Hi, I’m Ed Boylan. I’m here to talk with you about total compensation. Why? Well, first because employee benefit plans, such as healthcare, dental, and life insurance, are important element of any job.

Benefits are expensive; you, the business owner, are paying for them. But, to the employee, they are largely non-taxable. So it’s important for employees to understand not only the cost, but the additional benefit (non-taxable) that they are getting in addition to their wages.

Which Benefits Should Your Company Provide?

Your company’s financial situation may allow only for the minimum required benefits or a full suite. The core of any benefit program is the medical plan. Currently, federal law requires that any full-time employee, as defined in the regulations, in a company of a particular size must be offered medical plans. And whether you’re offering just a medical plan – as important as it is – other benefits, such is life insurance, dental, short-term disability, 401K, there are lot of laws and regulations in federal and state agencies that regulate these benefits. It’s also an area with constantly evolving regulations due to new laws and court cases.

Hire a Benefits Broker for your Business

Fortunately, in this highly technical and complex area, there’s an easy an inexpensive way for the business over to manage them properly: hire a benefits broker. A benefits broker is very much like any other insurance broker: they work with you to determine your needs and your goals; they evaluate the options; they negotiate on your behalf for the best possible cost; and they help you to administer. If you’re a small company, it’s preferable that you work with a broker that specializes in smaller companies, because the differences both regulatory and administration are significant. Or, with a larger brokerage, that they have a department that specializes in, say, companies with less than 50 employees.

One of the best part about working with the broker is that there is no cost to you and the company. Brokers are paid in commissions and fees based upon the programs that they bring in and the companies that offer those programs.

As with many human resources related areas, benefits can be very diverse and are very complex. But a good employee benefits broker can do most of the heavy lifting and help a business owner make intelligent decisions on what they can afford, and what they can add to their benefit plans to enhance employment at your company.