Think about the last time you were looking for a job. When assessing what the employer offers you, health insurance was probably among the primary things you looked for – every employee wants a worker’s health insurance regardless of how vocal they are about it.
Giving health insurance to each and every employee is a great way to, simply put, have everyone clamor to work for you – people tend to associate a lack of business health insurance with a callous or unprofessional employer.
Here’s an overview of your options for small business insurance.
Working with what the nation offers you
Most small business owners will encounter SHOP at some point of their entrepreneurial journey. SHOP stands for Small Business Health Options Program (where’d the B go?), and it’s more or less the go-to way of getting health insurance for your business.
SHOP aims to make your life easier by connecting you to various health insurance providers and letting you pick and choose the one you want. There are certainly benefits to using the program: you won’t have to spend endless hours searching for insurance companies, which will let you dedicate more time to running your business. Furthermore, plenty of employees are familiar with SHOP, and having the program as part of your business will definitely make you seem like a good employer.
SHOP is also convenient in that it lets you adjust the insurance policies in accordance with your desires with minimal hassle. Dental, health or a combination of both – you can pick any plan and still enjoy the SHOP label and the message that it signals.
There’s also something to be said about the quality of the insurance companies – if you’re picking yours through SHOP, you won’t have to worry about working with bad apples who will try to scam you.
With all that said, the SHOP program is far from perfect. SHOP’s technical issues have achieved a certain level of notoriety nation-wide and many business owners are reluctant to even consider the program. Tales of ludicrous waiting times echo around a large amount of states and make many a business owner wary, and with good reason – if you’re seriously considering SHOP, it pays to read testimonials from other small business owners in your state.
Is there an alternative to Uncle Sam’s program?
Fortunately, yes. Those wanting to forgo SHOP (or employer-given health insurance in general) still have some alternatives to consider.
Perhaps the best among them is having your employees pay for their own health insurance. No, we don’t mean simply giving up on providing health insurance altogether – rather, you can add an extra something to the monthly paycheck of every employee and designate it as an insurance bonus.
If you’re doing this, you’ll definitely want to put everything on paper so that you have clear proof of the perks you’re giving to your employees. This works best when you know you can trust the people in your employ – done right, it will eliminate the trouble of dealing with insurance companies and allow your workers to pick what’s best for them.