We have all been debating, perhaps agonizing over, what to do about health insurance for our employees. Most of us have tried to understand what the government was going to require us to do and when we had to do it. However, I would like to suggest a different approach. Maybe we should ask ourselves, “What is the best way to keep my employees and what is best for them?” Rather than waiting for the government to tell us what we have to do, why not view it as a problem of what is best for our employees. Let’s face it, it looks like at some time in the near future we will be forced to deal with the health insurance issue anyway. I think we should accept that health insurance will be part of the cost of having employees and build that into our planning now, not as a requirement, but as a fact of life. It is usually more effective to approach a problem as an expected part of the employee equation rather than a government add-on requirement. We tend to have a more open mind when dealing with issues that are a routine part of business planning. If we try to think of health insurance from our employee’s point of view we might also think of some options that we would not otherwise have considered. Even small business can build health insurance into their employment package, and with the government mandate, we can present the revised compensation package to our employees with the added weight of the official requirement to make the transition more acceptable.
I am convinced that it is time to turn this negative requirement into a positive planning opportunity. If nothing else, it may save us a few gray hairs and anxious nights.
Loren L McCann, CPA, MS (Tax)