Are you a small business owner wondering about offering health insurance coverage for your employees? It may seem like something only larger corporations do, but in reality, health insurance is one of the main reasons people choose certain jobs.

In fact, according to this study done by Glassdoor, 4 out of 5 (or 79 percent) of employees would rather take new or extra benefits over a higher salary. Out of that, 40 percent would specifically take health or dental insurance benefits over a pay increase as well.

The kind of benefits employees are looking for

So what kind of benefits and perks do employees want from you? Taken from Glassdoor’s study, the following benefits are what employees would rather take over a raise – and health care insurance is number one.

  • Healthcare insurance (e.g., medical, dental): 40 percent
  • Vacation/Paid time off: 37 percent
  • Performance bonus: 35 percent
  • Paid sick days: 32 percent
  • 401(k) plan, retirement plan and/or pension: 31 percent
  • Flexible schedule (e.g., work from home): 30 percent
  • Office perks (e.g., free lunch, casual dress): 19 percent
  • Employee development programs (e.g., on-the-job training, professional development): 19 percent
  • Tuition reimbursement: 18 percent
  • Employee discounts: 17 percent
  • Gym membership or wellness programs: 16 percent
  • Stock, stock options and/or equity: 16 percent
  • Paid parental leave (e.g., maternity leave, adoption assistance): 13 percent
  • Childcare assistance (e.g., on-site childcare, financial assistance): 13 percent
  • Commuter assistance (e.g., company shuttle, commuter checks): 9 percent
  • Diversity program: 3 percent

Glassdoor isn’t the only study that discovered employees would take healthcare benefits over a pay increase. Fractl also discovered that out of all the perks and benefits an employer can offer, the ones people most wanted were health, dental, and vision insurance.

In fact, 34 percent of the people who responded to Frackl’s survey said if given the choice between a job that paid more and a job that paid less, but offered better benefits, they would give healthcare benefits “some consideration,” while 54 percent said they would give them “heavy consideration.”

Why employees care most about healthcare coverage

The main reason why healthcare benefits outrank every other job perk and benefit – including free gym memberships, more vacation time, paid parental leave and more flexible hours – is that healthcare insurance is so expensive for people.

Paying out-of-pocket for their own dental visits, emergency room visits, hospital stays, giving birth, vision checkups and everything else that falls under “healthcare insurance” can add up very quickly. A much cheaper alternative is to simply have less money in their paycheck while receiving more healthcare coverage.

How offering better healthcare benefits helps your business

According to a Metlife survey, 74 percent of employees say it’s important to them to consider customized benefits before they take a new job. 72 percent say that if they had the option to customize their own benefits according to their specific needs, they would have more loyalty towards their employer.

The small business world is a competitive place. Employees know that if they lose or quit their current job, it’s not always too difficult to find a job that will both match their salary and their healthcare coverage.

Make an effort to talk about the benefits and perks you offer, in addition to what your company culture feels like and the pay you give, if you want to make your business stand out to prospective employees. Job seekers aren’t shy in continuously hunting around until they find the best option for themselves and their families, so if you want to attract the right kind of employees, take a look at what healthcare plans you’re currently offering and see if they can be improved upon.

If you want to keep your employees loyal to your business and happy with you, make sure you listen to what they’re saying in regards to their medical and dental coverage. A high turnover rate is one of the costliest and most time-consuming things for a small business to deal with. If you offer good healthcare insurance for your employees, your turnover rate should be much lower.

You’ll also probably receive more employee referrals for your business as well. Not only will your employees be more likely to tell their friends and family about what a great company they work for, they may also talk to potential customers about using your services or buying your products.

When you offer strong company culture through good benefits, each employee becomes a salesperson for you without even trying to be. They’ll also be much more likely to go the extra mile and do their best work for you while on the clock, because they’ll feel like you truly care about them and their families, rather than just trying to squeeze every ounce of work you can out of them.

If you’re wondering how you can find an affordable healthcare insurance plan that you can offer to employees, we’re here to help. We always give free quotes to people seeking to find the best plan for them and their small business.

Feel free to give us a call at 1-888-987-6593 to figure out what your best options will be. A professional is on the other side of the line ready to help.