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Benefits > Health Insurance - Pg. 102

Staffing Up 102 Figure 4.6. Let your benefit plan match your company's financial health. The Quick and Dirty on Benefits There are three things to know about benefits: 1. 2. 3. They're expensive, often adding between 20 and 30 percent to an employee's salary package. They're expected. Employees get very emotional about benefits, seeing them as a direct index of how an employer values the health and welfare of its people. They're complicated. Not only are the plans themselves complex and difficult to administer, there are many laws governing provision of benefits. Employers must be careful to have their benefit plans checked for compliance with discrimination laws. Many small businesses elect to outsource benefit administration to a broker. Shop around with different solution providers, and see what kinds of packages you can get (health and 401(k) administration, for instance). With a bit of creativity, you can add a lot of value to your package without costing the company an arm and a leg.The two main value-adds you can leverage: 1. The company's increased purchasing power means you can offer your employees lower group rates for optional insurance such as life, disability, auto, vision, and dental, or negotiated rates with local merchants like a health club or even a massage therapist. The company can use its administrative resources to help employees take advantage of somewhat con- fusing, paperwork-intensive benefits. 2. Health Insurance This is a must. Variables that can increase or decrease the cost: HMO (health maintenance organ- ization) vs. PPO (preferred provider organization); dental; vision; employer covering all of premium or only a portion; employer paying for all, part, or none of employee's family premium. Note NOTE Your organization willlikely have to offer continuation of health coverage to departingem- ployees for 18months under COBRAlaws, but you may bill theemployee for 102% ofthe cost of his coverage. Note TIP You may be able tohelp your employeesset up medicalspending accounts,which will al- lowthem to pay for anyunreimbursed medical expenses frompre-tax dollars.