Are you starting to plan for your 2021 employee benefits?

If you need new ideas, this post is for you. I’ll be sharing more about Budget, Benefits, & Value 

We know we need to address all of the aspects of employee well-being.  That would include physical, mental, emotional, financial and purpose. It has to be balanced with your budget and your employee’s ability to pay their share if applicable.

Budget

Most employers have a budget for employee benefits.  We usually tell our employers to budget 12%, 1% for each month for renewal increases.  In 2019 we didn’t see many that were that high. And it is too early to predict trends for mid-year 2020 or 2021.

Benefits

At Benefits by Design, we know one size does not fit all.  Healthcare is human centric. What works for a super healthy employee does not necessarily work for an employee with health issues. We will help you put together an offering that will work for all of your employee population.

Offering a choice of Benefits

Whether you are a large employer or a small one, there are lots of options available for employee benefits.  Offering choice doesn’t mean it will be more expensive. There are ways to establish a budget and allow employees to buy up if they want more.

What we are seeing is that most employers are offering Kaiser and then at least one additional medical insurance company.  

For employers under 100 employees, California Choice or Covered CA small business plans are popular because they provide multiple carrier options at different price points.

California Choice is a small group exchange and I have seen as many as 5 different health insurance companies offered, depending on where the employee lives.

Covered CA small business can work well for employers with low wage-earning employees because if employee only coverage is offered, the employee can enroll their dependents on Covered CA and get a subsidy if they qualify.

Specialty benefits

Some specialty benefits can be voluntary, which means the employer pays the monthly bill, but the employee pays for them through payroll deduction.  If payroll is reduced because the employee is getting benefits instead of pay, that reduces employer taxes and employee cost. You can set up a Section 125 plan, Premium only Plan, that allows employees to pay their portion with pre tax dollars. 

Depending on how competitive employee benefits are in your industry, employees may expect to have dental, vision, employee assistance programs, disability and life insurance to be employer paid. At Benefits by Design, we have a lot of ideas we can propose to help meet your needs in this category.

Some of the other things that can be part of the package are: Pet insurance, student loan benefits, adoption assistance, fitness class passes and commuter benefits.

Value for the organization and your employees

If you are not sure what will interest your employees and motivate them the most, consider doing a focus group or an employee survey.