How Companies of All Sizes Can Access Big Benefits

This candidate looks awesome: great experience, glowing references. But you noticed her hesitancy when you mentioned your company’s health benefits—the “one-size-fits-all” plan.

It’s the dilemma every small and mid-sized business (SMB) runs into: You need to recruit Tesla-level talent. But your health benefits are more like a 10-speed.  Sure, you could buy better benefits, but it would cut into your profit margins. Not a good look when you’re growing.

Health Benefits For SMBs: Is There A Solution?

Actually, yes. A whole new ecosystem of health benefits is arising that puts the consumer at the center. You just have to know where to look.

It starts with a savvy advisor, who will know right off the bat that you’ve got plenty of options. She should tell you about:

  • Network value solutions: With these options, commercial health insurers can keep premiums low by assigning members to specific high-quality, efficient health systems.
  • High-deductible consumer-directed health plans: Premiums are lower because of the high deductible, while a health savings account allows tax-advantaged saving for health expenses. Millennial workers tend to prefer this option.1
  • Added benefits such as supplemental health, legal, and financial wellness: For many candidates, these voluntary benefits complete the package.
  • Well-being resources: Think health advocates, health coaches, and wellness programs. These services help your employees manage their own health.

It might come as a surprise, but comprehensive benefits solutions, like Mercer Marketplace 365+, that offer all of the features above have been developed for small to mid-sized businesses, providing more options for employers and employees alike.

SMBs: Getting A Piece Of The Action

These forward-thinking benefits solutions are no longer just the domain of large employers. They’ve become a necessity for small to mid-sized businesses. In fact, 9 out of 10 employees say receiving benefits is just as important as getting paid

Not surprisingly, more small companies are hanging onto their health benefits. In 2013, 21% were thinking of scrapping their health benefits. In 2015, that number dropped to 7%.

SMBs are also looking for more competitive benefits to live up to the expectations of employees.  Among workers ages 34 and younger, 70% want the flexibility of lowering the value of some benefits while raising the value of others. One team member might prefer to sock more money into his 401(k) rather than spend it on expensive health coverage that he might not use. Another might want a premium health plan because he has a child with special needs. A wide range of employees calls for a wide selection of benefit options.

You Win Too

It’s not just employees who come out ahead with rich benefits—it’s businesses themselves. Creative benefits packages are the future competitive edge for SMBs. When you talk to your advisor, ask for a set of solutions that attract the best talent, satisfy your employees, keep your costs contained, and protect everyone’s health in the long run.

1 Murphy B. “21 Statistics on High-deductible Health Plans.” Beckers Hospital CFO (May 21, 2016),

Todd Renner
by Todd Renner

Partner, Health, Mercer Todd Renner is currently Mercer’s US Health & Benefits Practice Leader for the Enterprise and Midmarket segment as well as the leader for Mercer Marketplace 365+ and Mercer Administration’s portfolio of technology and administrative services. In this role, Todd works closely with internal and external constituents that support Mercer’s consulting and administration solutions geared toward the 100 to 5,000 employer segment. Collectively, this team delivers Mercer’s proven value to a segment that is increasingly demanding top tier consulting and simplified benefit administration from their benefit consulting team. Todd has been with Marsh & McLennan Companies for a total of eleven years and recently rejoined the firm in 2015. Prior to joining Mercer, Todd was Head of the Employee Benefits National Practice at Wells Fargo Insurance Services. Todd earned both his BS degree in Business Administration and his MBA from Wake Forest University. He holds the Certified Employee Benefits Specialist (CEBS) designation.

Partner, Health, Mercer

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