How small businesses can deliver big benefits

Small businesses are finding it increasingly difficult to provide their employees with a high-quality and affordable employee benefits program.

But don’t worry if you’re a small business owner or in charge of the employee benefits program at a small business. Options are available to you.

In recent years, more and more insurers have been offering more benefits for the SME employer. These benefits are designed to accompany all “core” benefits plans and enable small businesses to offer all of their employees a complete benefits program.

By offering a basic offering of “core benefits” including health and dental insurance and combining them with other additional or voluntary benefits, the employer can offer a competitive benefits program without breaking the bank. These benefits may have an employer’s contribution to help with the cost of the benefit or they may only be offered as an employee-paid benefit through payroll deduction or a combination of both.

Some of the additional or voluntary benefits offered include short-term and long-term disability, life insurance, accident coverage, limited medical insurance, dental insurance, and long-term care insurance, just to name a few.

The benefit to the small business is that they retain complete flexibility when it comes to the cost of the plan and how the cost is distributed. The benefit to the employee is that they get to choose their own insurance/benefit program and only pay for the coverage they need. This creates a benefit program that is affordable for both the employer and employee and allows both to stay within their respective budgets.

Some of the key features of supplemental or voluntary insurance plans are that the small business gets simplified underwriting, a group rate to reduce costs, and control over some features of the plan design. The small business only needs two employees to qualify for this type of coverage.

These benefits can also be used for part-time employees. As a small business continues to grow, the company may have an advantage when it enters a growth phase and starts hiring part-time employees who can turn into a full-time employee. These employees can receive a complete benefits program that they can take with them when they move to a full-time position.

As retaining and attracting quality employees becomes increasingly difficult, offering a benefits program with voluntary payroll deductions can help employers retain and attract quality employees at an affordable cost.