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Providing Health Benefits to Your Employees

For small businesses, like most architects and engineers, this is a huge expanse. Over the past few years we have seen these costs skyrocket.

But did you know that nearly 20% of Americans have secondary health coverage. What this means is they are covered by two health insurance plans because there are two working parents in the household. When this is the case, the have one plan be their primary coverage and the other is their secondary insurance. And while that is all fine and well, what is it costing you to provide secondary coverage to your employees?

One way to help limit the number of employees who are doing this is to have them participate in the cost of their health coverage. By the way, if an employee is using your insurance as a secondary coverage plan the benefits paid by the insurance company are much less but the premiums you pay remain usually the same- big price with limited benefits.

We did a change at our office where are employees were required to pay for 20% of their health insurances and we covered the other 80% rather than covering 100%. What we found was about 1 in10 of our employees opted out of our plan and elected to be covered by their spouse insurance. Usually this was because their spouse’s employer (hopefully it is a big company providing great coverage) was giving them good insurance and paying for all it.

Now we did not do this in an attempt to hurt our employees in any way, in fact we gave them each a rise to cover what their 20% share was going to be. We weren’t trying to take money out of their pocket, however, when a number of our employees opted out of our insurance plan, the company got the benefit of saving the remainder of those premiums that we had been paying.

For small architecture and engineering firms this can amount huge dollars.

So take a look at the health benefits you are providing to your staff and see if they are in line with what your company can truly afford to do.