Salary or benefits: what matters more?

According to the Harvard Business Review, replacing a current employee costs, on average, 21% of that employee’s annual pay.

And, when hiring a new employee, 88% say that health insurance coverage is very close to salary in importance when deciding whether or not to accept an offered position.

Companies of all sizes have come to recognize the importance of providing health insurance because it is part of a fairly simple formula: companies with happier and healthier employees are more likely to be successful.

Said another way, company health insurance plans are good for your business.

There is, however, more for employers to consider than just providing an insurance plan.

“For the small business, one of the main objectives for most employers is to understand the value of providing insurance. Budget and expense are important considerations.” explains Donna Briggs, regional sales manager at Optima Health.

“Their question is, how can I do this and make it valuable for employees and also manage budget and expense on the company side?”

The answer is for the employer to find an insurance provider that offers a very wide array of solutions in terms of plan assortment. Employers are often surprised at the sheer number of plans available , with varying benefit designs and price points.

Brigg’s points out the importance of being able to offer employees choices, so they can meet their families’ needs.

The most important elements of health insurance coverage to employees. Courtesy of the Society for Human Resource Management.

Briggs points out that the other real driving force is how a small company competes with larger companies when it comes to providing health and wellness as part of their insurance program.

“That’s where Optima Health as a partner is so valuable,” explains Briggs.

“We have an integrated health and wellness program along with additional support pieces, and we offer these resources to even small companies and individual members. Each member of an Optima Health plan has access to the health and wellness program, and that lowers the burden on the small business employer.”

In addition, Briggs points out that a program that includes health and wellness reduces absenteeism and improves productivity.

Optima Health has been serving businesses for over 30 years and is also a Virginia company, and Briggs notes how that matters.

“We are here serving our community and have a mission to improve health every day. We have a broad portfolio of every company size and plan designs, as well as a variety of funding options, including fully-insured and self-insured options. Many employers are surprised to learn that self-insurance is not just for your 10,000-employee group.”


Optima Health supports consumer driven plans in many ways and offers transparency tools for cost estimation.

Employers are wise to consider how to research the best health insurance package for their employees while maintaining affordability and employer manageability, according to Briggs.

“There are a lot of strong reasons to maintain a robust package to create a competitive advantage for your business,” she notes.

“It’s easy to do business with Optima Health, and it’s easy to have Optima Health as a partner, so you can focus on your business, while letting Optima Health’s resources support the goal of wellness and health without it being a burden or distraction from your core focus,” Briggs points out.

At the end of the day, the better the plan, the better the employee; the better the employee, the better it is for your business.


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