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We offer them and I'm sure it varies by state. It's a pain but I think to remain competitive it's a must. We pay for 75% of the employee only for a HSA (High Deductible) plan as the base plan. The employee has the option to upgrade to a traditional PPO plan or an Hybrid HMO plan as well as add their spouse or family. We also pay 100% for a LTD plan and a $30K Life & Accidental Death Plan. I use a third party company to manage it and shop the plans each year. It seems we have to switch health insurance companies about every 2 years. The forms are numerous as each company has it's own forms they want. We also offer Dental and Vision but at 100% cost to the employee.

The reason we pay 100% for the LTD is that as a self employed owner it is very expensive for me to purchase a plan outside the company. It is much cheaper to purchase it as a group plan. For what it would cost me on the outside I can provide all my employees a plan plus myself for less cost. I have about 15 employees on the plan.

We also offer a SEP Retirement plan that matches dollar for dollar up to 3%. If you run the numbers, or for us at least in Texas it cost me very little because of the reduced taxes and I am able to shelter funds for myself.

Be ready to spend considerable time set it all up. I use a third party provider to handle all the benefits as well as payroll processing. I tried ADP Total Source but found their fee structure a little expensive and they did not have a good import for Quickbooks, I also tried another company but the people where incompetent. Now with my new payroll/benefits company I go on-line to a web portal and enter the payroll, I can delegate this to another employee now and don't have to schedule vacation around pay dates. I can also enter it if need be while away from the shop. Last year I did it while diving in Honduras. The payroll company sends me a QB import file that has it all broken up into departments that I set up as well as the QB account numbers that I want various costs to hit. Actually QB integrated payroll does this well and it's easy. But now the payroll/benefits company has all my employee numbers and is able to shop for insurance much easier without me having to send them numbers and census information. I chose an outside company for future scale-ability as we grow and open up another location.

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Also let me add that most of the dental plans are not that good. We used to pay 100% for them but the employees rarely used it, that's why I made it optional. I feel the employees have to pay something to see the real benefit. If the employee is willing to kick in something then I want to help them also, if they don't care about it then I don't care about it for them.

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

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      It always amazes me when I hear about a technician who quits one repair shop to go work at another shop for less money. I know you have heard of this too, and you’ve probably asked yourself, “Can this be true? And Why?” The answer rests within the culture of the company. More specifically, the boss, manager, or a toxic work environment literally pushed the technician out the door.
      While money and benefits tend to attract people to a company, it won’t keep them there. When a technician begins to look over the fence for greener grass, that is usually a sign that something is wrong within the workplace. It also means that his or her heart is probably already gone. If the issue is not resolved, no amount of money will keep that technician for the long term. The heart is always the first to leave. The last thing that leaves is the technician’s toolbox.
      Shop owners: Focus more on employee retention than acquisition. This is not to say that you should not be constantly recruiting. You should. What it does means is that once you hire someone, your job isn’t over, that’s when it begins. Get to know your technicians. Build strong relationships. Have frequent one-on-ones. Engage in meaningful conversation. Find what truly motivates your technicians. You may be surprised that while money is a motivator, it’s usually not the prime motivator.
      One last thing; the cost of technician turnover can be financially devastating. It also affects shop morale. Do all you can to create a workplace where technicians feel they are respected, recognized, and know that their work contributes to the overall success of the company. This will lead to improved morale and team spirit. Remember, when you see a technician’s toolbox rolling out of the bay on its way to another shop, the heart was most likely gone long before that.
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