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Health Insurance

A good benefits program is essential for attracting new employees and retaining current ones. Surveys show that three in four workers consider benefits a decisive factor in weighing new job opportunities.

Benefits like health or disability insurance and retirement plans are very desirable to employees, but they can also be very costly to employers. That’s why almost all employers share the costs with their employees. There are also voluntary benefit programs that allow employees to purchase or increase their benefits themselves, often through automatic payroll deduction.

The one thing that almost every employee wants and needs is health insurance. More than 80 percent of employees say that hospital and medical coverage is the most important benefit an employer can provide. Fortunately, there are plenty of options, each offering tradeoffs between flexibility and affordability.

The most common health plans are health maintenance organizations (HMOs), preferred provider organizations (PPOs), point of service (POS) plans and indemnity plans. Choosing the right program for your employees involves careful tradeoffs between cost and choice. If cost is your paramount concern, an HMO or POS plan might be your best bet. If choice is what you’re after, indemnity plans and PPOs often offer the greatest flexibility when it comes to picking providers.