While you are not required to provide your employees with health insurance, providing workers with health insurance will help you attract impressive candidates, and can earn their loyalty. Health insurance can be very expensive — but luckily, the new Affordable Care Act passed by Congress has made health insurance plans for small businesses more affordable.
The Affordable Care Act allows employers to claim a tax credit for up to 35 percent of their health insurance premiums. Starting in 2014, the small-business tax credit will increase up to 50 percent for qualifying small businesses who will have access to a choice of private health plans through State-based Affordable Insurance Exchanges. If you do not currently offer health insurance but choose to offer it at a later date, you will still be eligible for the tax credit.
Take some time to shop around at different health insurance company websites to find out all the available options in your state. Options include HMO plans, PPO plans, Premium Only Plans, Flexible Spending Accounts, Health Savings Accounts, and Optional Benefits, like substance abuse counseling and chiropractic care.
Keep in mind that many plans are tailored for certain-sized businesses; one plan on Blue Shield of California, for example, is only for small groups of 2 to 50 employees. Other major health insurance providers include Aetna, Anthem Blue Cross, and UnitedHealthCare. Look for websites that help you identify health insurance providers in your state, like this list of small business health insurance providers in Texas.
Encourage Healthy Living
Keeping your employees healthy is about more than just providing health insurance. Consider stocking your office kitchen with healthy snacks, buying ergonomic keyboards and office chairs, adding a workout room to your office, encouraging your employees to take time off when they’re sick, and offering a discounted gym membership to your employees. The best method of healthy living is prevention!