Sponsored By Canopy Health

While San Francisco area small business owners are wise to be wary of adding to their overhead costs, one area in which they shouldn’t skimp on is employee benefits. Specifically, health benefits for their employees’ spouses. In fact, offering workers family insurance can play a key role in bolstering employee retention rates.


Enhance Employee Loyalty

Almost 60 percent of Americans with health insurance get it through their employers. Consequently, the majority of the U.S. workforce has come to associate full-time employment with health benefits. If your company does not meet that expectation, that’s a problem that can come back to haunt you in the future.

While younger, single workers might not value spousal benefits, that will obviously change if they decide to get married and have children at some point in the future. If and when that occurs, even your most dedicated staffers will seek employment elsewhere to get coverage for their entire family if your company isn’t offering quality insurance.


Increase Employee Satisfaction

A recent study conducted by Glassdoor found that health benefits are the No. 1 driver of employee satisfaction. The reason being: Workers who feel that their employers value them enough to look after their care feel appreciated. Employees who don’t feel valued and resent their employers for forcing them to go out of pocket for spousal healthcare have a low rate of morale. Over time, that resentment will cause your employees to become disengaged, leading to one of two scenarios: The employee will either quit or be terminated due to poor performance. As it costs roughly 150 percent of the mid-level employee’s annual salary to find his or her replacement, small businesses can’t afford not to offer their employees spousal benefits.


Potential Competitors Are Going to Start Cutting Spousal Benefits

Because of their more modest profit margins, small businesses typically can’t compete with large corporations when it comes to employee pay. However, changing life priorities within the workforce has given smaller firms an edge when it comes to employee compensation. For instance, a Glassdoor poll found that 79 percent of workers value health benefits more than pay.

According to a report compiled by HR consulting firm Towers Watson, more than half of U.S. employers plan on cutting spousal benefits next year. That number is even higher among larger companies that employ staff with spouses that have other health coverage options, which makes perfect sense, as larger corporations must devote more money to paying health premiums because they employ more people. However, as smaller firms will have lower total healthcare costs, they can use spousal benefits to compensate for lower salary.

Taking care of your employees and their families is good business — plain and simple. Although spousal coverage may cost your company more upfront, the short-term expense is outweighed by the long-term benefits regarding employee retention and performance, as well as your company’s bottom line.


Canopy Health is a community of caregivers creating an integrated healthcare experience where quality care and coverage are provided by an alliance of top caregivers throughout the Bay Area. They offer refreshingly clear, human care that is achieved by making each unique member’s journey predictable, transparent, and cost-effective.


For more tips and inspiration for small business owners,
visit CBS Small Business Pulse San Francisco.


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