Improving Your Company Benefits Package Without Increasing Cost: Part 2
For many U.S. employers, offering health insurance as a company benefit is now a legal requirement. However, for those companies smaller than 50 full-time-equivalent employees, the decision to offer benefits – and generous, high quality benefits at that – can be one of the best business decisions you ever make. However, the cost can be prohibitive. This series takes a look at ways to continue to improve your benefits package without substantially increasing your costs – and in some cases, decreasing your costs.
Method #2: Offer Voluntary Dental or Vision
A myth I often come across with new groups setting up benefits is that as the employer, you need to pay the entire premium (cost) of the plan for the employee. This is not true! For health plans, there is a minimum amount you must pay as the employer, however for dental and vision (ancillary plans), you can offer these as ‘voluntary’ plans. Voluntary plans can be paid for 100% by the employee. Often employers overlook this, thinking – “why would the employees want that?” For some industries, we would not recommend it, but for many companies, voluntary plans can still be hugely valuable for an employee:
- Voluntary plans are paid by the employee in the form of payroll deductions. This means the cost is pulled out of the employee’s paycheck pre-tax. This is a great benefit for employees who want a dental plan and want to lower their taxable income.
- Group dental and vision plans are much less expensive than individual dental/vision plans. So, for someone who needs dental insurance, paying through the group is cheaper than getting it on their own.
- Group dental and vision plans often have better benefits than individual dental/vision plans. An individual dental plan often has a year-long wait before the plan will pay for major services (this is to discourage individuals signing up for the insurance just in time for a root canal for example, and then dropping the coverage). Many group plans do not have this wait for service.
- If you choose to make your plan entirely voluntary, there will end up being no employer cost with most carriers.
Throughout this series you will find 5 methods to improve your benefits package – but each company is different and may have unique needs. Please feel free to reach out directly for a complimentary benefits evaluation to review specific ways your company can improve your benefits package and save money in the process:
Benefit Experts Insurance Agency