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IPS / Lighthouse Insurance Group Blog: employee benefits

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By law, most businesses have to provide their employees with certain benefits. This might include health insurance, workers’ compensation and other protection. Nevertheless, many businesses don’t stop at required benefits packages. There are a lot of options out there to support employees, after all. Howimage of manager handing over employee benefit package info can some of these prove useful?

Even if you don’t have to offer employees certain insurance or benefits, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. Optional benefits might prove helpful to your workers in the right circumstances.

Optional Benefits Packages

The perks of a broad benefits package often show up in your operations. In other words, employees that have good support often perform better on the job. For example, health insurance can help them better provide for their medical needs. If they’re healthy, they’ll likely do a better job at work. That's a probable increase in productivity and income for the company.

So, when you set up a benefits package, think of how it can help the employee and the company. Some of the coverage you might consider offering includes:

  • Expanded health insurance options: Some health insurance doesn’t cover perks like vision or dental service. Still, if employees have access to these services, they might be able to perform better on the job. Consider adding coverage to your group health plan.
  • Health and wellness benefits: Wellness plans might offer gym memberships, health screenings, counseling and more for free or at discounts. This can go a long way towards improving overall wellness in the company.
  • Life insurance: An employee’s death means they cannot provide for their survivors. Life insurance can provide a financial settlement to let those parties tie up loose ends. It’s often great security for your workers.
  • Retirement pensions: These plans allow employees to put away money for their retirement. Some plans accumulate interest and cash value, adding more security. It's a way to help employees feel like they are working towards a goal.
  • Commuter reimbursement: If you operate in a city with a subway, you might offer employees a stipend to pay for their fares. This will help ensure employees always have money and resources to get to work.

In essence, the more benefits you provide, the more secure your employees can become—financially and personally. So, don't hesitate to talk to your insurance partners at 734-421-9900. See how they can help you establish optional benefits. You’ll likely recoup the cost of investment with the better performance of your workers.

Also Read: Lawfully Required Employee Benefits

Posted 7:45 AM

Running a company means you have certain responsibilities towards your employees. Often, you cannot expect them to work if you do not guarantee their safety and well-being. A variety of laws mandate how employers must provide for the welfare of the employees. In many cases, these laws govern howimage of employee benefits folder on desk the employer must offer benefits.

Employee benefits come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They all serve a purpose of safeguarding the recipients. Examine national, state and local laws to determine if you must offer benefits. Some of the options you might need include

1. Health Insurance

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires many employers to provide health insurance for workers. Most plans must contain certain elements of coverage. Employers, therefore, can often help employees access medical care. As a result, your business might even see an improvement in employee commitment, retention and overall company wellness.

2. Workers’ Compensation and Disability Insurance

Should something happen to an employee on the job, the business might have to pay for their losses. Most do so through workers’ compensation, which most states require businesses to carry. Injuries sustained at work could cause an employee to lose time at work, and thus lose income. Workers’ comp can assist an injured party’s recovery without them facing financial problems.

Some states also require disability benefits for employees with short- or long-term incapacitation. Though different from workers’ comp, disability benefits also provides supplementary income to affected employees.

3. Medical and Maternity Leave

Federal law requires most employers to allow workers to take time off in the event of illness, pregnancy or other medical needs. Generally, the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) governs these benefits.

For example, if someone must leave work to have surgery, they might qualify for this coverage. In many cases, the employer will have to keep that person’s job open and available during their absence. In other words, they cannot replace you. Often, employees qualify for around 12 weeks of leave.

Keep in mind, extended leave might not come with pay. Some companies offer fully-paid leave for employees, while others do not. Some states require some companies to offer paid leave on certain occasions. However, what situations qualify for paid leave vary widely.

When determining the benefits you must offer your employees, take a look at local law. Various states have regulations in place to oversee the implementation of these plans. Then, contact an appropriate business insurance agent at 800-220-5582. They can often provide a variety of the benefits your employees might need.

Also Read: Employee Benefits: Providing Required and Offering Optional Benefits

Your employees do a lot for your business. You want to show them that you have their best interests at heart. Offering benefits is one way to do so. image of employees gathered

Not only do you recognize the importance of protecting employees, so does the law. Some benefits are not options, but requirements. Businesses often have to provide certain perks to their employees. These particular benefits often act as valuable personal protection for your workforce.

Required Employee Benefits

Employee benefits usually involve various forms of insurance. Therefore, multiple laws cover whether certain businesses must offer certain benefits. As a business owner, always make sure you provide the benefits required of you. These might include

  • Health Insurance: Many employers have to offer some or all employees health packages. The employer usually shares the cost of the policy with the employee. These packages usually must meet standards set forth in health insurance law. Whether the employee takes this coverage is up to them. However, the employer usually must at least offer it.
  • Workers’ Compensation: If an employee gets hurt on the job, they might have to miss work to recover. This means they might not be able to receive income because they cannot work. Most businesses have to provide workers’ comp as a result. It serves as a way to help an employee receive income while recovering from an injury.
  • Overtime Pay: When certain employees work past their required time, they qualify for more pay.
  • Minimum Wage: Federal and state law require some or all employees to receive pay at a minimum level. The minimum wage is one way of making sure that employees can pay their own bills.

A variety of laws might govern how businesses must compensate their employees. Check your local statutes for more information on the benefits you must offer.

Optional, Additional Benefits

Good perks often provide incentives for your employees to stay with your company. So, most businesses provide a wide range of benefits. Beyond required benefits, additional perks you might offer include

  • Dental insurance for adults (many health insurance plans come with pediatric dental insurance)
  • Paid maternity or paternity leave
  • Paid holidays
  • Club memberships such as gyms or health spas
  • Life insurance and retirement accounts (some states might require this coverage)

And everything from pay raises to severance pay.

When it comes time to setting up your company's benefits plan, talk to your commercial insurance agent at 734-421-9900. They can help you enroll in benefits in compliance with the law. You can then work on offering extra benefits that provide workers with more comfort.

Also Read: Reducing Worker Falls on Icy Outside Surfaces and What to Consider When Launching a New Business

image of woman working as a contractor

Contractors are a different classification of employee than a full-time worker. This classification may mean that contractors require special consideration for their workplace benefits.

Employee benefits to contractors often differ from those full-time employees. Therefore, employers need to understand who classifies as a contractor.

What Employees Are Contractors?

Understanding the difference between employees and contractors may help a business determine how to offer benefits.

Independent contractors are usually self-employed. They agree to work for a business based on the stipulations of a contract. But, what makes a contractor different from a standard employee? Don’t employees also assume responsibilities for an employer?

Classifying someone as a contractor often depends on the work expected of them. As a general definition, the IRS says contractors are those who agree to complete the work, but the employer cannot control what the contractor does to complete the work. The employer (or payer) can usually only control the result they expect from the work. Therefore, independent contractors retain a degree of independence from the employer. By contrast, full-time employees often have rules from employers on how they must work.

Benefits for Independent Contractors

Often, businesses have a legal obligation to provide their full-time employees with benefits. These may include health insurance, workers’ compensation and other forms of protection. They may not have to provide these benefits to contractors.

Business owners may decide to offer benefits to contractors. On the other hand, they may choose to forego benefits for these individuals. Nonetheless, they should abide by all lawful stipulations regarding employment classifications. This can help the business avoid potential penalties related to employment benefits.

If an employer misclassifies a full-time employee as a contractor, it may face penalties. This is because it did not accurately represent its employment practices. Likewise, by inaccurately classifying contractors as full-time, the employer may wind up providing benefits is may not legally have to provide. This may lead to costs the business might otherwise be able to save.

Interpretations of full-time or contractor classifications often vary. A review of local or industry law, and a clearer understanding of full-time and contractor classifications can help businesses provide the best benefits. Employers should make sure every employee or contractor has benefits they legally need.

Do you need Michigan employee benefits? Let us help. Call Insurance Planning Service at (800) 220-5582 for a fast, free quote on multiple policy lines.

Posted 9:22 PM

image of happy employeesProviding your employees with the benefits they want and need is good for your company. It can your company to retain top talent. It also might help you to keep your employees longer, reducing training costs and hiring fees. Importantly, it helps you to show your concern for the people who make your company possible. 

When it comes to employee benefits health insurance is one of the most valuable. Are you offering it?

Knowing Your Legal Requirements

The Affordable Care Act requires some businesses to provide employees with health insurance. This is often the case for businesses with a certain number of full-time employees or a large staff.

Requirements aside, consider what providing health insurance to your employees would mean to them.

  • With this type of employee benefit, your team can afford to have regular medical care. This allows your team to remain healthy and reduces the amount of missed time at work they have for illness.
  • Your employees appreciate being able to take their children to the doctor. Some employees say that having insurance for their children’s needs is important to them. This also reduces risks of employees missing work because of a child's illness.
  • Companies that offer health insurance can receive more applications and better applicants for positions. This is especially true for higher level positions and harder to fill positions.
  • Employees with health insurance can get necessary health screenings early on. This can help employees to fight off disease sooner. It can also help them tackle risks such as weight concerns, smoking, and mental health matters, sooner.
  • Providing employee benefits may help you qualify for federal tax breaks.

Most companies will find that offering health insurance is a key employee benefit. Benefits can help both you and your team. It may not be as expensive as you think. Benefits can also be exactly what your team expects and needs to keep them working harder for you. Take the time to learn more about the employee benefits that really impact your team. Learn what you can do to ensure your employees have the coverage they need.

Do you have questions about the right type of Michigan health coverage to offer your employees? Call Insurance Planning Service today at (800) 220-5582.

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Lighthouse Group Main Office in Grand Rapids, MI
Mailing Address | P.O. Box 530009, Livonia, MI 48153

Phone: 734.421.9900 | Toll Free: 800.220.5582 | Fax: 734.421.9911

Also serving these Detroit area communities in Michigan: Livonia, Farmington Hills, Ann Arbor, Southfield, Plymouth, Canton, Westland, Northville, Novi, Dearborn, South Lyon & Walled Lake