Provide Affordable Health Care To Employees At Little To No Cost To You
You can provide affordable health care plans to your employees. If you feel overwhelmed by health care plan costs, you may be able to achieve far more than you believe. Here is how.
REAL NEEDS, REAL SOLUTIONS
Today, millions of EMPLOYED Americans depend on government aid, charitable organizations, and their own incomes to pay medical expenses. Until an extended illness or hospitalization occurs, these resources usually suffice.
When faced with catastrophic health expenses, people often turn to their employers. If your company provides insufficient insurance, will you pay someone who cannot work? To add insult to injury, this year Congress passed bankruptcy legislation that burdens millions of Americans in medically-induced financial crises.
Employers feel the pinch too. With every health insurance quote, numbers add up quickly: $150-250 per employee, $300-500 per family. Many businesses shift these costs to employees through higher deductibles and co-pays, partial premium payments, and other means.
And despite some television advertising, supplemental benefits are not well known in the workplace. Most providers rarely advertise or not at all. Supplemental health plans are separate from major medical and dental plans. A supplemental benefits broker brings you proven cost-reducing advantages.
The best supplemental benefits providers don't require employers to pay premiums. The employees pay for most benefits. However, competitively priced plans are inexpensive and pre-tax options can make them extremely attractive and affordable. Be sure you find a competitive provider with truly low-cost products to maximize savings and benefits.
Most insurance brokers do NOT handle supplemental benefits. When a supplemental benefits broker contacts you, assume your regular broker knows very little about such products. Ask questions. Make an informed decision. Most importantly, find ways to give your employees options and flexibility to care for their families. You cannot do it all, but they have to.
Good brokers schedule employee meetings to explain plans in detail. You should insist on a group meeting.
Plans fall into two categories: insurance and spending accounts. I'll describe them briefly, but you need to sit down with a knowledgeable broker to fully understand these programs.
Employers are usually asked to payroll deduct insurance premiums. Therefore, most voluntary plans may be offered as pre-tax deductions. Pre-taxing often reduces employee Federal and F.I.C.A. withholding. If employee F.I.C.A. contributions are reduced, employers who match contributions may save money, too.
Section 125 of the I.R.S. code defines the rules for pre-taxing voluntary benefit deductions. These plans are often called Section 125 or Cafeteria 125 plans. Pre-taxed plans restrict employees' changes.
Although some providers ask employers to guarantee premiums, competitive providers will NOT ask for employer contributions. Seek inexpensive insurance plans that incur no direct costs to employers. Accident care plans should cost no more than $15-25 per month: a dollar a day per employee. Family coverages and riders incur additional costs, so be informed.
Riders extend policy benefits. For example, an accident plan with a disability rider, a wellness rider, and a hospitalization rider provides considerable protection. If plans offer any reimbursement for preventive testing, employees may recoup some of their premiums.
The most popular insurance products are disability and accident plans. On average, about 50% of employees participate in them. Averages are not guarantees, but many employers are surprised by how popular these plans prove to be.
Cancer and critical illness plans are also popular. Employees may not want to pre-tax disability, cancer, or critical illness since benefits would be taxable. Some supplemental benefits providers have plans to help employees cover high deductibles and co-pays in major medical plans at reduced costs.
The several types of spending accounts are usually handled through third-party administrators. Because employees don't pay premiums, spending accounts are even more popular with some employers than insurance products. The neat thing about spending accounts is that they are pre-taxed, so both employer and employee may save money.
A Flexible Spending Account (FSA, or unreimbursed medical account) is used for co-pays, deductibles, over-the-counter expenses, and many items not covered by typical (or low-cost) major medical plans: crutches, hearing aids, etc.
Unfortunately, employers must pay small administrative fees for Flexible Spending Accounts. While they may recoup their expenses from reduced matching F.I.C.A contributions, some organizations don't make such contributions. Evaluate each FSA plan carefully to find the best match. With FSA plans, employees must budget carefully because they lose unspent funds at the end of the year.
Dependent Child Care Accounts are also popular. Some providers take a portion of reduced F.I.C.A. contributions as their fee. I.R.S. rules limit dependent child care expenses as tax deductions. Employees should understand two things: they will NOT claim these expenses on their tax returns AND their deductions become post-tax deductions after they have matched the current limit.
A new type of spending account is an HSA, or Health Savings Account. Unlike Flexible Spending Accounts, HSAs allow you to roll the unspent funds in the account over to the next plan year. So, what's the catch?
HSAs must be used in conjunction with High Deductible Health Plans. An HDHP costs less than typical major medical, but your deductible must meet a minimum requirement ($1000 individual, $2000 family). And you have to exhaust the funds in your HSA before you can use your insurance. So, HSAs are not for everyone. The U.S. Department of the Treasury has published a Web site with information on HSAs:
Work with a supplemental benefits broker to learn more about and understand how these programs help employers reduce costs, increase benefits, and assist employees in reducing their own medical expenses through effective, proven programs.
Michael Martinez is a licensed Life and Health insurance agent in the state of Texas. Insurance and benefits programs may be subject to both Federal and state regulations in your state. This article does not offer legal, tax, or financial advice. Consult a licensed supplemental benefits broker in your area to understand what choices you have available to you.
Dealing With a Crooked on the Take Government Worker
Many government department heads are on the take. Oh they'll jump up and down and swear legitimacy, but it just is not so. Over one-third of Americans will lie to a small business owner to save $2.00 and that same one-third of our population works in government. I am not condemning anyone, merely pointing out fact thru observation and 27 years experience dealing with governmental department heads. Now then two-thirds are honest and would never think of defrauding the public or taxpayer. We are not talking about those fine folks in government in this article. We applaud their public service even if half of them are totally inept, they are not crooks, so let that be known right here.
The Inside-Out Business Plan? -- Your Small Business Plan in 10 Easy Questions
Writing a business plan for your Solo Entrepreneur business doesn't have to be a daunting project. If you can answer 10 straightforward questions about your business, you can be ready to go.
Nevada Incorporation: The Advantages of Incorporating in Nevada
Incorporation in Nevada has become an attractive option for savvy business entrepreneurs, and for good reason. Nevada corporations enjoy many benefits just not available anywhere else. We will not only investigate why this is so, but you will also know what to be aware of when incorporating in Nevada, and how to avoid the most common first-time mistakes.
Power Tools for Business
How do we keep track of our business deals?
Understanding Franchise Releationships in a Franchised Business
Now that you have invested your time, energy and money in buying a franchise, how do you work within the system? How do you take advantage of all your franchisor has to offer? How do you deal with your counterparts, other franchisees?
Your Business and the Story of a Tree; Part One
This morning, I went to take a short walk outside. I've been feeling a little more flexible since this weekend, and I figured a stroll would help me keep that liquid feeling in my bones that I've missed so much.
In Home Daycare Businesses for Profit
To have one of the popular in home daycare businesses. Many people think all you have to do is love kids and have a home. But to have a successful daycare business, it takes a little more than that. Actually, it takes a lot more.
Why Do Franchisors have Exclusive Territories
The reason we Franchisors call it an exclusive territory is because we will not sell that area again to another franchisee. That is your area to market and to conquer and to generally obtain as much market penetration as possible. If you are a home-based business or mobile franchise then this is a serious issue. You can put as many service units in your area can support and try to make the most reasonable profit you can per each service unit you put into your exclusive territory. Most franchisors charge a percentage of the gross income and probably make a little off every service unit you buy, so they want you to expand.
QSR Quick Service - Fast Food Restaurants Labor Situation in United States
One of the major complaints in the QSR Quick Service-Fast Food Restaurants Industry is the deplorable Labor Situation. In United States teen labor has become somewhat slim on ethical standards, showing up on time, drug use (both recreational and problematic), work ethic and trainability. Who can we blame? Well we can start by blaming ourselves. What happened? Well it is the latch key kid syndrome, lack of school funding and discipline and many other obvious issues. The ages between 17 and 28 the normal ages of employees of Fast Food Restaurants have a lot to be desired in the inherent customer service realm and desirability for employment.
Pet Grooming Business
Do you like animals? Would you like to work for yourself? Pet grooming could be the career for you.
Small Business Savvy: Reaching Key Big Business Decision Makers
As a solo entrepreneur or small business owner, one of our key challenges can be reaching key decision makers in larger companies. Getting to the right person who can seal the deal can be a frustrating experience, especially if you don't have a game plan. Here are three ways to connect with the right people.
Franchising in The Middle East There Will Bring Significant Opportunity for US Based Franchisors
As stability emerges in the Middle East there will be significant opportunity for the Franchising Community. Arab Franchising appears to be of interest for those seeking economic growth in much of that region of the World. They are more excited about economic expansion than we are in the US. They seem to understand the benefits of many small businesses employing millions of people and rightfully so. Check out this article:
Mobile Pressure Washing and City Contracts
Many mobile pressure-washing companies turn to government contacts to make money. It is very easy to acquire such municipal contracts for cleaning, as the government needs some cleaning up. The cities generally have a fiscal year starting in June, so you want to check on the available contracts around the end of March to see what is coming up, which departments will have budget monies available and also go and visit the local department heads to see what is needed. Believe me even local cities waste money and you may as well get some. If this bothers you, then make the money and donate some to a candidate who promises to trim some of the fat next year.
Outsourcing and Virtual Assistants: Small Business Saviors
Work smarter, not harder
Small Business Survival
In today's economic climate, the first priority for the small business entrepreneur is survival. A glance at newspapers, business journals, or cable news channels reveals a succession of corporations striving to stay on top of their game, and often failing, to slow the growth of outsourcing or to show real growth within their market space. In such times, knowing how to achieve long-term success is more critical than ever.
FFP vs. CPFF Contracts
SBIR Corner: FFP vs. CPFF contracts:
Franchise Sales and Use of Online Franchise Directories
Franchising Directory Sites-Paid Advertising, Lead Generation for Franchising
FTC Adding to the Franchise Rule
Last summer the FTC put forth a report and then asked for comments on modifications of the franchise rule. There has been no real significant changes since the 1970's, but lots of opinions and case law along the way. All these complications of rules and the rules proposed today by the Federal Trade Commission do not help franchisors remain efficient or franchisees sell more pizza, hamburgers or donuts.
Mobile Truck Washing, Case Study
Most folks in the pressure washing business are happier to do business cleaning concrete or flat work, because it appears to be easy. Some do both fleet truck washing and concrete, which makes sense. But what some do not understand is once you are totally efficient at truck washing you can surpass the dollars per hour that those in concrete cleaning generally charge. I have been washing fleets of trucks for over 12 years. What I have found is that our car wash guys www.carwashguys.com which is a mobile car wash business ended up being a fleet washing business and not only for car washing. This is because customers needed services and kept calling and we were able to do the work as good as any company could.
Where Can I Get Clients From?
The following tips have come from a wide variety of sources; some from other successful businesses we know, some from our Home-Based and Small Business Support Group meetings and some we've developed by trial and error.
|© Athifea Distribution LLC - 2013|