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Offering health insurance can be a costly endeavor for any small business. Depending on the type of insurance, estimates place the cost per employee for the employer between $6,000 and $16,000 per year. With such a large costs, many small businesses tend to shy away from offering healthcare to their workers altogether. In fact, 51% of small businesses don’t offer health insurance.

But there comes a time when reversing course can actually benefit your business. Sooner or later, most businesses offer their workers healthcare—for one reason or another.

If you’re wondering when that time might come for you, here are 3 signs to keep an eye out for when it comes to offering health insurance to your employees.

1. The Law Requires It

Let’s begin with the most important reason. The Affordable Care Act outlines very specific stipulations that outline whether you need to offer insurance to your workers or not.

The three most important stipulations, as they relate to this question, are:

  • The equivalent of 50 or more full-time employees. As soon as your business hits this threshold, you have to provide health insurance. The government offers a digital calculator that helps you determine whether you fall into this bracket.
  • If you are a health insurance issuer, you have to offer healthcare to your workers regardless of company size.
  • Self-insuring employers have to provide health insurance regardless of their size as well. In other words, if you don’t go through an insurance company to provide healthcare, you have to guarantee all of your employees are insured.

You can read more about these and other stipulations in this FAQ. If you don’t comply, you will be required to pay the IRS so-called Employer Shared Responsibility Provisions. Once your business meets the above stipulations, it makes fiscal sense to offer health insurance to your employees.

2. Your Business Is Growing

A growing business does not only mean you have to begin to inform yourself about the Affordable Care Act. If you are looking to hire new employees, offering health insurance is crucial to avoid them from joining the competition instead.

No less than 83% of jobseekers state that health insurance is a main consideration when choosing their next employer. If it is not part of your recruitment package, your company will be at a disadvantage.

As a result, you risk losing out on qualified and motivated employees. So if you are actively hiring for a growing company and recruiting talent for your workforce, offering health insurance is a crucial first step.

3. Your Employees Let You Know

As you might imagine, health insurance is not only important for new hires. Your current employees are looking for it as well, and once they begin to actively let you know about it, consider it a sign to begin offering healthcare.

Experienced managers know just how crucial employee happiness and engagement is for any company’s success. Happy workers are more productive, as evidenced by a recent study that found productivity to go up by an average of 12% (and in some cases as high as 20%) simply by increasing their workplace happiness.

Add to that the fact that 66% of employees consider healthcare to be a crucial influencing factor in how they feel about their jobs. Especially as a small business or new startup, you may be able to get away with not offering healthcare for a while. But once your employees start asking for it, it may finally be time to offer health insurance.

Of course, a variety of variables also play in your decision. You can only offer healthcare if you can afford it, and understanding your options plays a large part in knowing just what you can afford. But if you run into one of the above signs, it may be time to contact us. Your workers and your company growth will thank you for it.