Lowering Company Health Insurance Costs with a PEO

Affordable Healthcare For The Family

[vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern”][vc_column][vc_column_text]Employees care as much about benefits and affordable options as they do their regular compensation. 80% of employees would prefer new or additional benefits to a pay increase, especially those who have a partner/spouse and/or children in their household.[1]

 

These numbers and research only add pressure to business owners who are finding the cost of maintaining quality benefits difficult. For example, employer-sponsored healthcare benefits can end up costing the employer upwards of $15,000 per employee.[2] Most companies are only able to evaluate their benefit package offerings on an annual basis, reinforcing the difficulty behind making these types of decisions for the entire employee base.

 

There are ways, however, to reduce the cost of the number one benefit: Healthcare.

 

First, most companies, regardless of size, when looking to lower benefit-related costs, will partner with a professional employer organization (PEO). PEOs have better access to the health insurance options and carriers that you and your employees want. In this partnership the business (you) will come away with all the perks, including not having to manage the business/carrier relationship, not carrying the burden of searching for new plans each year or having to force yourself to understand what changed in each plan and why. This is the job of the PEO.

 

Regardless of whether you are partnering with a PEO or going it alone, it is important to weigh each carrier’s plan carefully. Stay away from any options that look like your cheap health insurance stand-by. Employees will want to get more bang for their buck, but as the employer, you should be concerned about the quality of care your employees will receive, including the availability of providers and how quickly new patients can be seen.

 

Employers may also look into adding wellness programs, or health insurance alternatives, as part of their ancillary or voluntary benefit offerings. These programs include emotional, social, and financial wellness and help keep employees on track and healthy in addition to physical health. These programs can include telehealth benefits which allow employees to receive medical care 24/7 without traveling to the doctor’s office. Whether you are at home, at work, or traveling, employees can visit with a doctor by logging into an app, going online, or calling the service directly.

 

Whatever your decision, when it comes to employee benefits and health insurance, the challenge of keeping costs low will be a constant. Researchers anticipate these costs will only continue to rise. But that shouldn’t deter you or your team of HR professionals from continuing to put your employees first, keeping their happiness and health top of mind. What you can be absolutely sure of is that a healthy workplace means increased productivity, reduced employee sick time, increased morale, and less employee turnover. Contact Vensure to learn more about how we can keep your costs low, provide new and better benefit options, and help keep your employees happy.

 

 

[1] Glassdoor: 50 HR and Recruiting Statistics for 2017

[2] SHRM: For 2019, Employers Adjust Health Benefits as Costs Near $15,000 per Employee[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Cannabis and HR: What Employers Need to Know

Cannabis & Human Resources

Businesses and Cannibis

The number of states permitting cannabis use is steadily increasing. This poses interesting challenges for employers and their HR teams around the country as technically cannabis still largely violates federal law. For employers, the number one goal of any legislation change or update (state or federal) is always employee safety.

 

Even if you are located in a state that has legalized recreational or medical cannabis, the employer or business is still able to prohibit employees from using cannabis at work or coming to work under the influence of cannabis, similar to restrictions placed on the use of alcohol and other drugs.

 

Cannabis comes in a variety of forms, including creams, oils, candies, and patches. The selection of available makes it easier for employees to obtain and harder for employers to identify cannabis-related indicators of intoxication.

 

To ensure your business is covered, in regard to employees who need or prefer to use cannabis, it is important to reinvest in your HR team and the related policies and procedures, to ensure a safe work environment for all employees.

 

Improve Drug Policies
Companies in states where cannabis has been legalized should consider having their HR team amend existing drug policies to clarify the business’s stance on the use of cannabis at work, or employees working/operating under the influence of cannabis. To enforce the policy, make sure the policy is not only justified but can be upheld according to state and federal law.

 

Adding this new policy to your existing handbook may not be enough to get the attention of all employees and managers. Instead, when the revised company handbook or a new policy is issued, offer a FAQs page, or hold a town hall to accommodate employee questions and concerns.

 

Be Interactive with Medical Exemptions
For states with legalized cannabis, medical exemptions can quickly muddy the water when it comes to cannabis. Employers do not necessarily have to tolerate employees who are under the influence of cannabis while on the job—especially if their intoxication poses a risk to other employees or themselves. It is best to take an interactive stance and engage the right parties to ensure everyone is on the same page about company policies, expectations, and medical exemption.

 

Maintain a Safe Environment
In positions where safety hazards are more likely, such as the operation of heavy machinery, tools, or driving, employers are encouraged to take a more firm approach when it comes to cannabis consumption. A single moment or lapse in judgment could cause the employee or another person serious injury. To combat these rare but serious instances, ensure managers are aware of how to handle inappropriate behavior during work hours and feel empowered to increase precautionary measures to avoid safety violations and mishaps.

 

As with any updated policy, communication is key. Make sure all employees are aware of what is being changed and why. Keeping management informed, also, and empowered to have conversations with employees is a great way to keep the conversation moving. Contact Vensure to learn more about preparing your business, HR department, and management team in states where cannabis is legal.

Getting Ahead of Small Business Trends

Small Business Owner Checking Figures

Whether you operate your small business out of your home office, a rented space in a large office complex, or the perfect spot in a quaint plaza up the road, the truth of the matter is that it is not about where you’re running your business, it’s about doing it more efficiently.

 

Business trends affect small businesses differently than large businesses. From customer service and marketing to technology and managing your workspace, every aspect of your business requires more attention. As the years come and go, you may reflect on the success over the last year while planning the next year’s impact on the market. One of the best ways to do this is to stay abreast of trends directly affecting small business, and use that insight to get (and stay) ahead of the curve.

 

Direct, Personalized Advertising and Marketing
Consumers of homegrown products and services are interested in seeing people who look and think like them represented in the marketing and advertising around their favorite items. Take your marketing and advertising initiatives to the next level by keeping things personal. Instead of purchasing stock imagery, show real people using your products or services, people in your stores, or even a picture of you engaging with customers. To better relate to your target audience, use your target audience in your campaigns.

 

Go Mobile
Americans are deeply connected to the digital world. It’s part of who we are now. In fact, 81% of adults in the United States are smartphone owners.[1] The majority of these adults range from 18 to 29 years old.[2] This group of consumers is always on the go and they are hungry for new and exciting products or services that fit their lives.

 

In order to successfully reach this market, you have to go mobile. People are using their phones, more than desktop computers or laptops, to access research information about companies. Not only does your company website have to be responsive (that is where your website automatically resizes itself to fit the device on which users are viewing it), but the applications you use to manage your business should also be available on mobile devices.

 

Payroll, for example, is a necessary part of any human capital management (HCM) platform. Managers, or employees who review and approve time and attendance with payroll, will appreciate the opportunity to perform these tasks on the go.

 

HCM Integration
Compliance regulations in addition to federal, state, and local laws are changing all the time. It is crucial for your HR team to ensure employee and confidential customer data is protected from the beginning. Small businesses may not all have the resources to finance a whole HR team, so it is not uncommon for small business owners to take on this role, as well.

 

HCM platforms, like Vfficient by Vensure Employer Services, eliminate the need for multiple systems while giving users the opportunity to complete business-critical functions quickly and accurately. This includes hiring and onboarding, processing payroll, and reporting.

 

 

From small business payroll to marketing and advertising, these trends are not slowing down. In fact, you can expect to see refinements to these trends in addition to new trends popping up each year. Contact Vensure to make sure you’re not falling behind the curve with your small business.

 

 

[1, 2] Pew Research Center: Mobile Fact Sheet

Five Vital Components Your Company Handbook May Be Missing

Included in every new hire or employee onboarding packet should be a copy of your handbook. In addition to company history, work hours, and dress code, there are lots of company policies that are considered crucial elements for your handbook. Employees use the handbook as a frequent frame of reference; ideally, a handbook should be as thorough as possible. The notion of less is more does not apply here.

 

Your employee handbook should be updated regularly, and available in a conspicuous location, such as the company intranet. Missing one of these vital components, or any not mentioned in the video is almost just as bad as not having a handbook at all. Think of your employee handbook as a representation of your company culture and values through referenceable material.

 

Let us help your HR teamwork through updating your existing employee handbook. Learn more about Vensure today.

Understanding Employee Assistance Programs

Frustrated Business Owner On The Phone

The popularity of corporate wellness programs is on the rise. However, not all of these programs include employee assistance programs (EAP). An EAP provides employee access to professional counselors to meet with employees in a safe and private environment and on their terms. The information shared in EAP counseling sessions is confidential and will not be reported to your employer without explicit permission on the employee’s part.

 

Employees may consider using their EAP benefits to help manage areas of their life including:

  • Stress
  • Marital, relationship, or family concerns
  • Grief
  • Financial concerns
  • Mental health issues
  • Alcohol or substance abuse

 

While being able to receive counseling to discuss these or other issues is immensely helpful for employees, there is also a great employer benefit in offering EAP services. When employees are overwhelmed with personal issues, they are unable to focus or perform at the top of their potential. For example, “mental health issues like anxiety and depression are on the rise for young workers.”[1] This is why the American Psychiatric Association supports the notion that “investing in a mentally healthy workforce is good for business” [2] as one in five adults have an untreated mental illness.[3]

 

Adding a well-structured EAP to an existing employee benefits plan has bigger benefits than helping the employee reduce their level of stress at work and regain their normal level of productivity. Happier employees help to create an equally happy company culture. This can be attributed to EAP and improved wellness, overall.

 

The ability to provide employee assistance in terms of mental health goes beyond what an employer HR department or the employee’s direct leadership team can offer. Many of these issues are serious and require professional intervention. EAPs make access to this type of care more cost-effective and easier for the employee to access and schedule.

 

Offering EAP services to employees underlines the organization’s commitment to employee health and success in and outside of the company. Contact Vensure to learn how to foster a healthy and productive work environment for your employees. Additionally, let us help you review improved voluntary employee benefits available for your organization.

 

 

 

[1] Forbes: Addressing Mental Wellness: A Critical Component to Employee and Organizational Success

[2, 3] American Psychiatric Association: Center for Workplace Health