Blog

April 1, 2024

Employee Health Benefits 101: What is an ICHRA?

The Wharton & Power Insurance Team helps businesses like yours offer the health benefits employees are looking for at a price that fits into your budget. One option that has been especially impactful for our clients is an Individual Coverage Health Reimbursement Arrangement (ICHRA). What is an ICHRA?  Find out below! What is an ICHRA? An ICHRA is an employer-funded Health Reimbursement Arrangement that allows companies of any size or industry to reimburse their employees tax-free for qualified medical expenses. […]
March 13, 2024

Nurturing Mental Health in the Workplace: A Vital Investment for the Home Improvement Industry

In today’s fast-paced and demanding environment, mental health in the workplace has emerged as a critical issue affecting employees across all industries. Small employers like you, in particular, face unique challenges when it comes to addressing mental health concerns among your workforce. Many smaller employers do not have a dedicated HR department or comprehensive Employee Assistance Program in place. These factors can make it challenging to effectively support employees struggling with mental health issues. However, investing in mental health initiatives […]
October 12, 2023

Start an Employee Health Insurance Program January 1

Offering employee health insurance within a small business is not an easy decision. There are costs involved and not just monetary, but also staff (and your) time. Entrepreneurs often find themselves working in their business rather than on their business, making implementing employee benefits even more taxing. For over 15 years, the Wharton & Power Insurance Team has supported the BAGI community in taking the leap to providing group health insurance. Below we outline our steps that seamlessly lead you […]
September 14, 2023

It’s September: Crunch Time for Employee Health Coverage

If you want to renew or start employee health coverage by January 1, now is the time to reach out to your broker. There is a lot that goes into the process – reviewing your renewal, collecting business and employee data, sending it to the underwriter for approval, and then implementing employee onboarding. While the idea can be daunting, you are not alone! The Wharton & Power Insurance Team has a proven process for timely approvals and personalized employee support […]
August 30, 2023

How to Prepare for a Retiring Workforce

10,000 Americans reach 65 every day. While the average age of retirement has increased over the past three decades, health, family, and financial considerations serve as the major triggers for leaving the workforce. Regardless of the reason, losing an employee with deep knowledge and experience can be a difficult blow. With the lack of qualified people available for hire in the home improvement industry, the impact on your business can be even greater. How do you prepare for a retiring […]
August 1, 2023

Thinking of Offering Employee Health Insurance? Read this.

With August’s arrival comes back to school, Indiana State Fair visits, and final weekends at the lake. And, if you are thinking of offering employee health insurance, it’s also time to start considering your options. For larger organizations, January 1 is a typical start date for group health insurance. However, small businesses can be more flexible with their timeframes, though it still takes a while to wade through the decisions underlying the process. To help begin your journey, we outline […]
July 19, 2023

A Health Insurance Option for All Kinds of Employees

With shrinking candidate pools being the top concern for the home improvement industry, employers are having to be flexible with their definition of “employee”. While part-time, varied hours, apprenticeship, etc. positions are becoming more common these days, the demand for benefits has not changed. Fortunately, the ICHRA program provides an employer health insurance option that offers many employee classifications the benefits they seek. ICHRA Overview This program launched in 2019 allows employers to contribute pre-tax dollars for employee health care. […]
July 12, 2023

Applying Shifting Employee Expectations to the Home Improvement Industry

Quiet quitting, remote work, flexible schedules and inclusive environments are just a few examples of the recent vocabulary of employment these days. These new words reflect shifting employee expectations which small and large businesses alike must contend with. The home improvement industry faces some challenges in adopting the way people want to spend their working hours. The fact is, to have something built, repaired, designed, etc., someone has to show up to do it. How can businesses like yours balance […]
June 26, 2023

Is There a Value to Offering Employee Assistance Programs?

If you have been shopping for employee health benefits, you may have been hearing about Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) and the value they can bring to your employees. But at the end of the day, business decisions must have value for the business too! Turns out there are many bottom-line benefits to offering an EMP to your team. According to the US Office of Personnel Management (OPM), an EAP is “a voluntary, work-based program that offers free and confidential assessments, […]
June 12, 2023

Employee Benefits that Support a Positive Culture

Some of our most recent blogs have noted the importance of positive company culture in attracting and retaining employees. While you might initially think of ping pong tables and happy hours, it is actually structured employee benefits that play the largest role in sustaining a supportive work environment. Which ones are most important to employees? Take a look below. Recognize Good Work According to GreatPlaceToWork.com, having a measurable and consistent program for rewarding employee excellence demonstrates that your organization values […]
May 31, 2023

How Small Employers Can Compete with Large Employers for Workers

According to the Wall Street Journal, the current construction boom plays a large part in creating the lowest unemployment rates we have seen in the last 50 years. With both commercial and residential construction spending continuing to rise, it’s no wonder that the competition for employees is fierce. As a local business, it may seem impossible to attract and retain a workforce when you are up against larger or national competitors. Below we offer some tips on how small employers […]
May 16, 2023

3 Tips for Supporting Your Employees Through Difficult Times

As an entrepreneur, you know that quality employees are central to growing your business. Once you have attracted talent to your team, it is essential to retain them by investing in their personal success during both good and bad times. With May being Mental Health Awareness Month, we thought we would offer some tips on supporting your employees through difficult times. 1) Create a Culture of Communication, Support and Inclusivity Employees experiencing a personal crisis are not bringing their best […]
May 2, 2023

How A Wellness Program Benefits Your Employees

Our Wellness Associate and owner of Prescriptive Health Solutions, Dawn Lang, offers a case study demonstrating how a wellness program benefits both your business and your employees. The workplace is a stressful environment for many employees. With deadlines, repetitive tasks, and pressure from managers, it’s common for the mind and body to feel overwhelmed. Given the prevalence of chronic stress and its impact on today’s workforce, offering an employee a health and wellness plan is one of the most important […]
April 20, 2023

Attracting Employees in 2023

In the Builders Association of Greater Indianapolis’ January 2023 State of the Industry Report, members of the home improvement industry found many things to be optimistic about. Low new and existing home inventory, increasing household formation and growing interest in new homes by the two largest population segments – millennials and empty nesters – create a positive landscape for business in 2023. BAGI sees current negative market conditions as a correction, not a recession, with continued opportunities for builders, remodelers, […]
April 5, 2023

Employee Health Insurance Option You May Not Know About

As a business owner, you face many issues competing for your time, and employee health insurance may not get the attention it needs. However, it is always top of mind for us, so we thought we’d share an option you may not know about which eliminates barriers to offering benefits to your team. ICHRA: An Employee Health Insurance Option You May Not Know About The ICHRA program was launched in 2019 via a rule issued by the US Departments of […]
March 15, 2023

3 Tips to Tackle Employee Challenges Facing Small Businesses

Although the past three years have not been easy, a looming recession, a home-buying slowdown, and historically low employment rates make owning a small business in the home improvement industry even more challenging in 2023. When uncertainty is the theme of the times, small business owners like you often rely upon the ingenuity and grit that drove you to become an entrepreneur in the first place to get you through. However, a business cannot run, let alone grow, without a […]
November 8, 2022

Tips for A Smooth Open Enrollment Season

With the arrival of November comes fall colors, cooler weather, rewinding clocks – and open enrollment! Since health benefits are important to employees, this time of year can be stressful for you and your team. Getting everyone on the same page with cost and coverage changes that are inherent to a new policy year, and then signed up for the right option, is not easy. Below we offer some tips to help you ensure a smooth open enrollment season. Start […]
October 26, 2022

Three Things to Consider When Choosing an Employee Health Plan

Fall is upon us, which means it’s employee health plan renewal season! As a small business owner, it can be difficult to find the bandwidth to consider all the factors that go into either keeping the same plan or finding a new one. This time of year could also be when you decide to begin offering benefits. Below we offer three things to consider as you move through the planning process. Employee Health Plan Costs The cost of an employee […]
October 12, 2022

It’s October: Get Your Employee Health Insurance Straightened Out Now

If you want to renew or start an employee health insurance plan by January 1, now is the time to reach out to your broker. There is a lot that goes into the process – reviewing your renewal, collecting business and employee data, sending it to the underwriter for approval, and then implementing employee onboarding. While the idea can be daunting, you are not alone! The Wharton & Power Insurance Team has a proven process for timely approvals and personalized […]
September 21, 2022

Employee Health Insurance Options Rank #2 on Employee Benefit Expectations

For small business owners, the state of US employment is not a happy subject. A historically low employment rate means increased competition for quality team members. Whether or not your company offers benefits can make or break your ability to attract and hire new people – especially employee health insurance options. Over the past few years, businesses are increasing their benefit offerings to keep up with employee demand. If you are not doing the same, it may mean you may […]
September 5, 2022

Small Business Owners Need Health Insurance Too

Owning your own business comes with a lot of perks – and headaches. While it is gratifying to call your own shots, strategize growth and provide a living for your employees, often owners put themselves at the bottom of the priority list. The fact is that small business owners need health insurance too!  And their families. You may feel that finding a group health plan for just a few people is impossible or cost prohibitive. However, there are many options […]
August 18, 2022

Read This Before You Renew Your Employee Health Insurance

Summer vacations are complete, and the kids are back in school – all signs that group health plan renewal letters will soon arrive in your mailbox! According to the Society for Human Resource Management, the expected average rate increase for 2023 employee health insurance will be 5.6%. Even though the rising price tag is under the current 8.5% inflation rate, the home improvement industry has already been hit with higher business costs since the beginning of the pandemic. Rather than […]
August 10, 2022

BAGI Group Health Program Case Study: Mirror & Glass Concepts

BAGI Member, John Grecco, Co-Owner (along with his wife Debi) of Mirror & Glass Concepts in Carmel, Indiana, recently spoke to us about their experience replacing their previous group health plan to the BAGI option: “We had insurance for our employees but were looking for a change due to a couple of factors. When we purchased the business three years ago, only some employees had health coverage. We wanted to offer the option to everyone and worked with a local […]
July 12, 2022

Balancing Recession Potential with Employee Retention in the Home Improvement Industry

Talk to ten economists and you will get ten opinions about what the economy will do in the next 12-18 months. However, there seems to be some consensus around the idea that a recession is coming, but not the degree. As a small business owner, we know you care more about what’s happening on the ground rather than the halls of policy. The housing market may be set for a bit of a downturn, but the fact remains that there […]
June 28, 2022

Tips for Hiring in the Home Improvement Industry

Even though the latest job reports show that the US added jobs in February, the unemployment rate is still at the lowest point in 50 years. The competition for quality employees is fierce, so how can a small or medium-sized business compete with larger organizations? Indeed .com offers some tips for hiring in the home improvement industry that could help you welcome your next team member: Make Your Job Descriptions Clear It may be time to revisit the tools you […]
May 17, 2022

How to Provide Health Insurance to Part-Time Employees

With the current low employment rate, it is no surprise that the home improvement industry is struggling to attract and retain employees. Often the talented people employers want to hire are looking for a more flexible work environment that includes benefits. Fortunately, there is a way for businesses with an under 50-person workforce to provide health insurance to part-time employees. Five years ago, the US Departments of Health & Human Services and the Treasury issued a rule allowing employers to […]
November 6, 2021

Health Insurance Options for Small Business Owners

As a small employer, you may feel there are just too many barriers to offering an affordable employee health insurance plan yourself. Too few employees, high costs and poor risk ratings are the top three worries. Fortunately, there are affordable options out there for businesses like yours. Too Few Employees to Qualify The ICHRA program makes offering health benefits to a small group of employees, including yourself, much easier than before. Launched in 2019, ICHRA allows a wider definition of […]
October 25, 2021

Facing Open Enrollment? A PEO May Be Your Best Option

Large and small businesses alike are receiving their employee health plan renewals this month. Costs rise each year, and 2021 is seeing a 9-12% increase range across the board. Open enrollment is a time for reevaluation for both you and your employees. If you are looking to offer a different solution for health benefits, a Professional Employer Organization, or PEO, may be your best option. What is a PEO? A PEO offers a co-employment model for its members, allowing employers […]
September 9, 2021

Mid-Sized Employers Uncover a New Post-Pandemic Hiring Trend

As we have been talking to Indy business owners over the past few months, they have been noting a new hiring trend in employee recruitment. Pre-pandemic, the gig economy was going strong with young workers looking for a big paycheck and flexibility. Post-pandemic, employers are now finding potential employees want more stability and health benefits – and they will not be hired without them. Businesses with over 20 employees who have relied on independent contractors to fill hiring gaps are […]
August 11, 2021

Small Employers Uncover a New Post-Pandemic Hiring Trend

As we have been talking to Indy small business owners over the past few months, they have been noting a new hiring trend in employee recruitment. Pre-pandemic, the gig economy was going strong with young workers looking for a big paycheck and flexibility. Post-pandemic, employers are now finding potential employees want more stability and health benefits – and they will not be hired without them. Businesses with under 20 employees who have relied on independent contractors to fill hiring gaps […]