Is Health Insurance Holding You Back from Getting the Best Employees?

Other than satisfactory salaries, employers also need to offer good employee benefits in order to attract and retain the best talent.

One of the types of employee benefits that are regarded as important by job seekers and employees is health insurance.

As the cost of health care continues to rise, it is becoming increasingly necessary for employees to have adequate health insurance sponsorship from their employers.

Employer-sponsored insurance can vary significantly from one company to another, and employers who offer better health coverage for their employees are usually more successful in hiring top talent.

Here is a look at why it is important for businesses to have an employee health benefit plan….

Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance in the U.S.

Private health insurance coverage in the U.S. is mostly employment-based.

Most of the larger companies in the country provide group health insurance for their employees, and their health benefit plans are usually more generous than Medicare or the standard health benefit program for government employees.

Typically, employers pay about 85 percent of their employees' health insurance premiums and 75 percent of the premiums of their employees' dependents, and employees pay the rest with their pre-tax earnings.

The rising cost of health insurance over the last decade or so has caused many employers to cut back on employee health benefits.

According to a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation report, the percentage of Americans receiving employer-sponsored health insurance fell from 69.7 percent in 2000 to 59.5 percent in 2011. The implementation of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, is expected to make matters worse.

Starting this year, all businesses that have 50 or more employees are required to provide health insurance sponsorship for all their employees, or they have to pay a fine of $750 per employee to the federal government.

Many business owners are choosing to pay the penalty instead of providing health insurance for their employees because it is a more cost-effective option for them.

Meantime, some businesses are trying to reduce their workforce or cut work hours to avoid the penalty or save on health insurance costs.

Importance of Providing Health Insurance for Employees

In their endeavor to cut costs by dropping health insurance, business owners will miss out on the benefits of having an employee health plan.

They need to properly address health insurance considerations for job seekers and employees if they want to hire and keep the best talent. Many job seekers and employers have trouble paying the high costs of individual or family health insurance plans, and they have to rely on employer-sponsored health insurance to keep themselves and their family members healthy.

As such, they will very much prefer to work for companies that offer employee health benefits. Other than helping business owners recruit and retain the best employees, an employee health plan can also improve employee satisfaction and morale, and reduce absenteeism, which can lead to an increase in productivity.

A healthy and happy workforce can contribute significantly to the success of your business.

As such, it is essential that you implement a good employee health plan.

Image courtesy of phasinphoto / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

About the Author: John McMalcolm is a freelance writer who writes on a wide range of subjects, from social media marketing to Cloud computing.

Views: 89

Comment by Linda Ferrante LoCicero on May 22, 2014 at 5:16pm

I don't necessarily agree with this philosophy.  Let me play devil's advocate for a minute:

What candidates AND employers SHOULD be looking at is the total compensation package.  Regardless of how you slice it, a total compensation package can be much more valuable to the employee than receiving employer offered benefits.  Keep in mind most companies don't offer an increase in pay equal to the cost of the benefits, if they chose not to accept the benefits.  So, looking at a total comp package can really make a difference.  For example:  $50k base, plus company paid benefits, two weeks vacation, 12 paid holidays, 3% contribution to 401(k) vs. annual salary of $95k with no paid time off, you pay your own benefits, and contribute to your own IRA.

Ask yourself, who do you want controlling how your income is spent?  You or your employer?  Who would you like to pick your benefit plan, you or your employer?  Some people would prefer not to disclose any medical needs/wants, future family issues, etc, and would rather not participate in the company benefit plan. Too much big brother.  

People make these blanket statements based on their own prejudices.  When you work in an area that was predominately union, and for a good number of years, a solid benefit package is almost a given. Throw in the last decade or longer of being downsized and losing your benefits (more than once) and you're apt to change your mind on where the control should lie.

Comment by Keith Halperin on May 22, 2014 at 8:14pm

Thanks, Dave. Another illustration of the side-effects of the industrialized world's  MOST EXPENSIVE and WORST health insurance system (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Healing_of_America).

-kh

Comment by Dave on May 29, 2014 at 12:47pm

Linda/Keith,

Thank you for reading and commenting. As someone who works as an independent contractor (the last 2 years), I went out and got my own health insurance after getting laid off several years back. Although it is money out of my pocket each month, I feel more secure knowing that I "control" my health benefits as opposed to an employer. I went on COBRA shortly after my first layoff and it was more than a monthly car payment. Needless to say, COBRA can be financially taxing for many people. Even if I were to go back working for a company down the road that offered health insurance, I likely would keep my individual insurance. The peace of mind of me overseeing it is worth it to me.

Comment by Keith Halperin on May 29, 2014 at 7:57pm

Thanks, Dave. I'm just glad my wife has Kaiser for us. Wouldn't it be nice  if we  didn't have to worry about getting sick, like  the people in every other advanced country? NO OTHER ADVANCED COUNTRY spends more than we do, has as high an administrative overhead as we do, fails to cover people the way we do, or lets people go bankrupt for medical expenses the way we do.

Comment by Dave on May 30, 2014 at 12:31am

Keith, 

If the politicians/insurance companies/medical community etc. all got together for the good of the people.... would be an amazing thing. We have the most advanced medical facilities/procedures in the world, yet our health insurance system is mediocre at best.

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