Protect the Team: Why You Need to Offer Group Benefits to Your Employees

Updated: Nov 2

Disclaimer: Informational statements regarding insurance coverage are for general description purposes only. These statements do not amend, modify or supplement any insurance policy. This website does not make any representations that coverage does or does not exist for any particular claim or loss, or type of claim or loss, under any policy. Whether coverage exists or does not exist for any particular claim or loss under any policy depends on the facts and circumstances involved in the claim or loss and all applicable policy wording.


If you're interested in attracting fresh new talent to your company, you've got to consider what you currently have to offer.

A generous salary is one thing - but being able to offer group benefits (like health insurance or life insurance) at a discounted rate is hugely important to most workers.

Yet many employers overlook this part of doing business, viewing insurance services as too expensive or too cumbersome to manage. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2020, just 40% of workers had access to things like short-term disability coverage.


If you want to connect with the best possible employees - you know, the ones who will work hard and stick it out for the long term! - you have to consider investing in group benefits.


What are Group Benefits?


Group benefits, also referred to as group insurance plans, are simply insurance products that cover a large group of people rather than personal insurance plans, which are meant to cover just one person. If you're an employer, that “group of people” to which we are referring is likely your employees.


Usually, these policies are part of a more comprehensive employee benefits package. They can include a variety of insurance products and policies.

The great news is that you can more or less "mix and match" these to your liking.


Finding the Right Packages


There are plenty of factors you'll want to keep in mind when you're shopping for the ideal bundle of benefits to support your team.


Demographics and Industry


For starters, think about your employee demographics. While some research suggests that younger workers don't care as much about supplemental benefits as older generations do, there's a lot of variation between groups of workers regardless of age. Each company is different!


Therefore, it's important to get up close and personal with your workers to find out what sorts of things they're interested in.


Don't forget about the importance of the industry your company operates in, either. There are so many benefits you can provide, but depending on the type of work your employees do, some services might be more important than others.

If your company's work involves lots of manual labor - such as construction or logging - offering long-term and short-term disability coverage is important. Your workers are far more at risk of getting hurt here than if they worked in an office, punching numbers into calculators (but hey - we know accidents happen there, too!).


Budget


Budget will be an important (if not the most important) factor for management to consider, too. Some bare-bones plans cost as little as $75 per month per employee while others can cost several hundred dollars per month. Think carefully about how much you might be willing to pay for these sorts of solutions - and how comprehensive your plans can afford to be!


There are ways to cut costs - you can add deductibles, amend co-insurance levels, and even review your benefit maximums. If you're not sure that you're getting the best deal, there's nothing wrong with shopping around for a second opinion, either.


Interest


Last but not least, consider what kinds of coverage your employees, both current or prospective, might be interested in. It pays to conduct an informal survey to get a temperature reading on this.


After all, in order to get the best deals, you need as many workers as possible to buy into the various plans you offer, even the voluntary ones.


Make sure you have a keen understanding of what your employees actually want before you take the plunge!


What Benefits Should You Offer to Your Employees?


Executive benefits can help attract new talent - and keep the ones you have happy and well cared for! After all, it's not just a healthy salary that your employees are in search of - they also want to know that they'll be protected in the event of an accident or emergency.


Some of the most common types of benefits you might consider offering include:


Group Health and Other Medical Benefits


When you think of employer-sponsored insurance, health plans are usually what come to mind. However, healthcare isn't the only service you should consider offering.


A package that includes medical benefits is required by law in many cases, with the Affordable Care Act dictating that employers with 50 or more full-time workers must provide health insurance to 95% of their workers or pay a hefty tax penalty to the IRS.


In addition, the federal Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) specifies that employers who have more than 20 workers must allow their workers to continue healthcare coverage at their own expense.

To be in line with COBRA Compliance Laws, you may have to continue offering healthcare for a set period of time, even after an employee has quit, been laid off, or been fired (except in the case of gross misconduct).


Even if you aren't a large enough business that you're federally mandated to provide health insurance plans, offering this kind of service is a great way to attract employees.


Many smaller companies offer health insurance and this is considered a perk of the job - when you buy health insurance at a "bulk" rate, it's much cheaper than if you were going out on your own.


Dental and Vision Insurance


Dental and vision insurance programs are also widely sought after by employees. Things like glasses and dental work can be expensive - but having an insurance plan that's available at a lower group cost can help make them more affordable.

Many employers choose to offer dental and vision insurance as part of their group benefits package, even if just on a voluntary basis.


Life Insurance


Life insurance can not only be used to help pay for end-of-life expenses but also to replace lost income, cover basic living expenses, or fund a child's education after a parent passes away.


As an employer, there are several types of solutions you can offer to each employee. You can offer either term or whole options (or both), depending on your preferences and what you think your employees might be most interested in (and willing to pay for).


Short and Long-Term Disability Insurance


If you get injured or so sick that you cannot work, disability insurance can help replace your income in the meantime. These policies are often offered by companies as voluntary benefits and are a good idea, again, for companies whose work includes a lot of high-risk manual labor.


Critical Illness Coverage and Group Accident Insurance


As an employer, you might choose to "upgrade" your package to include additional healthcare-related options such as coverage for accidents, cancer, critical illness, hospital indemnity, and more.


These sorts of policies offer extra financial protection beyond disability and health benefits. Generally, they provide lump-sum cash payouts should an employee be diagnosed with a specific critical illness or suffer an injury.


Section 125 Plans


Section 125 plans are often referred to as "cafeteria plans" and are employer-sponsored plans meant to provide employees with access to certain benefits.

These policies can be used to cover all kinds of childcare, medical, and other expenses, including things like:

  • Acupuncture

  • Ambulance Services

  • Long-term Care Services

  • Psychiatric Services

  • Alcoholism Treatment

...and much more. An employer might offer a Section 125 plan in the form of a health reimbursement account or something similar. They all function in approximately the same way. You'll be able to take benefits that are taxable, like a cash salary, and convert them into benefits that are not taxed.


You can deduct these from an employee's paycheck before taxes are paid, making them good options for participants with regular expenses related to childcare and healthcare not covered by a regular health plan.


Your employees will be able to set aside funds pre-tax and then use them on qualified expenses - it's like a salary increase in disguise! As an employer, you can buy into these programs at a much lower cost than an individual could on his own.


Choose Northern Insuring for All Your Employee Benefits Packages


When you're shopping for group benefits packages to protect your employees, finding the right broker can be stressful.


Northern Insuring helps you live your life protected - without all the added confusion.


Shopping for insurance shouldn't be like a game of chess. Finding quality products to protect your employees (and at the right cost for your business) should be easier than it is with other insurance companies.


Here at Northern Insuring, we want to help demystify the process so that you can spend less time comparing insurance services - and more time doing the work you love.


We'll simplify the complicated...for insurance. Contact us today!


10 views0 comments