When it comes to providing employee health benefits, many small businesses find offering health insurance to employees is too cost prohibitive. And, since the health care mandate only applies to companies with more than 50 employees, for many small businesses it just doesn’t make sense to offer health insurance.  But, small businesses can still offer many health related benefits that are much less expensive. And, employees will still appreciate them. These types of benefits will also help the company because employees will take less time off due to illness.  Here are some ideas:

  • Provide healthy drinks and snacks including water, fruits and veggies, trail mix and granola bars.  This is very simple but encourages employees to eat the healthy food that is provided, rather than purchasing fast food.
  • Provide employees with a monthly bonus that they can use towards maintaining good health.  They can use the money towards things like a gym membership, a personal health insurance plan, or healthier meals.
  • Offer employees flexible schedules so they can spend time attending their child’s soccer game or other events they would typically miss due to work.  This will reduce workplace stress and burn out.
  • Encourage employees to purchase individual health insurance by providing resources to help them with the process.
  • Set up fitness challenges and offer the winner a reward.

There are many low-cost benefit alternatives to health insurance.  Consider employee health benefits that are easy to administer and that align with your company culture.  And eventually, as your company grows, you will be able to offer your employees a comprehensive health insurance plan.

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