Health care costs are a hot topic among business owners, especially over the past couple of years when many small businesses have experienced a significant drop in revenue due to slow recovery from the economic crisis. And though health care costs may be a huge chunk of your overall revenue, providing adequate coverage at a respectable price will not only keep good workers happy, but will often attract better and more hirable employees. Satisfied, healthy workers will help your business maintain stability, as well as help it grow.
Apply for the Health Care Tax Credit
If in the current tax year you have at least 25 full-time employees who earned on average less than $50,000, and you cover at least 50% of the premium of a group health plan, consider applying for the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit. Made available for the tax years of 2010-2013, they allow a tax credit of 35% that then increases to 50% in 2014, which can be a huge savings for your business.
Start a (HAS) Health Savings Account or a (FSA) Flexible Spending Account
A HSA is a tax-free savings account that you and your employees can contribute to, as long as it is tied to a high-deductible health plan. How it works is the policy holder gets the coverage they seek (the money is also carried over each year), while the HSA provides the means to fund the additional out-of-pocket costs. A FSA functions similarly (except the money doesn’t carry over each year), where you and your employees deduct a small amount of pretax dollars from your paychecks made eligible for medical payments.
Enroll in a Discount Health Benefits Program
A great way to fill any spaces that your regular plan may miss, discount programs can help pay for prescriptions, dental visits, etc., through a doctor affiliate program, usually for a small monthly fee. Although not advised, it is possible to only use programs such as this for your business’ healthcare costs. Particulars vary business-to-business, however, so proper research is required before making such a drastic switch.
Join a Group Plan
If your business has between two and 50 employees, then consider joining a group plan, or “all-for-one” plan. The larger the group, the bigger the savings. So if you can find an already established group by partnering with other local businesses (in your state only), the savings will be notable to say the least.
Research, Research, Research
The bottom line is with a little research and some shopping around, you can reduce your business’ healthcare costs, and pass the savings on to your employees. By using the internet and browsing websites like eHealthInsurance that house more useful information than you can consume, it makes it simple to cover a lot of ground in a very short amount of time, and will make it easy when finding competitive rates.
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