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 are now finding that employee pool drying up. Hence why they are reaching out to us to help them offer health benefits. The Wharton & Power Team has been helping small businesses find affordable, high-quality employee health insurance for nearly 30 years. While there are many options out there, two, in particular, are well-designed for the under 20 market:
Since mid-2019, a health reimbursement program named ICHRA has allowed employers to contribute pre-tax dollars for employee health care coverage. Small employers see multiple benefits with this new model:
• Flexibility in Coverage
• Fewer Requirements
• Wider Employee Definitions
• No Set Contribution and Participation Levels
With the ICHRA program, we help our clients set a budget and set up the program. Then our team works directly with their employees to choose a health insurance plan that works for them. Rather than a company-wide group meeting about coverage options, the employee experience is more personal and has the potential to provide more beneficial coverage. With W&P, there is no cost for this service.
Another option for small employers is a partially self-funded plan, where they take on some of the risk associated with the cost of employee health coverage in exchange for a lower premium. Part of the employer’s monthly payment is placed into a fund to cover expected claims, which are processed by the insurance company. Those premiums also cover stop-gap catastrophic event insurance in case an employee has a large, unexpected health event. These plans also offer co-pays, HSAs, wellness programs, etc.
Employers with a young, healthy workforce can benefit from the lower cost of a partially self-funded plan. Also, there is an incentive to offer wellness programs and rewards to help keep expensive claims from popping up. The idea is to save on employee health costs while they can.