It's a common misconception that corporate health insurance is only for larger companies. However, if you're a small business owner, there's no reason why your staff should miss out.
In this article we'll look at who's eligible to access corporate health insurance policies, how they can benefit smaller organisations specifically and why you shouldn't worry about the practicalities of implementing such programs.
Can small businesses offer corporate health insurance?
Only 47 per cent of small businesses offer perks to their employees.
In a word, yes – there are no profit thresholds, requisite personnel numbers or other criteria that dictate which businesses can offer this considerable perk to their staff.
This is because corporate health insurance isn't a one-size-fits-all phenomenon. Sure, your company may not have the same disposable income as the Googles and the Amazons of the world, but you won't have to break the bank in order to provide private health insurance to your staff.
Here are your options:
- Voluntary – This is the least expensive option. Instead of contributing to staff insurance premiums, you simply give them the option to sign up to a plan at a reduced rate. Employees will be presented with the same cover options an individual consumer would (e.g. hospital only, extras only or hospital and extras combined).
- Partially subsidised – Here, you and your employees come to a cost-sharing agreement where you help them pay for the costs of their premiums.
- Fully subsidised – With this option, you're responsible for the full costs of employees' health insurance premiums.
Why small businesses should offer corporate health insurance
There are lots of perks of working for a smaller operation. However, an area where these organisations have traditionally lost out to bigger enterprises is in the perks they can offer to their employees. Indeed, a 2019 report from Clutch indicates that only 47 per cent of small businesses provide staff benefits, and that the situation gets worse the smaller the company is. The survey found that companies with fewer than 11 employees are less likely to supply extra-salary incentives than those with 11 or more.
Over half of employees named health insurance as the most important perk for job satisfaction.
While its understandable that companies with fewer assets, facilities and capital might shy away from offering benefits, this can become problematic. Often, for small businesses, their people are their most important resource – they're the people who understand where you want the company to go, and the processes by which you'll get it there. Furthermore, hiring and training staff in the event of a resignation is a major time and money suck that gets in the way of progress. If you get your employee benefits right, however, your staff will be less likely to look for a job in the next 12 months, according to Aflac.
However, even if your staff aren't thinking of moving on any time soon, you still want to ensure they're fit and healthy enough to work. Take mental health as an example – PwC states that mental illnesses cost Australian businesses $4.7 billion in absenteeism and $6.1 billion in presenteeism (being at work but being too sick to properly function) every year. Recent reforms to Australia's private health insurance system has made it easier for policy holders to access mental health services. The centrepiece of this reform was to waive cover waiting periods, meaning patients will get access to the care they need faster.
It doesn't matter if you lack a HR department
A common reason for small businesses to avoid implementing corporate health insurance plans is because owners feel they don't have the time and resources to do the research, set the policy in place and ensure it continues to run smoothly.
Fortunately, there are ways to avoid doing this legwork, which mean that lacking a HR department isn't an obstacle. Independent consultancies like HICA can work with you to help find the right policy for your small business, with minimal time investment from you. Based on what you tell us in a free, no obligation consultation, we can use our industry expertise to research the market and present you with a range of plans to choose from.
We can also provide ongoing support from our professional team who can be contacted over the phone to answer any questions that might come up. This includes responding to queries from your employees themselves, meaning that you can focus on running your business. What's more, you don't pay any additional fees for using our services. For more information on how HICA can help your small business take advantage of everything that corporate health insurance has to offer, get in touch with us today.