It’s no secret that the recent supply chain disruption has impacted companies across the world. Even more so, the small business labor shortage affects health insurance unlike never before.
While it may be surprising to hear, there are some solutions to finding health insurance that fit the way current small businesses operate – even with fewer employees on hand.
The pandemic has made things more difficult for small businesses across the nation. As many as 200,000 small businesses closed within the first year of the pandemic alone. Surviving companies may be facing new challenges as the ongoing small business labor shortage affects health insurance costs and expectations from future hires.
Recent studies are telling us what we need to know. As a small business owner, are you prepared to take on the impact of changes to health insurance for your employees?
How The Pandemic Labor Shortage Affects Health Insurance For Small Businesses
The nationwide labor shortage is taking a toll on small business owners. Employers everywhere have made changes to aspects like:
- Minimum wage
- Overtime pay
- Time off
However, 15% of small businesses have opted to improve health insurance benefits to get applicants through the door. But for many businesses, it simply is not enough. Let’s take a look at some of the most common reasons for the labor shortage taking place at the moment.
- The Pandemic. A number of potential employees have continuing health concerns because of COVID-19. In addition to these health concerns, you’ll often find those who are worried about others not being vaccinated if they were to return to the office.
- Lack Of Support At Home. Other employees may be the sole to elderly family members, children, or those with health concerns. As a result, those roles have taken precedence over working.
- Industry Shifts. The pandemic has either forced or freed employees to leave certain industries for others. And those who have left industries, such as foodservice, healthcare, supply chain, and manufacturing, may not have any plans to return.
- Unemployment Benefits. An increase in unemployment benefits and stimulus packages offer more incentive to stay home and wait out the pandemic in hopes of an improved economy. Many who are on unemployment benefits may also be waiting for better working conditions or the ability to work and maintain household responsibilities.
- Retirement. About 28.6 million Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) stated they were retired in the third quarter of 2020. This number of retirees is up 3.2 million more than last year during the same period. An increase in retirees means fewer people going back to those same industries they once worked in.
Why Improving Benefits Matters
Health insurance costs for small businesses vary. However, if other small businesses are improving benefits, those small businesses are likely shelling out more money to keep up with the demand for better jobs and benefits.
An eHealth research report said, “The average per-person premium for small group health insurance was $409 per month in 2018.”
As employers take a look at the current labor shortage, they are likely analyzing how much more can be spent to keep employees satisfied with the health benefits being offered to them. Increasing the quality of health insurance is no simple undertaking, but could have additional benefits for employees returning to the workforce post-pandemic.
Mental Health Support
What has long gone as taboo in the U.S., support for individual mental health is now on the rise. The pandemic has and will have a lasting effect on people’s mental health.
Even before the pandemic hit, nearly 20% of adults experienced a mental illness. As that number continues to grow, mental health is on everyone’s mind lately. This means individuals are on the hunt for jobs with better mental health support through added benefits.
Many people missed out on what would have been regular doctor, dental, and vision appointments in the past year. However, they’re looking forward to employment opportunities that will allow them to return to those health check-ins without having to spend too much money to do so.
Preventive care is critical for both employees and employers. Adequate upkeep of preventative health means fewer sick days and less time spent away from work visiting healthcare facilities.
Furthermore, having health concerns addressed faster, with more efficiency, and set at a more affordable price point through better benefits means less stress, anxiety, and depression for employees.
What You Can Do As A Small Business Owner
As a small business owner, it’s understandable that adjusting your budget for health insurance benefits sounds stressful. The available options seem endless and confusing, and every other business owner you know says something different. But you do have options.
You can go about browsing for health insurance on your own or partner with an agent who’s familiar with small business health insurance. An agent can help you search for a plan that fits your budget and business size. They can use their network of providers to compare and build a plan that fits your needs.
Find an agent with comprehensive health insurance services who offers the following:
- Critical Illness
- Income Protection
Diana Reeves Helps Small Businesses Know Their Health Insurance Options
Deciding to make changes to your health insurance plan as a business owner can feel overwhelming. That’s why choosing an experienced agent like Diana Reeves is an important step when it comes to knowing your options. You don’t want to end up selecting the wrong plan or paying way too much for a plan that simply isn’t right for you. If studies have shown that the small business labor shortage affects health insurance, it’s likely going to impact your small business.