by Mike Menath
Reality is settling in for business owners in the northern Nevada: If you
want to remain competitive in the labor market, you’ve got to offer health
care benefits to your employees. When the United States economy collapsed in 2008, northern Nevada was among the hardest hit in the nation. As a course of pure survival, many
companies in the region had to reduce their health care benefits—some
Fast forward to 2017 and by most accounts, the local economy is booming.
Now, with unemployment numbers at low levels, employees are once again
wielding the upper hand. Providing health care benefits is rapidly becoming
a necessity if you want to be competitive in this ultra-tight labor market.
But with health care costs skyrocketing, and the politics surrounding it in
Washington D.C. in complete disarray, how is that even possible?
If You’re Not Providing Health Care Benefits…You’re Already Spending A Fortune
The sad truth is, you are already spending a great deal on health care in your
business, even if you aren’t providing benefits to your employees. First off, you’ve got the expense of hiring and retaining employees. Most business owners list staff turnover as one of their highest productivity impacts.
For many companies, it takes at least three months of on-the- job training for
an employee to start carrying their weight. Often, it can require as long as a
year to get them fully up to speed. This ties up supervisor-level time as well.
Many of the top recruits won’t even respond to your job postings if they
know your company doesn’t offer health care benefits.
And for those who will work for you without benefits, you are facing
elevated instances of absenteeism, and worse, having them come to work ill
and getting the rest of your staff sick. Clearly, a company benefits financially by having healthy employees. Your staff will have more energy, higher productivity and better attitudes because
they know they are being taken care of by their company.
So, What About These Free Health Care Benefits?
Everybody knows how expensive health care benefits can be. And it’s clear
the costs are going to continue to climb. You can’t technically add health
care insurance without paying a carrier.
However; you can recover the cost of providing this benefit by discovering
savings or productivity enhancements in different areas of your business.
This will free up currently wasted resources to pay for your new health care
What follows are some of the ways you can accomplish this.
Having quality insurance is essential to operating a responsible business.
Yet, in many cases, companies are overinsuring themselves in unnecessary
and expensive ways.
Some of the policies that were set up early on in your business may not be as
streamlined as they should be for how you run your operation today. We’ve discovered companies who have been paying key man insurance on employees who have long left the firm. Other businesses are paying coverage on products that have been discontinued for many years.
By having your coverage policy thoroughly examined by a professional, you
may discover significant savings that could be more wisely applied to
offering health care benefits.
For many businesses, workplace safety is not only an ethical obligation; it is
a significant expense item. There is workers’ compensation insurance, the
impact of OSHA violation fees and potential enterprise-crippling lawsuits to
name a few. What many business owners don’t realize is how much control they can
exercise over their workplace safety costs. Through training and
implementation of time-tested best practices, companies can drastically
lower these costs.
This is where your insurance professionals should be able to assist you. For
instance, we have extensive training materials and tools to offer our clients
that provide an industry-specific blueprint for workplace safety. There is no need for you to reinvent the wheel in finding substantial cost-savings in workplace safety.
Finally, one of the most critical (and manageable) expense line items for
businesses is in the area of risk. Let’s face it. Every company is vulnerable to
corporation litigation, natural disasters, embezzlement, employee theft and a
host of other things than can go wrong, and often will.
And these are the most painful checks for a business owner to write.
The good news is there are insurance tools and proven strategies to greatly
minimize your exposure to risk. Your insurance representative should be an
expert in risk reduction with products to offer and critical knowledge to
Free Doesn’t Come Easy
So, will you be able to add or enhance health care benefits for your company
at no additional cost to your bottom line? The answer will depend on your current efficiencies. If you’re already running at 100 percent maximum efficiency in all areas of your business, then there will be fewer opportunities to find excess resources to cover your
health care costs.
But if you’re like most busy business owners, running a company in a
competitive environment—then there are quite a few opportunities to free up
resources that can be better invested elsewhere. It all starts with a comprehensive overview of your entire insurance strategy by someone who understands all facets of the industry.
Who knows? You might be able to shift costs significantly enough to make your goal of adding health care benefits much more affordable than you think. And in today’s labor market, this might lead to your best business investment of 2018.
Menath Insurance is an independent insurance agency with offices in Reno, NV, Incline Village, NV and South Lake Tahoe, CA.