Employee benefits are important for many reasons — including the fact that they help employees afford health care and retirement and give them much-needed time off for vacations and life events.
When you offer comprehensive benefits that include health insurance as part of an employee’s compensation package, you’re in a better position to recruit and retain the talent your business needs. Conversely, if you don’t offer the key benefits that potential new hires are looking for, they may go elsewhere for a job.
The challenge, though, is that putting together your benefits package, choosing a health insurance provider, and calculating individual and company contributions can all be pretty daunting. It takes time and skill to figure out what makes sense for your employees and what your business can afford, let alone administer and manage the benefits you choose. This is why simplifying the process helps everyone involved — from people staff to employees.
Here’s a quick summary of what an employee benefits package is, what you should include in your benefits package — at minimum, and how to simplify the entire process.
Understanding employee benefits
Simply stated, employee benefits are the special perks and incentives you provide your staff in addition to their salary. Some of the most popular benefits include:
- Paid time off (PTO)
- Health insurance
- Retirement plan
Your small business may also have to provide certain benefits by law, such as:
- Family and medical leave
- Social Security and Medicare
- Unemployment insurance
- Disability insurance
- Workers compensation
When employees have access to great benefits, they see more value in working for your business. They get a boost in job satisfaction, achieve more work/life balance, and reduce their out-of-pocket medical expenses. It’s also important to realize that when employees feel cared for and receive financial and other assistance with some of the most important aspects of their lives, they ultimately have more time and focus to give to their jobs — which is good for the whole organization.
What to include in a benefits package
Some of the most important employee benefits revolve around health care, including medical, dental, and vision coverage. Medical benefits help employees live healthy lives without struggling to pay exorbitant medical costs, while dental benefits help pay for cleanings and other preventative dental care. Vision benefits help people access affordable vision care.
Nearly every prospective employee will be looking for a health insurance offering, which is why it should be included — at a minimum — in your benefits package. In fact, a recent survey found that 88% of job seekers give “some consideration” or “heavy consideration” to better health, dental, and vision benefits when deciding between a higher-paying job or a lower-paying job.
At the same time, there are legitimate cost concerns for small businesses around offering health insurance. Usually, it’s the most expensive benefit that small businesses pay for. But because it’s such an important benefit, many small businesses are willing to go the extra mile to find affordable offerings.
To offer medical, dental, and vision coverage, you first need to go through a process of getting quotes for and comparing all the many different insurance carriers and plan options, then narrowing them down to the best ones for both your employees and budget. You may even choose to share those options with your employees to get their input and make sure their needs will be met. And because so many decisions are involved along the way, getting expert help is critical.
Simplify the process with a partner
Working with a benefits services partner is one of the best ways to simplify the process for your business while ensuring you’re getting access to the best information and recommendations that meet your business and employees’ needs.
On the front end, a partner can put together customized quotes for your business that show real plans and real prices from every major medical, dental, and vision carrier. Once you’ve made a decision, the partner can make it quick and easy for you to sign up, such as offering an online application process and easy enrollment for employees. They can help you on the back end as well by managing employee deductions and company contributions and answering any questions you may have along the way.
Instead of struggling to research, select, and manage everything yourself, a benefits partner does the legwork for you, taking the guesswork, time, and worry out of the process. They make it easy for you to offer the health benefits your employees desire and for your employees to get started with coverage.
Go forward with confidence
Small businesses have a lot on their plate and many expectations they need to fulfill. In today’s competitive labor market, offering a comprehensive employee benefits package that includes health insurance is just one of them. And it’s an increasingly important competitive differentiator among businesses when attracting and retaining talent.
Finding a partner to help you make the right benefit decisions, enroll employees, and administer and manage your health insurance offering is key to ensuring a smooth, pain-free process for everyone.
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