Should small businesses offer higher pay or more employee benefits?

Employer benefits

This question inevitably comes out near the end of the year with other family members being given the option to enroll in an employer offered health benefit program.

Now, while most larger employers can offer full benefits packages including 401k, comprehensive health plans etc… most smaller employers don’t have the group size to offer larger plans with affordable employee deductions. So, while that seems like a setback in offering, most employers overlook the great bonds that can happen with employees just for offering something as simple as a supplemental plan that helps employees offset costs or covers them in case of emergencies.

We partner with Arizona Life and Health Solutions and they offer benefits like Accidental, Cancer, Critical Illness, Life Insurance, Health coverage and more by utilizing more than 140 Carriers to offer personalized plans for individual employees. This allows for employees to actually own plans instead of offering only employer owned benefits that make it harder for employees to move benefits that they like with them.

How it happens…

Most of the time, companies like Aflac and others can offer group rates but can only help if they have more than 3 or 5 employees who want to sign up. Unfortunately, the “gatekeeper” as they are called don’t allow employees to hear about benefits that could be available and can help them. While most of the time these are more beneficial for the employees, group plans have the option to be pre-tax and also offer tax benefits for the business owner as well to entice them to offer the benefits to the employee’s.

Here’s how it works according to AZ Life and Health Solutions…

When an employer offers benefits and covers them, they are able to write off 100% as business expenses that can save them on tax deductions at the end of the year. Normally, we recommend an employer to offer an Aflac Accidental package which roughly costs about 7 dollars a week at no charge to their employees. Not only do these help offset costs of hospital visits on and off the job, but they also can extend to family members who may not get the same offerings from their employer.

Some of our clients also choose to offer short term disability coverage through Aflac or Mutual of Omaha with group rates that help in case of injury or illness and can pay employees up to 60% of their normal pay as soon as a week after the incident. What this offers employers isn’t just tax deductions, but also saves the conversation that they might be dreading… An employee asking for an advance is nullified with a short term disability policy because they know they are covered. Otherwise, if an employee declines the coverage, we have them sign a waiver that we leave with the employer in case they get sick or hurt and want to ask for an advance, it puts the employer in the position to deny because they had already offered a plan that would have protected them in case of injury or illness.

So, its up to the employees to feel heard.

At the end of the day, offering benefits to employees is completely up to each employer. The pro’s outweigh the cons in some cases and in other cases, they would rather offer higher pay.

With higher pay, most employees prefer to get money in hand, but sometimes fail to realize that means that they have to provision out funds to cover medical expenses, dental plans and vision plans to list a few. This may seem simple, apply for a plan, hope you get approved and that you can find a reputable provider in your area. Luckily, AZ Life and Health Solutions has the answer for their clients who don’t want to have to go hunting for their policy. Being able to partner with major carriers such as Aetna, Humana, Cigna and others, they are able to do the shopping for clients and get them the best coverage available for each situation.

Ultimately, the benefits that each employer offers may differ, but one way or another we have found that our clients prefer to have something in place to protect their employees and business. We do recommend having a conversation with employees as to what kind of benefits they expect and if you need to learn more about what they offer, we whole-heartedly recommend speaking with our partners at Arizona Life and Health Solutions, they can be contacted at .

What are your thoughts on benefits and what you would expect an employer to offer YOU? Let us know down below.

5 responses to “Should small businesses offer higher pay or more employee benefits?”

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