Navigating Benefits

Small Business Growth Doesn’t Have to Mean Growing Benefit Costs

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Posted by April 10, 2017

Small business growth is simultaneously exciting and scary. Watching your revenues increase and your staff grow can feel like the ultimate validation — proof that your hard work is paying off. But as your business and workforce grow you will need to take a closer look at your health and dental plans. Figuring out how to give your employees the best care at a cost you can afford can be challenging. Here are four strategies to help you save money and offer an attractive benefits package.

Know Your Staff

In a small business, you often have the chance to know all your employees and their families. If no one has tweens or teens, expensive orthodontic care probably won’t be a benefit your employees will use. On the other hand, people with kids in this age range may be thrilled with this type of coverage and, if you’re looking to grow your workforce, it might help you attract this demographic. You want to make sure you’re offering benefits your staff wants without paying for benefits your staff doesn’t need. Don’t guess — ask!


You may think you have no power because you only have 75 employees, but nothing could be further from the truth. Negotiate what your business needs. Consider your employees’ desires and bring these up to the sales rep. Don’t just accept an out-of-the-box plan unless it fits your needs. Remember that you’re the customer and there really can be flexibility.

Consider an Employee Directed Plan

Employee directed plans have high deductibles — which can sound scary — but when paired with a tax-deductible health savings account (HSA), the result can be cheaper and more flexible health care. Employees use the HSA to cover medical costs until they reach their deductible, and then the insurance kicks in. It’s a winning situation for everyone. Also, consider plans where maintenance medication comes from a mail-order pharmacy. These keep costs down and can be more convenient for busier employees.

Add a Wellness Component

Some plans give nice discounts to companies that participate in wellness programs. You may be able to find a program that is a good fit for your employees and saves you money. For instance, a smoking cessation program may reward you with savings in straight insurance costs and help improve your employees’ overall health. Ask your insurance rep what wellness plans will earn your business a cost break.

Remember, small business growth is a good thing. With careful planning and strategic decision-making, you can offer your employees attractive health and dental plans without breaking the bank.

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