When employees consider a job opportunity, health benefits continue to be one of the critical considerations.

Offering health benefits to your employees can play a major role in your overall recruitment and retention strategy, especially during a time when so many people are focusing on health.

As public health and national healthcare policies continue to evolve, you can be sure your employees will continue to view healthcare coverage as an important benefit – and will prefer employers who offer the health benefits that best address their ongoing concerns. You can be equally sure that healthcare benefits will have a strong impact on your ability to attract new and returning employees while retaining existing ones.

Explore Your Options

Many small business owners turn to partners with access to various insurance companies to offer their employees group life and health insurance benefits. These companies assist in selecting the right plan for an individual business, from high-deductible and cafeteria plans to customized individual plans.

A Section 125 Premium Only Plan (POP) continues to be popular with small businesses. This kind of IRS-approved cafeteria plan allows employees to pay part of their health insurance premiums with pretax dollars. Eligible premiums typically include health, dental, vision, disability and life insurance. For business owners, this translates into lower payroll tax expenses and reduced Social Security and Medicare expenses. For employees, there's reduced taxable income and more take-home pay. Establishing a POP can make your benefits plan more competitive, allowing you to create lasting value for your workforce, while at the same time generating continuous tax savings for your business.

Since health coverage is such a major business expense, the structure and availability of employee benefits will continue to be a major topic of concern for employers. Finding creative ways to offer a competitive (and affordable) health plan can make the difference between hiring the employees you really want and losing them to the competition.

Know the Open Enrollment Dates for Your Health Insurance Plan

Employees must renew their membership if they want to keep their current plan. But be ready with other options that you and your employees can afford . By exploring different options you could be in a much better position when it comes time for your plan's open enrollment period. You may even be able to save a considerable amount of money in the process.

Overall, it's clear that your benefits plan can play a large role in employee engagement and retention. When employees consider a job opportunity, health benefits continue to be one of the critical considerations. With so many health packages available, employers should explore which option works best for their business.

Tags: Compensation and Benefits Voluntary Benefits Wellness Midsize Business Small Business Articles HR Benefits Administration Insurance