During this final post on saving business expenses in the new year, we are going to discuss savings on banking fees, business insurance, and the health care plan.
Monitor and Adjust Your Banking Fees
You have many banks to choose from and they know it. Work with several banks to find out which bank will work with you and be the most willing to negotiate your banking fees. If outsourcing your payroll provider, see if there are ways to waive fees based on direct deposits and other services.
As you’re preparing for 2010 consider reshopping your Errors and Omissions policy along with any other business insurance you carry. Consider using services like NetQuote to garner quotes from various competitors.
Save on Health Care
The Wall Street Journal offers viable solutions for businesses to save on health care for their employees. Some of the suggestions they offer include:
- A high-deductible health plan combined with a health savings account (HSA). This approach helps keep spending in check because it puts the onus on the user to think about cost. HSAs allow individuals with high-deductible health insurance plans to use employee pretax money to pay for uncovered medical costs and carry over unused funds to future years. You can require employees to fund the account, or fund it yourself.Health reimbursement accounts (HRAs) are also often coupled with high-deductible insurance plans. In an HRA, employers set aside money to reimburse employees’ deductibles or qualified out-of-pocket medical expenses up to a predetermined amount. Employees can generally roll unused money over from year to year, though the money technically belongs to the employer.
- Purchasing cooperatives. Small companies can gain bargaining power with insurers by banding together in health-insurance purchasing cooperatives. Each cooperative is structured differently, and whether it offers better insurance rates than businesses could get on the open market often depends on local insurance-underwriting laws.
- Company wellness programs. Wellness initiatives run the gamut from offering employees free gym memberships to providing healthy snacks in the company kitchen and health screenings that can result in lower insurance payments for employees.
- Flexible-spending debit cards. Flexible-spending accounts (FSAs) allow workers to pay for medical expenses that aren’t covered by health insurance with pretax dollars.Employees can use the specialized debit cards to pay for co-pays or over-the-counter medication not covered by their insurer. The money is automatically deducted from the pretax funds employees have set aside. The cards typically cost $1 or $2 per month per employee, but some FSA vendors package them into their offerings.
As you spend some time to reevaluate your business expenses, you’ll likely find areas where you are able to save significantly. In the process, it’s always a good idea to find an appropriate way to get your employees on board, so that everyone together is mindful of the company’s expenses.
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