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In today’s talent market, job seekers expect a competitive salary and benefits package from their employer. That includes more than just Major Medical health insurance coverage, and often Dental, Vision, and more.

Employees want the ability to customize their benefits to address their individual and family needs. According to MetLife’s 19th Annual Employee Benefit Trends Study, released in 2021, employees are “placing increasing value on feeling safe, protected, and prepared across all areas of well-being – and they need employers to restore that sense of security through benefits and other support.”

COVID-19 brought with it an increased focus on health insurance and its importance. It also cast a spotlight on other coverage options. That doesn’t mean you have to overhaul your current benefits program to attract talent. CaliforniaChoice allows you to offer more without spending more.

Why CaliforniaChoice?

Since 1996, CaliforniaChoice has offered small businesses a way to offer multiple health plans to their employees, while still controlling their benefits costs. CaliforniaChoice offers everything you and your employees want in a single program:

Another Way to Help Control Costs

If you’re concerned about the costs associated with additional coverage like Dental, Vision, or Supplemental Health coverage (like Accident, Hospital Indemnity, Critical Illness, and Disability Insurance), you might consider offering coverage on a partially paid or voluntary basis. Again, you determine what amount – if any – you want to contribute to employees’ coverage. You can fund it all, or share the cost with employees. For voluntary coverage, all of the premium can be funded through employee payroll deductions, with no added cost for your business.

A September 2021 article by Benefits Pro cites an increased interest – among employees and employers – for voluntary benefits. Three in four employees said voluntary benefits would affect their employer’s ability to retain them – compared to 68% a year ago.

Among HR professionals, the vast majority (83%) believe offering more voluntary benefits helps them retain employees, engage employees (72%), and attract new talent (72%).

Whether you bear the cost entirely, or share costs with your employees, they are likely to appreciate the availability of more options, so they can tailor coverage to their individual and family needs. Offering more helps you differentiate yourself when it comes to recruitment and retention.

Explore Your Options with a Broker

One of the best ways to compare benefits costs and learn about options for your business – and your employees – is to talk with a broker. An employee benefits broker can help you sort out the health care alphabet (PPOs, HMOs, EPOs, HDHPs, and more), and provide a custom quote for your business. You won’t pay anything for your broker’s service either – and it could save you money because your local broker will know what’s available in your area and what health plans include your preferred doctors and hospitals. If you don’t already have a broker, we can help find one here.

It’s almost time for Halloween and it’s a good idea to start planning your workplace festivities from now.

2021 looks a little different than last year, but many offices are still not back in the office full time. That doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate. Here’s a list of ways to do so safely with employees in the office or working remotely.

Spooky Decorations: Get in the Halloween spirit with spider webs, caution tape, and other ghostly decorations. If your employees have returned to work, even part-time, you can have a decorating contest. Encourage participation by awarding a winner.

Make sure you remind employees that lighted decorations need to be turned off at the end of the day. Decorations cannot violate fire or safety codes.

Party Bags: While a party may not be the best idea during a pandemic, that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on treats. Put together a trick-or-treat bag for each employee in advance and hand them out to get everyone in the Halloween spirit.

Costume Contest: Nothing screams Halloween like a costume contest. You can create categories like “most creative,” scariest, and funniest.

Something to keep in mind – the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) suggests these do’s and don’ts when it comes to costumes in the workplace:

Halloween 2021 is on a Sunday, so you may want to plan your costume contest for the Friday before or another day if you’re not in the office daily. You could also host your contest virtually.

Pumpkin Carving: This can work for employees in the office and for those working at home. For on-site staff, you can ask participants to carve their pumpkins at home and bring them to work for judging.

If you’re not concerned about a potential mess, and can still keep employees socially distant, have them carve their pumpkins at the office. Provide the tools they’ll need and choose a spot to de-seed equipped with carving tools. Aprons also help.

If you’re concerned about a mess, pumpkins decorated with a Sharpie works, too!

More ways to celebrate:


Don’t wait to announce your activities. Get started today! That way, your employees have plenty of time to plan.