As a small business owner, offering health and dental benefits should be high on your list of financial priorities.

Why? Because it’s a crucial piece of any employee compensation package.

Helps attract new hires. A benefit plan makes a business more attractive when recruiting because when any plan member, or their family member, needs health, dental or paramedical services, they are covered by the plan according to the terms laid out in the contract. This means more money in their pockets at the end of the day.

Retains employees. For the same reason that a benefit plan attracts employees, it boosts employee morale, satisfaction and productivity — all of which reduces the costs associated with turnovers.

But many small and medium sized businesses often choose not to invest in group benefits for their employees because they assume that it is too costly and that they don’t have the economies of scale to make it worth their while.

This couldn’t be further from the truth. Sure, small businesses don’t have the economies of scale to define their own unique company plan, but they can (and should) approach a benefits broker to find a group plan that fits their needs.

By joining a group plan, your business is lumped in with other small businesses, which allows you to share in the cost of all claims. Writing your own plan may more precisely fit your needs, but with just a small number of plan members, one large claim could cause your premiums to skyrocket.

Speaking of premiums, when joining a group plan make sure that you understand all of your costs upfront and that you avoid paying 100 per cent of the premiums. All insurance companies require employers to pay a minimum amount towards the premiums, but employees should contribute as well. This reduces your financial burden but also encourages employees to be responsible about the claims they make.

The reality is that Canada’s workforce is a diverse age group all of whom have different health needs. Offering employee health and dental benefits may cost your business a little more, but the long-term advantages outweigh those costs and will contribute to your business’s overall success.

And, it’s just the right thing to do.

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