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3 Strategies to Improve Employee Health
03/24/2015

Healthcare costs have been rising each year. Sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy eating habits are just some of the culprits and as an employer, you can gain competitive advantage by improving employee health. It’s no secret that healthy employees are more productive. To make them more efficient and creative, here are some wellness practices we’ve discovered on Entrepreneur:


Take impromptu walks. People with desk jobs are more predisposed to cardiovascular disease as compared to those with “standing” jobs. Aside from providing healthy snacks and lunch, that spur-of-the moment walks can save you.


Healthy commutes. Traffic and prolonged sitting in the car is a common scenario - and employers recognize this. Consider giving commuting allowances, like what Kaiser Permanente offer their employees, or encouraging bike to work, just like what Google is implementing.


Longer maternity leave. As a major life event, your employees will appreciate it more if you provide decent maternity leave and care options. This will prevent them from feeling overstressed and allow them to perform to their full potential.


These are just some of the initiatives you should consider to control healthcare costs and build a more productive workforce. You can also develop new ways of working and help your employees achieve balance between work and the rest of their lives. 

Why Health Coverage is Important for Your Business
03/17/2015

Most people need medical care at some point and having a health plan means one less thing to worry about. Small businesses can get help enrolling in health insurance, either to purchase or renew a plan. The benefits of choosing a plan and making an informed decision are many:


Preventative care. You have access to preventive healthcare services such as screenings, vaccines, and doctor visits.


Retain top employees. Providing health benefits is one of the best ways to recruit and retain employees.


Peace of mind. Many accidents can cause financial strains and if you are insured, you are protected from unexpected medical costs.


Comply with federal regulations. You need to have health coverage to comply with the individual mandate. And if you have an existing plan under the Affordable Care Act, you don’t have to pay the fee that many people who don’t have coverage must pay.


Lastly, having health insurance is a great way to keep you and your employees safe, healthy, and happy. 

Five Ways Small Businesses Can Lower Healthcare Costs
03/10/2015

Many small businesses have found healthcare costs expensive and reducing their spending can be a challenge.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 57 percent of workers at firms with 100 employees or less have access to employer sponsored health care. In a CNBC article, the topic of rising healthcare costs were explored, emphasizing these five options for small firms:


Negotiate. One way to reduce healthcare spending, according to CNBC, is negotiating on a group health insurance premium. Jeffrey Ingalls, president of The Stratford Financial Group, a New Jersey full-service insurance brokerage explained that “a good broker can point out factors that the insurer should also take into account to lower the premium.”


Try the SHOP Marketplace. Last year, small businesses with 50 or fewer full-time equivalent employees started turning to the SHOP Marketplace. You may be eligible for tax credits and may save on healthcare costs. You may also find more options as compared to a single small group health plan. If you haven’t enrolled in SHOP yet, you can do that anytime of the year.


Convert to individual plans. Another smart move to do so you can save on healthcare costs is to convert to individual plans. To continue offering employee benefits, you can reimburse employees for their premium.


Explore direct primary care. A growing number of primary-care physicians are partnering with employers to deliver direct primary care on a fixed monthly membership model. This gives your employees access to care however, it doesn’t offer comprehensive coverage that includes catastrophic illness such as cancer.


Health Care Sharing Ministry. Health care ministries are organizations whose members share "a common set of religious and ethical beliefs and share medical expenses among themselves in accordance with these beliefs.” The idea is that members donate a certain amount monthly and are able to apply for a when a medical expense is incurred. Often, there is a threshold to apply for assistance.


To know more about getting affordable coverage for your business, contact us today. 

3 Tips on Creating A Healthy, Engaged Workforce
03/03/2015

 

 

In a Gallup survey, the obesity rates in the U.S. reached 27.7 percent. As a small business owner, you can get involved in the initiatives aimed at reducing obesity. Here are 3 steps you can make to help you nurture healthier and more productive staff:


Act now. How many times did you say you’re going to try to lose weight? If you’re like most people, it’s not going to be easy, unless you act now. Encourage them to make healthy choices and while it all sounds too easy, you can take small steps towards achieving your big goals. Be sure to come up with creative and fun ways to motivate your employees and get back on track.


Do something different. Implement fun activities at work, for an instance, try running contests. A friendly, non-competitive match can be spread over multiple people. Give incentives to the winning team and all those who will participate. Some incentives you can give are healthy lunch, gym passes, or pedometers. In the end, what matters is that your employees are making efforts to make your healthy business goals succeed.


Educate. A healthy lifestyle should not be temporary; it’s a way of living. You don’t want your employees to skimp on healthy habits after the contests. Help them to eat right, de-stress, take a walk around the office, and breathe fresh air. Emphasize the importance of preventative healthcare visits. A healthy body and a clear mind can help anyone in accomplishing day-to-day activities.


Good health leads to higher productivity and enjoyment. Remember, spreading the healthy lifestyle bug to your employees starts with you.


Essential HR Tips for Your Small Business
02/24/2015

Small businesses can also face HR issues when hiring staff, complying with the law, and maintaining the company culture. Here are some tips to get your HR running smoothly:


Organize employee records. It is very important to keep a comprehensive file for each employee and make sure all information is current. Use standardized forms, if possible. Be familiarized with the federal and state recordkeeping requirements.

Make payroll on time. It isn’t just about keeping track of their hours. For small business owners, this can be downright overwhelming. Take the leap and get accounting help or utilize payment systems to make sure you distribute paychecks consistently.

Have an employee manual ready. This explains your policies and procedures and serves as a guide for your employees. In the event of a dispute, this can help protect your business.


Understand the rules. There are laws governing payrolls, employee termination, and other protocols that should be followed. Be sure to know and understand these regulations and abide by the law. You can always refer to the Department of Labor if you have any questions in mind.

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