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Small Business Employee Benefits and HR Blog

4 Alternatives to Offering Paid Healthcare

Working Hard-5Although healthcare benefits are a vital part of recruiting and retaining key employees, rising healthcare costs are making it more difficult for employers to offer healthcare benefits. According to an article released yesterday by entrepreneur.com, now that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is offering affordable health insurance with access to premium tax credits, “offering healthcare as a benefits might not be as attractive as it once was.”

This article contains four alternatives to offering paid healthcare benefits, according to entrepreneur.com.

1. Pay Enough to Help Cover the Cost of Individual Health Insurance

The article points out that although employer-sponsored health insurance costs are rising, that doesn’t necessarily mean the same thing for employees who purchase an individual health insurance policy. The article suggests giving everyone a “boost in salary” or annual bonus to help cover the cost of employees’ individual health insurance.

While this may seem like a beneficial arrangement for both parties, there are several problems with this solution. There is no guarantee that the employees will actually spend the money on health insurance when their salary is increased. Additionally, many employers will lose their desired, top job candidates to employers with formal health benefits in place. While increasing salary may be somewhat appealing to candidates, some candidates would prefer a formal, tax-advantaged health benefits program.

2. Opportunities to Work Remotely

The article also points out that with millennials entering the workforce, the workforce is starting to get picky. Since they grew up with the internet, mobile technology, and information on-demand, the younger workforce puts a large emphasis on freedom in the workplace.

The article points out that flexibility in where and how much they work has a huge impact on job satisfaction for millennials. In fact, they point to a survey reporting that telework is offered by 88 percent of organizations, with one-third of the organizations offering telework on a full time basis. The article suggests offering employees the option to work from home periodically, depending on the schedule that tasks demand.

3. More Flex and Vacation Time

Entrepreneur.com suggests that offering more flex/vacation time can help to reduce workplace stress so that employees are healthier in the first place. In addition to relieving workplace stress, offering flexible work hours to employees reduced absenteeism and improved morale and motivation. This can, in turn, lead to an overall well-being and less frequent illnesses.

4. Creative Perks to Inspire Innovation

The article revealed that by 2025, 75 percent of the workforce will be made up of millennials. To ensure employee retention, organizations are going ot have to come up with some more creative, stand out perks. Along with autonomy and freedom, millennials will need some innovative perks to attract them to a workplace environment.

According to the article, “healthcare now pales in comparison to catered meals, attraction tickets, and even fun workplace environments like ones offered by Apple, Google, and other companies known for innovation.” However, these perks don’t always have to be extravagant or expensive to implement. Low-cost employee perks, such as a casual dress code and flexible hours can pay off as well.

Read the entire article at entrepreneur.com.