For restaurant owners, providing health benefits to employees can sometimes eat into profits as well as the budget.

So, if you’re thinking about providing health benefits to your staff, you need to first find the most affordable options available.

In order to dish up health benefits to your restaurant staff without breaking the bank, here are just a few ways to save money:

Illness Management Programs

If you already have a health benefits plan in place at your restaurant, then you seriously need to consider adopting an illness management program.

Illness management reduces the likelihood of employees showing up sick for work, which could result in your entire staff becoming infected.

The more your employees are sick, the more they use their health insurance benefits, which results in higher costs for you.

Illness management programs take advantage of preventative care through your insurance provider and ensure your staff is healthy and productive, thus reducing your overall healthcare costs.

Employee Wellness Plans

Starting a restaurant-wide employee wellness plan can also help reduce your overall healthcare costs. There are a number of ways to begin a wellness plan within your restaurant starting with nutrition.

Informing your employees on proper diet and meal planning will help them take better care of themselves.

In addition, getting your employees to commit to a regular exercise routine will also improve their health and drastically reduce sick days and doctor visits, which is all good news for your restaurant’s healthcare costs.

Tax Credits

If your restaurant has fewer than 25 full-time employees with salaries of less than $50,000 a year and you pay at least half of your staff’s health insurance premiums, then you could be eligible for a small business healthcare tax credit.

As the following article shows, it’s important to keep this in mind when choosing a health insurance plan because the amount you’re eligible for depends on the amount you pay toward your employees’ premiums.

As for the tax credit benefits, depending on how much you pay toward premiums, you can save up to 35% on your employee healthcare costs.

For example, if your restaurant is eligible for a 15% tax credit based on paid premiums, you’d save $7,500 in healthcare costs for the year, which really adds up over time.

Generic Prescriptions

By paying out-of-pocket for prescription drugs, your employees can save money on copay charges, thus saving your restaurant money in yearly health benefits.

Most medications have generic counterparts that are much cheaper than name brands, so encourage your employees to seek out generic prescriptions and avoid higher cost drugs and copay charges.

Sharing Healthcare Cost Information

By providing your employees health benefits, you are helping them with life outside of the restaurant.
So, it’s helpful to share with your staff all of the health insurance cost information that affects your restaurant because the cost affects them too.

Both you and your employees are paying into the restaurant’s health insurance plan, so it’s important that everyone is on the same page.

Your costs affect their costs and vice versa, so reducing healthcare costs should be a joint effort. When everyone knows the bottom dollar, it will encourage better health and wellbeing throughout your restaurant.

If your restaurant already has employee health benefits in place or you’re searching for a new plan, keep in mind the cost-effective pointers above.

About the Author: Adam Groff is a freelance writer and creator of content. He writes on a variety of topics including personal health and small business budgeting.