If you run a small business, odds are you’re on a tight budget. But you’re still looking to recruit and keep the best employees. So you may have to make choices when it comes to the compensation you offer your workforce. Should you pay them a little bit more? Should your benefits package be more generous?
While your first instinct might be to think most people would choose extra cash, most employees would actually choose more perks, most notably healthcare coverage. It is worth your time to ask your employees what perks are most important to them, and to survey them about their healthcare priorities.
How Valuable Are Benefits?
Consider this: various studies have been done asking employees whether they would prefer better benefits or more pay, and the results are clear. The tests might be different but the results were the same: around 80% chose benefits over money. Employees feel happier with their job and are more likely to stay (or join your team) if they are offered perks that improve their lives and make them feel valued.
Some of the things you can offer are relatively low-cost, such as more vacation time, more flexible hours, or work-from-home options. However, the most coveted benefit is also the most expensive: healthcare.
What Employees Want Most
If your business has fewer than 50 employees, there is no law requiring you to offer group health insurance. However, studies about employee benefits also show that what workers want most is health insurance. While paid time off was an obvious second-runner up, a majority (at least 40%) said that healthcare was their top priority in all studies.
So if you’re feeling pulled in all directions financially, this is a clear indication that your money is best spent on offering a group health plan to your employees. After all, healthy employees who feel valued are going to be more productive and loyal – not to mention there are perks in it for you, too (like tax advantages).
Take the Time to Ask
As stated above, it just so happens that the most desirable benefit is also the most expensive. But there is an often overlooked way to find the best plan for your employees: a health benefits survey. If you find out what your employees’ wants and needs are, you can then find a plan that is as tailored to them as possible. You will also get more accurate pricing if you know exactly what you are looking for, and will save money by cutting out any unnecessary extras.
Making an Employee Healthcare Survey
How do you go about making a healthcare survey for your employees? The first thing to remember is that, because of HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), you cannot ask them specific questions about their health. The survey must also be anonymous. Think questions related to the type of coverage they want. Here are some examples:
- How important is it that your employer offers health insurance to you? You can then ask them to rank their answer based on a number scale or from “not important at all” to “very important”
- How much would you be willing to spend each month for health insurance coverage?
- Would you prefer paying more each month for insurance but paying less when you see a doctor? Or would you prefer paying less each month and more when you see a doctor? You may be able to offer them a high deductible health plan that includes a tax-advantaged HSA.
- What type of network of doctors and specialists would best meet your needs? You can ask them if they would be comfortable with a smaller local network instead of a larger or even nationwide network.
- Are there any doctors or hospitals that you would specifically like to be included in your healthcare network?
- How many family members would you like to cover with your plan?
By taking the time to ask the simple questions above, you will have a good idea of where to start when looking for a plan to cover your employees. Offering the right benefits might seem like an expense or a headache, but it can make all the difference in finding – and keeping – the right employees. And remember, EZ.Insure is here to help you every step of the way with finding the right plan for you and your employees. We can connect you to your own personal agent who will steer you in the right direction – for free! You will never be hounded by endless calls and you will always get the most accurate information. We promise everything will be quick, easy – and did we mention, free? To get started simply enter your zip code in the bar above, or you can speak to an agent by emailing or calling 888-998-2027.