Income is only one aspect of an employees’ total compensation. In addition to wages or salaries, many Massachusetts businesses also offer Group Benefits. These benefits can seem minor compared to employees’ actual salaries, but these benefits account for a significant portion of employees’ overall compensation.
The term “Group Benefits” applies to policies and programs that multiple employees use together as a group. This is distinct from individual policies and accounts that people must apply for individually.
Businesses provide these benefits for a few different reasons. Benefits are used to:
Businesses may offer an array of Group Benefits, but the two of the most common ones are Group Life Insurance and Group Health Insurance.
Group Life Insurance, provides employees’ dependents or survivors with death benefits if an employee passes away in a covered incident.
Group Health Insurance, provides employees with health insurance coverage, and the coverage can often be extended to spouses and children. Due to health insurance premiums often being more expensive than life insurance premiums, many businesses split the cost of group health insurance with employees.
Short- and long-term disability, dental and vision insurance are some other types of group benefits that businesses might offer. Benefits like flexible spending accounts, sick leave consultations, gym membership, retirement plans, tuition reimbursement programs and commuting assistance generally don’t meet the technical definition of a “group benefit,” but can be used in conjunction with group life, health and disability insurance.
Many businesses in Massachusetts offer Group Life and Health Insurance Benefits from numerous industries. Medical practices, food service companies, freight haulers, retailers and educational institutions are just a small sampling of the wide of businesses that provide such benefits.
Group Benefits are typically available to all employees, although not all employees will necessarily enroll in all benefits. Due to employees’ unique family and financial situations, they may choose to take advantage of, or opt out of, different benefits offered.
Sometimes, businesses will automatically enroll employees in a group benefit. This is usually done when the benefit is relatively small and the associated cost is minimal, such as is the case with small (e.g. $1,000) group life policies.
Group Benefit plans are determined by coverage types and comparing rates, similar to other Personal Insurance Lines. In general, businesses are free to select any plan that they deem best for their needs. The one exception is Group Health Insurance. Businesses that offer a Group Health Insurance plan soften must choose a plan that meets federal minimum coverage requirements. Even though a Health Insurance plan may meet these requirements, businesses should confirm that the plan they select complies with any legal regulations and consider additional coverage beyond State Requirements to maximize protection.
How Can Massachusetts Businesses Find Group Health, Life and Other Benefits
Choosing group benefit plans is a major responsibility, and it requires a lot of research. Policies also may be required to comply with State regulations. For help finding Group Benefits that will be meaningful to employees, our Independent Agents will compare policies and rates from our respected providers, as well as ensure your business complies with all State requirements.