Most business owners are often faced with the question of whether they have to provide health insurance for their employees or not. Well, sometimes, the law makes it compulsory for you to provide health insurance coverage for your employees if you have more than 50 employees on your payroll while in some other countries, you are solely responsible for making a decision as to whether you should provide health insurance for your employees or not.

I cannot make that decision for you but I can tell you for free that health insurance coverage is among the lists of benefits that employees hold dear and when you offer it to your employees, it can serve as a big motivation. There’s this saying in business that you should keep your customers happy and satisfied always but I like to say, keep your employees satisfied always and they would ensure that your customers are satisfied at all times.

Motivation is such a powerful tool that a lot of business owners fail to make maximum use of. Little gestures and rewards are what it takes to keep your employees happy and offering you the best of themselves. Health insurance is a win-win situation for you and your employee. You get to retain high Caliber staffs that are healthy and happy while your employee gets to have access to affordable healthcare.

Let me cite a real life scenario that highlights the benefits of providing health insurance for your employees. Mark is your customer service officer. He is in charge of receiving all customers in your company and has been handling and customer’s challenges and complaints for 10 years, therefore, he knows all the companies policies and procedures as well as customers information like the back of his palm.

Mark starts to feel severe headache one Tuesday morning but he cannot afford medical bills for now as he just paid his son’s college fees, so instead of visiting the hospital, Mark settles for self-medication; he pops some pain killers. Mark continues to rely on pain killers to make the pain go away but it goes away for a short while and then returns with renewed venom.

By the next Tuesday morning, Mark is in a terrible condition, he has been admitted in the hospital and his doctor says he is going to be there for at least a week or two. Mark’s position in the office is left empty. Well, you have asked someone else to fill the gap but no one can do the job as well as Mark who has been doing it for 10 years. Sadly, you lose a few customers due to the inexperience of Mark’s replacement.

The thing is that this situation could have been avoided if there was health insurance in place, Mark would have been able to visit the hospital as soon as he noticed a persistent headache and the doctors would have tested and treated him before it became such a critical condition. Health insurance helps you to have healthy and punctual employees.

So, now that we have established that employee health insurance is beneficial for your business, how do you go about providing it for your employees? Most business owners are usually faced with the challenge of finding the right products and company to work with. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to provide health insurance for your employees-:

How to Provide Health Insurance for Your Employees

1. Find out about laws guiding health insurance-: Like I mentioned earlier, some countries and states have their own laws regarding health insurance provision for employees therefore, the first step is to find out the laws that are peculiar to the state where you operate your business and then comply with them.

2. Decide on the method of payment-: There are two ways to provide health insurance for your employees, the first way is to pay the bill in full on behalf of all your employees and then have the money deducted in bits from their salaries on a monthly basis or you can pay for it in full as part of their benefits without deducting anything from their salaries.

3. Choose an Insurance Plan-: There are different health insurance plans, each with its own unique features and benefits. You have to select the most suitable one for your employees. It is advisable for you to choose a plan that is comprehensive enough and would also cover your employees’ family members.

4. Decide on your buying method-: You can buy your employee health insurance using any of the following methods-:

  • Buying from the insurance company-: This means that you wouldn’t have to deal with brokers or agents. You would buy the insurance directly from the company. If you choose this method, make sure you do your due diligence and investigate the insurance company thoroughly before you buy their policies.
  • Buying through an insurance broker-: An insurance broker would be able to offer you different quotes and prices that you can select from. Unlike dealing directly with an insurance company which would limit your choices, using a broker would give you access to a variety of choices that you can select from.
  • Buying through payroll management company-: If you have a payroll management company, then you may be able to get cost effective health insurance policies through them.
  • Buying through an industry association-: Another option is to buy through an industry association which you belong to. This would give you access to cheaper rates because the insurance would be bought in group in group thereby making it cheaper.

The costs of providing health insurance for your employee depends on the package you choose but you should budget between $100 -$150 per person for an average health insurance coverage which would also cover the family. You should also be aware that businesses that provide health insurance to their employees can get to reduce their taxes through government introduced tax savings programs designed to encourage small business owners to provide health insurance benefits for their employees.

So, you not only get happy and healthier workers, you also get to enjoy tax reductions and in my books, that’s a really big deal; one that every business owner should grab.

Ajaero Tony Martins