From Small Business to Worldwide Organization
Today's employee works anytime, from anywhere. Our employee population is also more diverse than ever. When it comes to the company employee benefit plan, we want, and expect, our employer to know current trends and offer proactive solutions for our changing employee needs.
According to a Guardian Workplace Employee Benefits Study, HR administrators said their most important priority in offering benefits is "advocacy." Employers want to know that they have professional expertise readily available to help them navigate employee health care challenges when they need it in recruiting and retaining employees. In addition, they want to make sure their employee benefits broker knows their business, company, work, plans, and needs and gets them the types of help their organization requires every time.
So to ease the burden, simplify the process, and empower a world-class benefits program, let's review some basic small business employee benefits program details and then also address employee benefits solutions for larger businesses with many employees.
What Does a Typical Employee Benefits Package Cover?
An employee benefits package may consist of many different types of health insurance and other benefits. Here are a number of examples of components that companies may offer in their benefits programs :
- Medical insurance
- Dental programs
- Vision programs
- Life insurance
- Disability insurance
- Short Term Disability
- Long Term Disability
- Retirement plan benefits
- Health Savings Account benefits
- Flexible spending accounts
- Voluntary benefit plans
- Supplemental insurance, such as accident, hospital, and specific-disease policies
- Paid Time Off, including paid sick leave, work leave, and others
Is Offering a Health Plan Benefits Package Required?
No federal government, state, and local laws direct business owners to provide health benefits to their employees. However, under the Affordable Care Act, larger employees face penalties if they fail to provide health insurance coverage.
The ACA specifies that any employers with 50 or more full-time workers, or a combination of full-time and part-time employees who add up to the equivalent of 50 full-time employees, must provide health insurance to 95% of their full-time employees. If these employers do not meet this requirement, they will be assessed a penalty to the Internal Revenue Service. This penalty is quite hefty — $3,860 per employee per year in 2020 — and undoubtedly provides powerful motivation for large employers to supply health plans. However, employees have no right to demand a health care program under the ACA.
In order to meet the ACA rules, health insurance plans must adhere to minimum requirements for benefits and affordability. Coverage must also be extended to the employees' dependents, who are defined as biological or adopted children under the age of 26. Spouses, stepchildren, or foster children are not considered dependents under the ACA.
What Doesn't a Benefits Package Cover?
Depending on the line of insurance, there will always be exclusions or limitations. For example, chiropractic coverage is often not included without a specific rider. Orthodontia coverage is not automatically covered under dental insurance. Adult orthodontia is available but not necessarily automatically covered. It is important for both employers and employees to understand insurance limitations before a claim occurs.
What Additional Fringe Benefits Can Make the Package More Attractive to Employees?
Most employers certainly care about the welfare of their employees who contribute so much to the business, and they plan their benefits offerings accordingly to improve the quality of life for these workers and their families. There is no doubt, however, that adding employee benefits can motivate employees, increase employee engagement and employee productivity, and offer a competitive advantage when it comes to attracting and retaining workers. In fact, many workers prefer receiving additional employee benefits rather than pay raises.
In addition to group health insurance and medical benefits, life insurance, and disability coverages, employees often receive benefits mandated by local, state, and federal laws, such as workers' compensation insurance, unemployment insurance, or family and medical leave.
Retirement savings options are also popular benefits, and in many companies, the employer will match employee contributions. Paid time off, especially paid vacation leave and paid parental leave, are often expected in today's work world. Employees sometimes receive paid time to devote to a limited number of volunteer hours at their favorite charities.
Companies may also offer particular benefits if they appeal to a large segment of their workforce. For example, a business that hires recent college graduates may provide student loan assistance. For an employee with student loan debt, financial assistance for student loan repayment is a huge incentive. Likewise, a small business owner in a remote location might offer commuter benefits to help workers with travel expenses. Some businesses also offer voluntary benefits, such as pet insurance, where employee discounts may apply, but the employee pays most of the cost of the particular benefit.
Not all employers can offer every benefit to their workers, but employee surveys can often provide guidance on which employee benefits are valued most in addition to an employee's salary. Taking time to survey employees can help clarify benefit priorities for employers and employees alike.
What Is Employee Benefits Liability Coverage?
In order to cover business firms from any errors or omissions that might take place during the administration of employee benefit plans, employee benefits liability is available. EBL coverage can be applied to many types of employee benefit plans, ranging from health, dental, and life insurance to retirement plan programs, employee stock plans, profit-sharing plans, and workers' compensation.
The Top 5 Employee Benefit Solutions
To simplify the process of attaining a world-class employee benefits program, empower benefits awareness, and support employers' and employees' needs, the benefits plan should be built upon these top 5 benefit solutions:
Solution 1 - Control Costs
Awareness is the key to helping control health benefits costs. Awareness empowers us to make better benefits decisions. It gives us confidence and courage to do things we might have thought impossible.
VANTREO brokers play a vital role in providing the awareness and support that employers need to educate their employees about the organization's employee benefits. Whether your plan is fully-insured, self-funded, or a combination of both, we help you make informed decisions, get the programs employees like, and access automated information instantly along the way. Your VANTREO team delivers powerful support to both employers and employees when it comes to cost-reduction benefits strategies and other financial benefits.
Solution 2 - Maximize Technology
According to an Aflac survey, half of the employees take just 30 minutes or less time to decide and designate their benefits selections during the annual open enrollment period. This gives their employers an extremely short window to make sure employees completely understand the benefits choices and provide them with the right information to make confident benefits selections.
To do this effectively, HR needs to move past brochures, handouts, lengthy employee packets, and paper applications and look for ways to meet employees where they live — online.
With VANTREO, your benefits program comes wrapped in easy technology that not only simplifies HR onboarding and benefits administration, but also manages ACA compliance, includes unlimited reporting capability, and offers a digital experience that employees truly enjoy.
Solution 3 - Satisfy Diverse Benefit Expectations
Today's workforce has significantly changed with many employees embracing a large array of various lifestyles. Some examples include same-sex marriages and greater numbers of single women. Many people are delaying retirement with longer careers, and it is not uncommon for employees to take up several different careers during their lifetimes. This diverse mix of people represents new benefits realities for employers.
Yes, employees are more diverse than ever before, and they want to be recognized as the unique, multidimensional, and "whole" people that they are. Here's what they want from their employer-sponsored benefit plan:
Broader & Tailored
They desire a broader definition of benefits that are more tailored to their needs.
Accessible & Clear
They require more accessible benefits expertise and a clear explanation of benefits.
They prefer a simplified enrollment and engagement experience. As employees have a broader, clearer understanding of the types of health insurance, life insurance, and retirement benefits the company does offer, they can make choices that better fit their needs. With a simplified process, employees are more likely to appreciate the advantages and financial worth of the unique employee benefits their company provides. This recognition and gratitude often heighten their allegiance and commitment to their company.
We are here to help provide the experience that satisfies both you and your team.
Solution 4 - Empower Work/Life Wellness
A recent MetLife employee benefits study reported that today's employees put an increased focus on happiness at work. Personal well-being and satisfaction can be as important as the numbers on their paycheck. To that end, employees look to employers to help safeguard them against work-life stress, anxiety, and other mental health issues, and to provide wellbeing programs that reward healthy behavior even if the employer does not pay for them, and participation is voluntary.
Wellness plans may be included in health insurance programs or be administered as stand-alone, ancillary benefits. These plans may include but are not limited to tobacco cessation, exercise, weight management, or other behavior modification programs. They may also incorporate employee assistance programs to assist with individual mental health, addiction, or other personal issues.
While participation in wellness programs is voluntary, employers may offer incentives for participation or even disincentives for non-participation. Benefits success occurs as employees adapt to the new and evolving organizational culture of healthier living.
Solution 5 - Manage Regulatory Compliance
The easiest way to stay in regulatory compliance with the Affordable Care Act is through technology. Eligibility tracking, employee changes, open enrollment, and even employee self-service capabilities are easily done online.
With VANTREO, your benefits program and retirement plans come encased in technology that not only simplifies HR on-boarding and benefits administration, manages ACA compliance, and includes unlimited reporting capability, but also offers a digital experience that employees actually enjoy, all at no additional cost to you.
Every relationship begins with a wish list. What’s most important to you? Is it the ability to offer employee benefits such as a group health plan to help your employees keep their health care costs under control while maintaining your organization's total compensation costs at a reasonable level? VANTREO works to combine quality benefits products and benefits services with results that meet the needs of both the employer and the employees. The goal is to achieve the desired level of protection and overall financial fit for both the business organization and its people.
VANTREO services and expertise are focused. Small business owners receive solutions tailored for small businesses. Large companies benefit from one-on-one strategy from experts who know unique medical, life, and disability insurance benefits programs, retirement plans, and both fully-insured and self-insured components. These options create broad value so every stakeholder has that one solution they really like.