June 10, 2024(1)

Employee Benefits In the Staffing Industry – What Questions To Ask? 

David Johnson

In 2016, the staffing industry found itself in the eye of the storm when the Affordable Care Act (ACA, also known as Obamacare) swung into action. Long story short: under the employer mandate, employers with 50 or more full-time employees were required to offer health insurance coverage or face hefty fines and IRS penalties. For nearly 8 years now, employers of all sizes have been on a journey navigating the twists and turns of the ACA, exploring various strategies, and rolling out different programs. Many times, the greatest discoveries come from asking the right questions.

 

Questions to ask concerning your employee benefit offering:

Affordable Care Act Mandate

If my company has over 50 full-time (FTE, full time equivalent) employees – Is my business ACA compliant? If I am compliant, what is the total cost each year in reporting and other administrative fees? If I’m not compliant, do I understand the potential fines and IRS penalties?

 

Health Insurance Plan Design. Employer and Employee Expectation

Ultimately, the question is: is my business providing an appropriate level of health insurance benefit to the workforce? For instance, if my company primarily deals with job placements offering a salary around $25 per hour, it wouldn't make sense to offer a base plan like a national PPO with a $1000 deductible and a monthly premium of $550. Very few employees would likely enroll in this plan. Aligning employer and employee expectations ensures that the benefit offering meets the needs and financial realities of both parties.

 

Administration and Monthly Management

Managing employee benefit offerings involves various stakeholders, each with specific roles. It's crucial to understand who is responsible for what. What tasks are carried out by the employer, the employee benefit broker, and the insurance carrier? Examples include open enrollment, new hire processing, billing, customer service, and more.

 

Cost and Strategy
Navigating employee benefits can be challenging because, as an employer, you might not know all the right questions to ask, and that's perfectly fine. Your chosen employee benefit professional is there to guide you. That being said, here are a few questions to consider asking:

  1. How was this premium (total cost structure) determined? I.E. Underwriting factors.
  2. What strategies can we implement to keep costs as low as possible for multiple years?
  3. Are we offering multiple plans to meet the needs and align expectations of our entire workforce?
  4. What is the reasoning behind this proposed strategy?
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David Johnson

David Johnson is the CEO of Esprit Benefits. Esprit Benefits is a full-service employee benefit firm serving the staffing industry. Attracting talent is crucial for the success of your business, and offering an employee benefit package is key.  Providing a robust benefits package not only sets a company apart from its competitors but also fosters employee loyalty and satisfaction. One of the most significant components of any benefits package is healthcare coverage. In a landscape where healthcare costs are continuously on the rise, it's imperative for businesses to manage these costs effectively.

Email: david@espritbenefits.com 
Website: https://espritbenefits.com
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/david-johnson-20459814