As a small business owner, the thought is often that you can’t compete with the larger companies when it comes to benefit offerings. Clients of Employers Advantage and other small business owners often say to us, “We want to do something, but we don’t know what to do”. The good news is, there are options for small business that don’t include group health plans or a significant expense to either the employer or employee.
The workforce and how business is done has changed so much over the last 10 years and those changes have produced significant and viable benefit offering options for a business of any size. These alternative options include telemedicine and Account Based plans. Keep in mind that these plans are not actual insurance coverage or group medical plans, but are options that provide small business the opportunity to offer benefits to employees. This is a new way of thinking about benefits and a great affordable way for small business to have a benefits strategy and better utilize their benefit dollars.
Thomas Necessary, VP Business Development, is with Drawbridge1 in Charlotte and they are changing the way benefits are administered and helping small businesses and employees use their benefit dollars wisely. Here is what DrawBridge1 is doing for employer benefits:
- Educating employers and employees on how to better utilize benefit dollars around dental and vision. These two benefits should be budgeted for (in most cases) and not paid for as an insurance product by utilizing Account Based Plans; FSA/HRA/HSA. Thus, securing the money spent for these needed medical services in the hands of the employer or employee and not paying for premiums
- The savings averages around 30%, but can reach closer to 50%
- Service general purpose FSA plans for those companies that have a medical plan in place
- Utilizing debit cards and an App to streamline the process
- Understanding that this is a different way to think about these benefits, we provide, at no cost, educational meetings for employees
Small businesses often will increase employees’ compensation to “cover” the fact that they do not offer a group benefit plan. Once that money goes out the door, the employer cannot say what gets done with it and that money provide no real value to the employee after that. The employee simply sees it as their pay and are still without a “benefit”. Thomas says that for small business in that situation, DrawBridge1 can quickly help them with setting them up with a Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Account (QSEHRA) which will save both the employer and the employee on the taxes paid on that additional compensation and the money is being used as a benefit to the employee. Here is what Thomas highlights for small businesses:
- Created in 2016 as part of the 21stCentury Cures Act
- Available only to Employers with less than 50 employees who do not offer group medical benefits
- Benefit is funded solely by the Employer and must be available to all Full-Time employees
- Employee contributions are not permitted
- Maximum annual benefit amounts are: $4,950 Individuals / $10,000 Family
- Employees must provide valid proof of incurred expense for reimbursement to occur
- COBRA/State Continuation requirements to continue benefits after termination do not apply
- A formal QSEHRA plan document is required to provide the benefit
- Employees must receive a Summary Plan Description (SPD) to explain how the plan works
Another alternative benefit offering is Telemedicine through companies such as Hosperity. Again, this isn’t health insurance, but it does give employees 24/7 access to doctors and nurses at a low monthly cost. Telemedicine through Hosperity is easily administrated online and can be carried with the employee after they leave the company.
If you are a small business owner that is either paying additional compensation for benefits or you want to do something for your employees but don’t know what to do, there are affordable and sometimes cost saving options available for you. Give us a call at Employers Advantage or reach out to Thomas Necessary at DrawBridge1 at Thomas.firstname.lastname@example.org or directly at 704-796-3340 to get those benefit dollars used appropriately.