Healthcare Savings Tips for Small Business Owners

Wed, Feb 29, 2012

6. Misc.

Small businesses have a lot to deal with. There are taxes, keeping up with the competition, making sure their supplies meet their clientele’s demands and, of course, they have to concentrate on doing all that they can to keep their company in the black. They also have to be sure to do what they can to keep their employees satisfied. In many cases, this would include taking the necessary steps to provide adequate healthcare.

Unfortunately, in order to keep everything afloat, healthcare, at times, takes a back seat on the priority list. It can be hard to find the monies needed for that while still finding the money to meet payroll, but there are tips that can make healthcare less of a headache.

Provide a healthy work environment. When it comes to healthcare (especially healthcare insurance), the thing to remember is that the less people get sick, the less they need medical attention. Simple things like regularly changing air filters and putting water filters on faucets can elevate the healthy level of oxygen intake in the environment. Opting for natural light from windows rather than artificial lighting from bulbs gives people an extra dose of Vitamin D. Keeping fresh fruit in the break room and yogurt and juice in the refrigerator is a welcome substitute for sugary snacks. And, a consistently well-cleaned work place cuts down the amount of germs that can contaminate one’s space significantly. Therefore, be sure to keep plenty of anti-bacterial soaps and hand gels around, along with some Lysol cans of spray, toilet covers, boxes of Kleenex and Clorox wipes.

Be selective about the healthcare insurance that you provide. Just as you’re trying to financially balance your budget, the reality is that your employees are doing the same. In seeking out the best kind of healthcare coverage available for you and those who work for you, there are a few things to consider. For one, make sure that you shop around for the best deals. Two, only do business with a licensed insurance agent. Three, get clarity on the benefits that are provided and request references from other small companies that they have done business with them to confirm that they are reputable. And finally, see which one best fits everyone’s overall needs. For instance, while an HMO (Health Maintenance Organization) is pretty affordable, it also requires that you use physicians within a certain network. A PPO (Preferred Provider Organization) allows you to select physicians either in or out of the network, but for a higher cost. There are also, POS (Point of Service) plans; they fall somewhere in the middle. You also may want to look into getting a PEO; this stands for Professional Employer Organization. Basically what they do is take over responsibilities like payroll taxes and insurance for a monthly fee. Whatever you decide, one thing is clear: There’s no point in providing vision, dental and/or medical insurance if it doesn’t meet the needs of the people that you are offering it to. It doesn’t just save money to spend wisely, but to plan holistically as well.

Use wellness incentives with your employees. There are a lot of ways that you can take this approach. Some companies provide quarterly questionnaires for their staff surrounding their eating, exercise, smoking and drinking habits. Others offer discounts to local gyms. Some host their own marathons or fields days. Still, there are those who have counselors come to give tips on how to live a healthier lifestyle and others who offer cash prizes or time off to those who set certain weight loss goals and reach them. Incentives, more times than not, bring about positive results. Whatever you had to pay on the front end, if it’s to motivate your employees to make healthier choices, it was still a wise investment just in the potential of the less sick days and doctor’s appointments (that keep people from being at work) alone.

Evan is a contributing writer for EZ Contacts USA where you can find sports sunglasses like Carrera Sport brand and many others.

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