Arizona small businesses are feeling the crunch of the current economy and our national health care crisis. Many employers are unable to help their employees with a company health plan because of the soaring costs. This creates its own economic crisis because, without a viable benefit package, recruiting and retention creates a personnel problem. How can a small business create a benefit package on a shoe string budget?
Recent changes in Arizona law have created the opportunity for small business owners to offer a full blown benefit package to their employees without having to contribute financially.
The problem with group coverage is that it has become very expensive or even prohibitive for the average small business owner. They want to help their employees, but can they keep their doors open and take care of their employees’ health care needs at the same time? The answer seems to be no for about 40 percent of Arizona residents whose employer does not offer any health plan at all.
Another big problem with traditional group health plans is portability. Because group plans are not portable, when an employee leaves a company they can not take the plan with them. They can opt to go on COBRA when they leave but for anyone one who has had the misfortune of accepting this coverage it is hugely expensive and ends in only 18 months.
Additionally, managing a traditional group health insurance plan is time consuming for the small business owners. Not only do they have the burden of their portion of the premium, they must become their own benefits coordinator or at an additional expense, hire an H.R. person.
The answer to these and many other group insurance problems is voluntary benefits.
Voluntary benefits are a total paradigm shift in the human resource equation. A total voluntary benefits package lifts the financial and management burden from the employer.
All the owner is required to do is to payroll deduct the insurance premium of the employee each month and remit one consolidated payment to the insurance company.
The employee still enjoys the benefits of the coverage and the advantage of payroll deduction. The insurance agent becomes the benefits coordinator and assists both the employees and the employer with their respective health benefits needs.
It is a solution for those small businesses that can not offer benefits to their employees because the costs are prohibitive.