NEW YORK (CNNfn) - Interested in health care insurance for yourself and your employees? Why not form a purchasing alliance with other businesses, and use it to negotiate a long-term contract in exchange for lower premiums?
Many business owners are joining together, both formally and informally, to obtain lower rates. National Small Business United, the National Association for the Self-Employed, and the Chamber's Council of Smaller Enterprises in Cleveland are just a few of the groups that offer their members discounts on health insurance.
Many states, including New York and California, also offer special programs to small business owners.
In today's tight labor market, great benefits are a powerful employee retention tool.
(Jane Applegate, a syndicated columnist and the author of 201 Great Ideas for Your Small Business, covers small business for CNNfn.com.)