“Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.” – Richard Branson – founder of The Virgin Group

“Employees who believe that management is concerned about them as a whole person – not just an employee – are more productive, more satisfied, more fulfilled. Satisfied employees mean satisfied customers, which leads to profitability.” – Anne M. Mulcahy – former CEO of Xerox

We live in a working society that tends to take many benefits for granted. While this may be a bit presumptuous, the fact is that most all employees in the U.S. expect to receive some level of health insurance coverage from their employers.

As part of a typical benefits package, health coverage has been a staple for so long in America that it is understandable that many workers don’t even realize that it’s not a requirement of their employers to provide it. It has become, in many minds, an entitlement of sorts. 

That being said, most employers also understand that offering health insurance coverage to their employees is essential for several reasons. 

Understanding the Value of Employee Health Benefits

In the United States today, businesses do not have to offer health insurance, strictly speaking. However, with the passing of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) a mandate was created for most large employers with over 50 full-time equivalent employees that requires them to offer qualified and affordable health benefits or pay a tax penalty.

The bottom line for most employers is that offering health insurance coverage to their workers is a beneficial requirement for the employer, as well.

Today, health insurance is the cornerstone of a comprehensive benefits package offered to employees. And it is the most important benefit to most employees. Anyone who has been following the economic growth and health of the U.S. understands that we are currently in a “job seeker’s market” when it comes to hiring. And this means that the competition for talent is high.

In this climate, and employer’s health insurance offering is a critical component for being viewed as an “employer of choice” by desirable candidates. Why is this? One reason is the essential need for health insurance. In fact, one survey reported that nearly 60 percent of all working Americans acquire their health insurance coverage through employer-sponsored plans.

According to Pacific Prime

“Offering health insurance as an employee benefit is generally one of the simplest but most effective steps you can take to reward and attract talent. Health benefits can also deliver a range of benefits, such as increasing productivity, boosting morale, and helping shape a positive company culture.”

And a post at Virginpulse.com notes that, 

“Offering benefits to your employees is important because it shows them you are invested in not only their overall health, but their future. A solid employee benefits package can help to attract and retain talent. … Healthier employees mean reduced healthcare costs for your organization.”

Benefits of Offering Employee Health Benefits

As we noted here already, offering a comprehensive health benefits package can make your company more competitive in attracting quality applicants. But there’s ongoing benefits to an employer from providing great benefits to their workers. 

An article at Forbes.com states,

“The 2016 Aflac Workforce Report found that 60% of employees would take a job with lower pay but better benefits, while 16% said they had left a job or turned down a job in the prior 12 months due to the benefits offered. Additionally, 42% of employees said employers making improvements to their benefits would be something positive they could do to keep them in their jobs. Employers that offer strong benefits programs paired with competitive salaries will find it easier to recruit and retain employees.”

Here’s a brief overview of the advantages of employee health benefits:

Reduced Salary Costs

In the world of salary offerings and negotiations, prospective candidates are generally more inclined to consider a position at a lower salary when robust health insurance benefits are provided. Part of the reason for this is the prohibitive costs for employees to obtain their own individual or family health insurance plans

Tax Deductions

Small business employers can deduct most of their health insurance-related expenses from their federal business taxes. For example, businesses can generally deduct 100 percent of the premiums paid for qualifying group health plans. And offering group health insurance as part of a total compensation package may allow employers to reduce payroll taxes.  

Lower Insurance Costs

Because businesses can often obtain better rates for insurance than individuals this means lower health insurance costs for everyone, including the employers. Also, ensuring that employees have access to quality healthcare through comprehensive coverage helps maintain a healthy workforce, which leads to lower costs in the long term. 

Improved Productivity and Morale

A healthy workforce is a more productive workforce. A study from MetLife found that 60 percent of employers offering health insurance say it has led to higher productivity levels. And the CDC states that employees who prioritize preventive care get more accomplished at work. Providing comprehensive medical and wellness benefits helps to keep a workforce healthy, reduces absenteeism and boosts overall productivity. These benefits, in turn, lead to a more positive work environment and employee morale. 

Considering Employee Health Benefits

As an employer, it is essential to identify and acquire the best employee health insurance options possible. Employees represent not only the most valuable assets and resources of a company, but they also represent the bulk of a company’s investment. Therefore, it is essential to provide the means necessary to help ensure their health and well-being.

With this in mind, every employer’s goal should be to work with a California health insurance agent who is properly licensed, has a good track record, great references, is responsive and forthright, and – most importantly – holds service to their clients as a priority.