Offering Employee Benefits Instead of Just a Health Plan

April 15, 2022by Alex Strautman

The rules of business are different today than they were just two years ago. Employees are expecting more from their employers. When they don’t get it, there’s a good chance they will leave. The U.S. Department of Labor says 47 million people quit their jobs in 2021.

It’s a competitive talent marketplace. To attract and retain workers, a comprehensive benefits program is more important than ever. A single health plan offering is not enough. It’s not what employees want or expect.

What Are Employee Benefits?

Employee benefits can include a wide range of things that employees are looking for. While health insurance ranks high among “must have” employee benefits, workers are also looking for other things in their employee benefit package. Based on the MetLife 19th Annual U.S. Employee Benefit Trends Study, released in 2021, employees often value other benefits, including:

  • A 401(k) or other retirement plan – viewed as a must have or nice to have by 95% of employees
  • Dental Insurance – viewed as a must have by 71% of employees and a nice to have by another 25% of employees
  • Vision Insurance – considered a must have by 70% of employees and a nice to have by another 25% of employees
  • Life Insurance – viewed a must have by 61% of employees and a nice to have by another 30% of employees
  • Disability Insurance – considered a must have or nice to have by 90% of employees
  • Health Savings Account (HSA) – considered a must have or nice to have by 85% of employees
  • Flexible Spending Account (FSA) – considered a must have or nice to have by 83% of employees

CaliforniaChoice empowers you to offer health care freedom and flexibility to your employees. And, you can stay focused on your business. Our unique program provides the greatest access to doctors, specialists, and hospitals in the state and includes:

  • Eight health plans: Anthem Blue Cross, Cigna + Oscar, Health Net, Kaiser Permanente, Sharp Health Plan, Sutter Health Plus, UnitedHealthcare, and Western Health Advantage
  • 100+ HMO, PPO, EPO, and HSA-qualified options
  • A choice of full and limited networks
  • Greater employer cost control with Defined Contribution (you decide what you want to contribute to employees’ health care
  • Single source administration (one website to manage benefits, one toll-free number for customer care)
  • Value-added extras such as health, fitness, entertainment, travel, and other discounts; HR support from Mineral; FSAs for employees; COBRA or Cal-COBRA administrative services; a Premium Only Plan that lets employees increase take-home pay using pre-tax dollars to pay their share of insurance premiums; and more

Employee Benefit Advantages

Offering a comprehensive benefits package can help you set your business apart from other employers because:

  • Employees value benefits and feel better about their jobs
  • Benefits reduce absenteeism – healthy employees are more focused and productive, and are less injury-prone
  • There are a reduced costs – even when employees are contributing to the cost of their health insurance, their share is typically lower than what they might pay for individual coverage

For you and your company, another benefit is deductibility. You can usually deduct the full cost of premiums as an ordinary business expense. That includes costs for employees’ and dependents’ health insurance.

If you take advantage of the Premium Only Plan (Section 125/POP) mentioned above, you can also reduce your company’s payroll taxes. Added savings are possible for a High Deductible Health Plan or if you contribute to a qualified Health Savings Account (HSA).

Talk with a broker about to learn more about your health care options. Working with a broker won’t cost you more. In fact, it may save you money because a broker will help you find coverage your employees will appreciate, while helping you stay within your budget.

An Important Reminder for Employers with 5-49 Employees
If you have five or more employees of any type (full-time, part-time, or seasonal), and you don’t already sponsor an employee-retirement plan, be aware of an approaching deadline. You must enroll your employees in the state-run CalSavers program by June 30, 2022. Link to the CalSavers website to learn more. Employers with 50-99 employees had a prior registration deadline of June 30, 2021.

Shopping for group health insurance?

This guide compiles a list of common questions you may have before you start offering health insurance coverage.