Employee health benefits for every budget

Put wellness into your small business with easy, affordable health care benefits for employees.

Small business employee benefits

Manage small business health benefits all in one place

Manage small business health benefits all in one place

Group health benefits, now offered through QuickBooks

We’ve partnered with SimplyInsured to offer medical, dental, and vision insurance nationwide,1 and they offer free benefits administration.
Employee health benefits with Simply Insured and QuickBooks
Employee health benefits with Simply Insured and QuickBooks
Employee health benefits with Simply Insured and QuickBooks

Group health benefits, now offered through QuickBooks

We’ve partnered with SimplyInsured to offer medical, dental, and vision insurance nationwide,1 and they offer free benefits administration.
Employee health benefits with Simply Insured and QuickBooks
Employee health benefits with Simply Insured and QuickBooks
Employee health benefits with Simply Insured and QuickBooks

Compare plans 
side-by-side

Easily put plans next to each other and see how they compare for value, coverage, deductibles, and out-of-pocket costs so you can find the plan that works best for your team.
Group health insurance benefits with Simply Insured and QuickBooks
Group health insurance benefits with Simply Insured and QuickBooks
Group health insurance benefits with Simply Insured and QuickBooks

Compare plans 
side-by-side

Easily put plans next to each other and see how they compare for value, coverage, deductibles, and out-of-pocket costs so you can find the plan that works best for your team.
Group health insurance benefits with Simply Insured and QuickBooks
Group health insurance benefits with Simply Insured and QuickBooks
Group health insurance benefits with Simply Insured and QuickBooks

Apply in four easy steps

Your application can be completed in as little as 10 minutes. Simply choose a plan, complete an application, add your employees, and upload your documents. Once your employees complete their applications, SimplyInsured will review your eligibility and let you know if you’re approved for the insurance plan.
Apply for health insurance benefits in four easy steps
Apply for health insurance benefits in four easy steps
Apply for health insurance benefits in four easy steps

Apply in four easy steps

Your application can be completed in as little as 10 minutes. Simply choose a plan, complete an application, add your employees, and upload your documents. Once your employees complete their applications, SimplyInsured will review your eligibility and let you know if you’re approved for the insurance plan.
Apply for health insurance benefits in four easy steps
Apply for health insurance benefits in four easy steps
Apply for health insurance benefits in four easy steps

Leave the health deductions to us

We automatically calculate2 your health, medical, and vision so you know they’re correct and add them directly into your payroll software.
Health insurance deductions are automatically calculated
Health insurance deductions are automatically calculated
Health insurance deductions are automatically calculated

We’ve got you covered

Full-time, dedicated customer support3 means you don’t have to solve complex health insurance issues on your own.
Employee health benefits with dedicated customer support
Employee health benefits with dedicated customer support
Employee health benefits with dedicated customer support

The QuickBooks integration with SimplyInsured has made this entire experience seamless and easy. I get the support I need and my employees are getting the health coverage they deserve.

David Hendrickson, VP of Big Waves Fitness.

Frequently asked questions

Guide to employee benefits for small business

By Megan Sullivan September 5, 2019
As our economy rebounds, it will be more important than ever to retain your best employees. One of the most influential factors in keeping employees happy on the job is having benefits. For small businesses, this can be tricky and costly, but with a little forethought and planning, you can build a stable of employee benefits that will encourage loyalty and great work, thereby positively impacting your bottom line.

Required employee benefits

Before you can start building your aspirational list of employee benefits, first you must meet certain federal and state requirements. Here are the employee benefits you must provide:
Social Security taxes
You must pay Social Security taxes at the same rate as your employees. The best source for information regarding Social Security taxes is the Social Security Association’s (SSA) website.
Unemployment insurance
Depending on your state’s requirements, you may need to pay unemployment taxes. If you are required to do so, you must register with your state’s workforce agency.
Disability insurance
Select states and/or territories require that businesses provide partial wage replacement insurance to eligible employees for non-work-related sickness or injury. The states/territories that require disability insurance are:
Family and Medical Leave Act
While other leave (including vacation, personal days or holidays) is often not required by federal law, employers must provide leave consideration under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). This federal act entitles employees up to 12 weeks of job-protected and unpaid leave during a 12-month period for any of the following reasons:
  • Birth and care of the eligible employee’s child or placement for adoption or foster care of a child with the employee
  • Care of an immediate family member (spouse, child, parent) who has a serious health condition
  • Care of the employee’s own serious health condition

Common employee benefits

While not required by federal or state law, it is common for employers to provide some standard benefits for their employees. This directly impacts your employees’ sense of safety and well-being, which impacts their work performance, and that impacts your bottom line.
Here are some of the more common employee benefits:
Medical
Encompassing both health and dental insurance, medical insurance is one of the more expensive health benefits, but it’s also one of the most important to your employees. Most employers only pay a percentage of the premium charged per employee, passing the rest of that cost to the employee via his or her paycheck. As further incentive, some employers elect to pay the entire health insurance premium per employee.
Obviously, there are a number of options for insurance providers, and depending on where your business is located, you may have even more regional choices. Aside from regional considerations, number of employees, and number of full-time employees can affect your health insurance coverage options. Additionally, the passage of the Affordable Care Act by Congress in 2010 has added even more intricacy to healthcare coverage—learn more about how it affects your small business.
Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA)
FSAs allow employees to contribute pre-tax dollars every pay period to a Flexible Spending Account. This money can often be accessed using a credit or debit card issued by the account holder. There are four common types of Flexible Spending Accounts:
  • Medical expense: This money can be used to cover the costs of medical expenses that your health insurance does not cover (i.e. prescription or office visit co-pays or procedures). It can be used for all types of healthcare expenses, including vision, dental and, in some cases, chiropractic work.
  • Dependent care: Pre-tax contributions up to $5,000 are allowed annually in this type of FSA. It is generally used to pay daycare expenses for employees with children under the age of 13.
  • Health premiums: If you choose not to offer health insurance, you can instead offer your employees a Health Premium FSA. The money your employees choose to contribute to this account can be applied toward health insurance premiums they may elect to get on their own.
  • Adoption assistance: Adoption costs can be very high, and allowing employees the opportunity to contribute pre-tax funds into an Adoption Assistance FSA may enable them to fulfill their dream of adopting a child.
Paid leave
Most employers offer their employees some type of paid leave, often in the form of vacation, personal days, and national holidays. Employers tend to allow their employees to accrue vacation time and sick days based on the number of hours they have worked throughout the year, combined with the number of years of service. Personal days, or floating holidays, are often set at the beginning of the year and do not change. Observance of national holidays is up to the discretion of the employer; however, it is important to remember morale when choosing to observe or not observe a particular holiday. While many employees won’t bat an eyelash if you keep your office open on Columbus Day, they might resent being forced to work or take a vacation day to observe Thanksgiving.
Small business employee benefits packages
Retirement savings plan
There are a few options available to small businesses when deciding to adopt a retirement savings plan.
The most popular is a 401(k). Similar to FSAs, a 401(k) allows employees to contribute a certain amount of their pre-tax salary into an account that is managed by a 3rd-party investment company, such as Merrill Lynch or Fidelity. Unlike an FSA, though, 401(k) contributions are not eligible for withdrawal until employees meet certain requirements, such as retirement. The benefit of having a 401(k) for business owners is that you may reinvest the money that is contributed and earn dividends off of the interest. There may also be tax breaks associated with maintaining a 401(k) or any type of retirement savings plan, including IRA-based Plans, Profit Sharing or Defined Benefit Plans.
In the late 1990s, it became commonplace for many organizations to offer a retirement savings plan “match” to their employees. This meant that if employees invested a certain percentage of their annual salary, the company would match part or all of that investment. As the economy and the banking and financial industries encountered hard times in the mid-2000s, this was one luxury benefit that many organizations chose to jettison. Some companies have started to gradually readopt the practice.
Tuition reimbursement
Some of the best employees are the most curious. Offering them a tuition reimbursement incentive might be just the thing to keep their minds engaged both on and off the clock and increase their overall happiness with you as an employer. Some employers have restrictions on tuition reimbursement, such as only reimbursing for coursework directly related to the employee’s job; some are a bit more open with the requirements. Regardless, your intelligent and motivated employees will find satisfaction in furthering their education with your monetary support.
Transportation and parking benefits
If you are located in a major city with a terrific public transportation system, or if your location does not have access to complimentary employee parking, you might consider offering employees parking or public transportation reimbursement. Many employers have also adopted this type of benefit as a way to demonstrate how environmentally conscious they are by offering incentives to employees who frequent public transportation, bike to work, or choose to carpool with colleagues.
Food
It’s no secret that oftentimes the way to someone’s heart is through his or her stomach. It’s as true in the business world as it is on a college campus. A well-stocked kitchen or well-appointed and easily accessible vending machines give employees a sense of being cared for, while offering free coffee and beverages can imply to your employees that you and your business are not cheap or looking for ways to cut corners.
Some businesses go so far as to order in lunch on a regular basis or have fresh fruit delivered once a week. While it’s true that certain luxuries like this may be monetarily impactful for small businesses, a little goes a long way to your employees.
Discounts and offers
As a small business owner, you may not be able to offer much clout or spending power to secure special or discounted rates for your employees; however, there are organizations, such as Working Advantage and Tickets at Work, that offer access to discounts online on a variety of entertainment, travel, and other expenses.
Other types of discounts can be welcomed as well, including savings at a local restaurant that is frequented by your employees or an offer for free car detailing from a reputable auto shop near your office.

Other little touches

In the race to keep employees happy, employers have gone to great lengths, providing things like in-office dry cleaning pickup and drop-off to weekly masseuse visits and bring your dog to work day. In truth, the types of benefits you offer, whether formal like health insurance or informal like casual Friday, will depend on the type of work environment you are trying to cultivate and the types of employees you want on your team. It is a balance between cost and benefit, but when the payoff is the extended longevity of your business and your employees, it’s easy to offer the right perks for all involved.

Perks at work: What they mean for employers and employees

A job is a job is a job…or is it? There are plenty of work perks that can turn what one may see simply as a job into a lifelong career. And those employee benefits—whether they’re health benefits or otherwise—not only appeal to employees. They also help employers attract and retain key talent.

In a 2019 benefits survey commissioned by QuickBooks Payroll to Kelton Global, U.S. small business employees revealed the work benefits they value most.* Some even gave surprising answers when asked which was more important: a pay raise or extra benefits. 
While loving what you do is important, there may be more to the formula. Let’s take a look at the benefits employees enjoy, lack, and value in their jobs.

57% receive paid time off for vacations

Of small business employees surveyed, 93% receive at least one benefit from their employer. Paid time off is the most common employee perk, but plenty of employees still don’t get time away from the office. Only 14% can take paid time off to bond with a new baby. Another 37% said they can get paid while they’re tending to personal matters, but just 48% get paid sick leave.
But 57% enjoy one of the most fun work perks: paid time off for vacation. Getting paid while literally doing nothing that has to do with your job is something any employee can get behind. 
Perhaps due to years of service at a job, employees 39 and older were more likely than employees ages 18-38 to get paid vacation time.
57% of small business employees receive paid time off for vacations
57% of small business employees receive paid time off for vacations
57% of small business employees receive paid time off for vacations

Less than half of small business employees get retirement benefits

66% of employees enjoy health insurance benefits offered by small business employers. But only 41% can say they’re offered retirement benefits, like a 401(k) or pension. And employees 39 years or older were more likely to receive them than the 18-38 population (45% versus 34%).
employee insurance benefits offered by small business employers
employee insurance benefits offered by small business employers
employee insurance benefits offered by small business employers

Fun benefits, like free food and flexibility, are hard to come by

They may be obscure, but benefits like free food and drinks, flexible hours or remote options, and wellness stipends can really add value to a job. They’re certainly an incentive for getting a job, perhaps staying, and even attracting talent for employers. But they’re hard to come by in the small business world. Perhaps unsurprisingly, younger generations (18-38) of small business employees were more likely than the 39-and-older crowd to receive such work perks.
When employers offer these types of nice-to-have benefits at the workplace, it can boost office morale and company culture. 61% of small business employees say they feel cared for when companies offer these types of benefits. Employees also perceive companies that offer these perks to be more supportive and understanding of their workforce.
employee benefits offered by small business employers
employee benefits offered by small business employers
employee benefits offered by small business employers

39% of employees are dissatisfied with their current benefits

Most employees fully understand their benefits packages and make sure to use them. But 39% still aren’t satisfied with what they currently receive. 29% said their company gives the bare minimum offerings, as far as benefits go. Only 39% said their benefits are better than the majority of their peers’. And even fewer (6%) said their company benefits package goes above and beyond.
And what about those small businesses that don’t provide any of the need-to-have benefits like health insurance, paid vacation and sick days, retirement plans, or dental insurance? Well, employees didn’t seem too fond of these companies. 41% say they wouldn’t want to work at a place that didn’t offer them.
And providing benefits isn’t just helping out employees. It can help employers too. 26% of employees said they would recommend their company to others if they were offered the right benefits package. Another 21% said a great benefits package is what makes them love their job.
how employees view businesses that don't provide need-to-have employee benefits

35% of employees search for a new job for better benefits

Within the past year, 35% of those who searched for a new job wanted a better benefits package. For 41% of small business employees, benefits are crucial when accepting a new job, second to salary. And for 75%, a good benefits package would make them take one job over another. What’s more, 48% of employees said they would stay at their current job, even if they were offered higher pay elsewhere. That’s as long as their current employer offered a better benefits package.
small business employees who have looked for a new job in the past year
small business employees who have looked for a new job in the past year
small business employees who have looked for a new job in the past year

87% of employees would take more benefits over a pay raise

It’s apparent that salary is not the only influencer for people choosing to stay at or leave a job. 87% of small business employees would be willing to accept other benefits instead of a 5% pay raise. Perhaps that’s because 80% factor their benefits package in their total compensation.
employee benefits chosen over a 5% pay increase
employee benefits chosen over a 5% pay increase
employee benefits chosen over a 5% pay increase

39% of employees would look for a new job if they lost benefits

Though benefits are important to employees, just 39% said they would look for a new job if their benefits were stripped. Others said they would be more tactical in their approach, opting to negotiate. Those with associate or mid-level positions were more likely to look for a new job than their presidential or C-suite counterparts.
what employees would do if their benefits were taken away
*Methodology: QuickBooks Payroll commissioned Kelton Global to survey 1,000 small business employees, aged 18+, throughout the U.S. in August 2019. QuickBooks Payroll designed and paid for the survey and welcomes the re-use of this data (images and graphics excluded) under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original source is cited with attribution to “QuickBooks Payroll.”
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Features
1. Exclude states: HI, VT, and DC. Minimum 2 qualifying employees required, “qualifying” being defined as at least one of those two people having status as a W-2 employee and the group NOT consisting of only a husband and wife.
2. Must sign up for benefits through SimplyInsured in order for QuickBooks Online Payroll to automatically calculate employee benefit deductions.
3. Phone support with SimplyInsured is included with your paid subscription to QuickBooks Online Payroll. Phone support is available Monday through Friday between 7 am – 5 pm PST. Your subscription must be current. SimplyInsured reserves the right to limit the length of the call. Terms, conditions, features, pricing, service and support are subject to change without notice.