As a small business owner, you probably are facing some the same concerns that every business is facing, no matter what size they might be. Health insurance companies are changing the rules and limiting the amount of coverage that you can get for your employees. What’s more, they are restricting access to certain types of services and procedures, while still charging the same amount for health insurance as they did when they were providing much better service. You may be wondering what options you have, and you might be surprised to learn that there is an option you can consider that also provides you with small business deductions at tax time as well.Private Health Insurance PlanAs a business owner, you have the option of setting up a private health service plan. This plan is something that works as a self-directed plan. In simple terms, you aren’t using a health insurance company to provide your health insurance; you’re providing it yourself and your business owns that plan. Now, the small business deductions don’t apply unless you actually provide insurance for an employee, meaning they bring you a receipt so that they can be reimbursed, which can be a family member or someone unrelated to you and your business. Once you set up a plan, you can also purchase health insurance for yourself and your family, if you have access to an affordable health plan, and deduct 100% of those costs from the business. In essence, you are not personally paying for any of your health costs, your business is.How do you set up a Private Health Insurance Plan?Frankly, most of you will not have the ability to set up a private health service plan on your own. You’re going to need a little expert help to get it started. Choosing the right company to help you with this process is important, and you should begin by choosing a company that offers a free consultation for their services. This allows you to meet a representative of a company who offers business services and will help you to determine whether the products and services that they have to offer will benefit your company. What’s more, they can explain in better detail what you can expect in terms of your small business deductions; what’s allowable what’s not allowable and so on.How much can you save in Small Business Deductions?Setting up a private health service plan isn’t free. You do have to pay for health insurance premiums but you do have to pay the expenses that your employees incur, up to a limit, which you determined when setting up the plan for your small business. You save on premiums and the additional savings come in at the end of the tax year, when you file your taxes, you include the health expenses as part of your small business deductions. This is perfectly legal, and with the help of a business services company, you can learn everything you need to know about setting up a health service plan for your company, and getting the health care coverage that you need.
Every small business needs printing services at one time or another, whether it be for a regular order of notepads and stationary or for the occasional promotional labels and membership cards. Finding the right business printing supplier – and the right pricing – for these items can be a challenge, or at the least an extra hassle in the daily life of a small business owner or office manager. Most businesses rely on multiple vendors to supply their business printing needs. Financial documents, such as blank or pre-printed checks, are often sourced from banks; stationery and envelopes might be purchased online or from chain printing stores, while promotional items such as banners and display signage are more often sourced from signage companies.By relying on different vendors for each different type of printing need, small businesses spend more time negotiating with all these different suppliers. This can detract from managing the business itself, and can be a time suck for office managers. Additionally, sourcing each type of business printing from a different vendor is often cost-inefficient.While many printing service providers specialize in one or two types of business printing, some business service providers offer all business printing services under the same roof. These types of “one stop shop” business printing providers offer:
custom office supplies (business cards, stationary, envelopes etc.)
legal and financial documents (business checks, forms, contracts, reports)
promotional printing (direct mailings, postcard mailers, promotional banners) and company brochures, event invitations and membership cards.Truly all-in-one business printers are not limited to printing on paper; die cut decals, stickers, labels and other non-traditional types of printing are no problem for these types of vendors.Cost-Savings of Having a Single-Source Business Printing VendorTo be sure, relying on printers who specialize in a certain type of printing – such as brochure and business card – offers an advantage in terms of expertise, but this is about as far as the benefit goes. All-in-one business printers work with companies that are experts in niche printing types as well, but by working with these types of printers, companies can save on management time by relying on one vendor to negotiate for them rather than being requiring to go to each of these different experts individually. As with any other type of bulk purchasing, making all business printing purchases from one supplier creates a higher order volume, lowering overall costs.Cutting Back Time & Management Hassle of Re-stocking Office SuppliesSmall business owners and managers rarely have surplus time, and the extra time spent communicating with individual vendors adds up quickly. By having a single go-to vendor for all business printing, owners and managers can eliminate this extra supply management time and focus instead on tasks that are most important to the business. To further eliminate supply management time, owners and managers can ask their one-stop business printer to put certain orders on monthly repeat.What to Look for in a Business Printing Services SupplierNot all business printing services are made equal! To be sure, business owners or managers should verify the quality of a vendor’s printed supplies by reviewing samples before investing in a long-term relationship. In addition to product quality, businesses should keep an eye out to make sure their chosen business printing vendor provides prompt, on-time ordering service and personal customer service. If you plan on giving a vendor all your printing business, they should have a sales rep on staff who knows you by name!
Did you know that the cost of medical care when you are traveling could be extremely high? If you are already covered under an employer health insurance plan or individual/family health insurance plan, you may think that you can travel without worries, but that is not always the case. Many HMOs, PPOs, and state health insurance programs do not cover you if you are not in the United States. Even if you are traveling within the U.S., you could face high charges because the hospital or doctor you go to is not in your local plan. Travel insurance is fairly inexpensive and bridges that time when you are away from home, giving you peace of mind. If something does happen, you most likely will not be paying for the high cost of health care out-of-pocket.There are many different travel insurance plans on the market, though. How can you know which one is right for you? Although your travel agent or tour company will probably try to sell you their own plan, it might not be the cheapest or best choice. Here is what to look for when choosing a travel insurance plan:Coverage for all of your activitiesSome travel insurance plans don’t cover “extreme sports”; the very activities that many tourists like to try while on vacation. They are not just talking about skydiving, either. Sometimes, activities as mild as snorkeling and sailing are not covered in the insurance plan. If you intend to do more than relax on the beach, make sure that the plan you choose covers you.Toll-free telephone assistance no matter where you travelIf you fall ill in a foreign country, it may be hard and scary to find help. Some travel insurance companies do not offer personal assistance. These companies may reimburse you for bills when you get home. Instead, look for a plan that has a number you can call. A representative should be able to help you work through whatever problem you have as you are traveling, not just foot the bill when you get home. Make sure that the phone calls you make are toll free from wherever you are traveling or that you get reimbursed for them as part of the settlement.Protection based on your scheduleWhen does your travel insurance policy actually start? For some, the insurance policy does not start until you get to your destination, and if that is the case, what happens if you break your leg at the airport during your layover? You need protection that covers you from the moment you walk out of your door, even if it overlaps with your current coverage a bit. If you plan to travel a lot over the next several months, you might even want to look into an annual travel insurance plan; this might be a less expensive option for you.Non-health benefitsTravel insurance plans are not just about health. While most people buy them for protection for high doctors’ fees, your travel insurance plan should cover much more than accidents while you are away from home. In addition, travel insurance should cover things like lost or stolen luggage, tickets for flights and shows that are canceled, and more. When you are looking at the non-health benefits, be careful to review the exact policies you are buying. For example, Plan A might refund your plane tickets in full if you decide not to go on the trip while Plan B might only refund your plane tickets if the flight is canceled or significantly delayed.PriceAs with most purchases, price is very important when considering travel insurance. It can be confusing to compare policies because each one will have different specifics. At the end of the day though, it does not make sense to pay for the bells and whistles that come with one policy is there is a simpler policy that gives you only the things you need at a cheaper price. Usually, the price of the policy is determined by the total cost of your trip, the area where you are traveling, and the length of your stay, but other things can also come into play, especially if you want pre-existing medical conditions to be covered.The key to a perfect travel insurance plan, as with any insurance plan, is to do your research. Too many people purchase a policy without really understanding what they are buying. Then, when they need help, it is too late. Don’t fall into this position. Understand your policy and carry it with you when you travel so that you can refer to it if you need help. With the right travel insurance policy, you can protect yourself while on vacation.