Employee Health Insurance

Employee Health Insurance

Employee health insurance is viewed by many successful and innovative family businesses as an opportunity to gain competitive advantage, not as a cost. These companies approach employee health benefits as a strategy to improve the value of their business because they are able to hire and retain the best employees available.


The Problem

One of the major issues concerning employee health plans is that many family business owners must pay considerably more for the same employee health insurance benefits than larger-sized companies.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, insurance premiums are growing faster than inflation or worker earnings. They report that between 2002 and 2007, the cumulative growth of the cost for employee health coverage grew by 78% and the cumulative employee wage growth during the period of time was only 19%

Worse still, many smaller-sized family businesses simply can not afford health insurance!

According to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), about 27 million of the 47 million uninsured population in the United States are small business owners, their employees and their families.

Family Business Success Strategy

When family business owners approach employee health coverage as a business strategy, one of the first options to consider is to develop a company wellness program. A company sponsored wellness program can help to educate and promote healthier life style choices for their employees. Some companies have set up a work-out center within their business – paying for the exercise equipment and providing off-hour access to the facilities. Company wellness programs can also include blood pressure and cholesterol screening, and help with weight loss and smoking cessation.

Some companies pay for employee memberships to facilities where their employees can work out – the local YMCA is generally an affordable option for an employee and their family.

Many communities have 10K races. Being a sponsor promotes positive public relations and helps to attract job candidates who likely share a healthy life style philosophy.

Company wellness programs also include blood pressure and cholesterol screening, weight loss, smoking cessation, exercise programs, gym memberships and even that new yoga class!

Surveys conducted by the Employment Benefit Research Institute indicate most family business owners feel that offering employee health insurance is good for their business. It helps most in the area of recruiting good talent and employee retention – and that translates to a family business with a significant competitive edge in the market place.

The best place to start your company wellness program is to implement changes in your company’s hiring practices – Don’t hire people who don’t share the vision of your company and your employee wellness program.

Shopping for a Solution – E-Health Insurance Plan

Employee health insurance is a valuable component of a compensation package. An employee health insurance plan can help a business owner hire and retain the best workers. Plus, there are special tax incentives for businesses that provide health insurance.

A great site for a family business owner to become better educated about individual or group insurance plans is eHealthInsurance. They represent more than 150 different companies that provide individual and employee health insurance.

EHealthInsurance features:

  • Instant quotes – just type in your zip code and pick your plan
  • Personalized service from licensed health insurance experts
  • The best prices available in your area
  • A broad selection of health plans from leading health insurance companies
  • Secure online applications and enrollment tools to simply the process
  • In addition to featuring the largest on-line selection of major medical health plans from leading companies, eHealthInsurance also offers a wide selection of:

    Quality "short term" plans

    Student plans

    Dental plans

    FREE INSTANT QUOTES
    You can obtain FREE instant quotes, side-by-side comparisons, the best available prices, online applications, and a knowledgeable Customer Care Team of Experts to help you find the plan that is right for you!

    eHealthInsurance - FREE INSTANT QUOTES!





    Health Savings Accounts

    Another option for family business owners interested in developing an employee health insurance strategy is called a Health Savings Accounts (HSAs).

    Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) were created by Public Law 108-173, the "Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003," signed into law by President Bush on December 8, 2003. Health Savings Accounts will change the way millions meet their health care needs because they are designed to help individuals save for qualified medical and retiree health expenses on a tax-advantaged basis. Any adult who is covered by a high-deductible health plan (and has no other first-dollar coverage) may establish an HSA. Tax-advantaged contributions can be made in three ways:

    The individual or family can make tax deductible contributions to the HSA even if they do not itemize deductions

    The individual’s employer can make contributions that are not taxed to either the employer or the employee

    Employers sponsoring cafeteria plans can allow employees to contribute untaxed salary through salary reduction.

    To encourage saving for health expenses after retirement, individuals age 55 and older are allowed to make additional catch-up contributions to their HSAs. Once an individual enrolls in Medicare they are no longer eligible to contribute to their HSA.

    Amounts contributed to an HSA belong to the account holder and are completely portable. Funds in the account can grow tax-free through investment earnings, just like an IRA.

    Funds distributed from the HSA are not taxed if they are used to pay qualified medical expenses. Unlike amounts in Flexible Spending Arrangements that are forfeited if not used by the end of the year, unused funds remain available for use in later years.

    To learn more about HSAs, click on this link http://www.ustreas.gov/offices/public-affairs/hsa/

    Summary

    It seems that universal health coverage is going to be part of the national political debate now and into the future.

    Providing employee health insurance can be a viable success strategy for a family business. Family business owners owe it to themselves, their business and their employees to be well informed about employee health insurance.

    FREE INSTANT QUOTES
    You can obtain FREE instant quotes, side-by-side comparisons, the best available prices, online applications, and a knowledgeable Customer Care Team of Experts to help you find the plan that is right for you!

    eHealthInsurance - FREE INSTANT QUOTES!





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