The job market is constantly changing, and employers need to stay ahead by offering their employees (and potential employees) a comprehensive benefits package to boost their talent acquisition efforts and foster a company culture that increases retention. Small businesses are at a disadvantage when it comes to hiring talent, but they don’t need to be.
Corporate health insurance is not the norm in Australia, making it an incredible opportunity for small businesses to stand out from the crowded field of competitors and draw in top talent. Continue reading to learn more about how small business health insurance works and how your organisation can benefit from purchasing an insurance policy.
How does small business health insurance work?
A small business owner has to compete with larger corporations for the same potential hires, putting them at an unfair disadvantage. While the big companies usually have pockets deep enough to offer a comprehensive suite of employee benefits, small businesses might struggle to do the same.
Many fully funded plans are expensive and may fall outside the budget range of most small businesses, but that isn’t always the case. There is a health insurance market serving small businesses, meaning small businesses can find coverage options that are affordable and fit their specific needs.
Here are some of the payment options available:
- Fully funded: Under this type of insurance plan, employers cover the entire cost of health insurance. That gives employees the lowest rates, but also puts more of the burden on the company.
- Partially funded: Employers and employees split insurance costs if they opt for these plans. While medical expenses are still lower for both sides, they aren’t totally free for either.
- Voluntary: Employers can also choose a voluntary health insurance plan, meaning they do the research and select a plan that fits their employees’ needs, but the full costs still fall on the employees themselves.
Why should you offer employee coverage?
The nature of the current job market has intensified the competition between organisations over hiring the best talent. A small business owner can gain a major competitive advantage by offering health insurance to employees. This is particularly the case in Australia, where corporate health insurance isn’t the norm.
A small employer can offer a comprehensive benefits package to attract potential new hires and secure top-tier talent. More than that, health insurance demonstrates to employees that you care about their well-being and value their long-term health. This can help boost retention rates and maximise the value you get from each employee.
Quality health insurance also helps ensure that your employees miss fewer days of work due to illness. This brings down absenteeism rates, which makes each employee more productive and efficient. You ultimately benefit by seeing an increase in output while cutting costs at the same time, helping to power your organisation forward.
Small business insurance types
Three levels of cover exist that a small employer can consider, including:
- Hospital only: These policies cover all in-hospital treatment, including surgeries, accommodation and prescription drugs. Under these policies, employees have the ability to choose their own hospital and primary care physician.
- Extras only: Under extras-only policies, individuals get health coverage for any treatment that goes beyond Medicare, including dental, eyecare and physio. These policies tend to provide preventative care, which can help employees reduce medical costs down the road.
- Hospitals and extras: Including coverage options for both hospitals- and extras-only policies, these plans give employees access to the widest range of health care options with the most health benefits.
Providing the right insurance answers with expert support
Even if you’ve already decided that employee health insurance is right for your organisation, there are numerous factors to consider before purchasing a policy. The number of employees you have on staff should play a key part in your decision. If you have too few employees, you might not even qualify for most group insurance plans. Even if you do qualify, your total number of employees will affect how much each person pays on their premium — the more employees you have paying for insurance, the cheaper the policy may be.
It’s also important to know the people you intend to offer group health insurance coverage. Most companies with a corporate health plan offer coverage only to their full-time staff, but some organisations will extend coverage to part-time workers as well. Contractors are generally considered a separate category and many companies won’t offer them the same benefits, though some will include them to help create greater cohesion.
Talk to an expert to help you answer each of these questions (and several others) to get a better sense for the type of health insurance coverage that’s right for your company.
HICA can help you navigate the health insurance space
HICA is Australia’s leading privately owned health insurance brokerage. We work with organisations across the country, learning their needs and preferences, to help them find a health plan that’s right for them. With a team of experts that has almost 40 years of experience in health care, you can feel confident you’re working with the best professionals in the industry.
Purchasing the right health insurance plan requires having the right partner on your side. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation and find out more about your options.