great talent to the next guy simply because they have a better benefits package or make it easier to have and raise kids.
Today’s workers are all about balance, and health is a huge part of that. Don’t disregard it.
5. Helps with Recruitment
Increasingly, it’s an employee-driven marketplace. Time was, employers could just open their doors and applicants would flood in, desperate to toss their resumes in the heap. While many recognized businesses still have an easy time recruiting, that’s not always the case for small, little-known or new companies.
So, it behooves you to make your positions as attractive as possible. Before you post that new job, take a hard look at your compensation package and ask yourself: Is it appealing? Would I want to work here? Am I offering better packages than my competitors? If you can’t answer yes to the above questions, it’s likely time to reassess your perks.
6. Lowers Absenteeism
Healthier employees miss less work, plain and simple. By offering insurance that covers preventative care, employees are less likely to miss work due to colds, less likely to need surgeries and less likely to have sick children whom they have to stay home and tend.
Truly, the amount of money companies lose to employee absenteeism is staggering. Health insurance can increase your productivity to the point that it pays for itself.
If those are not enough reasons, consider the fact that our nation is getting sicker and sicker, and that takes its toll on American productivity and greatness. At risk of sounding like a pre-war propaganda poster, keeping America great should be a priority for any business operating on U.S. soil.
So, by offering health insurance, you are doing your part to keep our citizens healthy and happy today!