When my co-founder and I started our company, we decided to cover 100% of our employees healthcare costs: premiums, deductibles, and prescriptions for employees and all of their dependents.

Most employers have their employees cover some portion of their healthcare costs. The idea is that if their employees don't have any "skin in the game," they may overuse the doctor and drive up the company's premiums. Or, employers might cover the employees' healthcare, but any dependents have to be paid for by the employees themselves. We disagree, and if your goal is to be aligned with the rest of your company then you should, too.

Your healthcare policy is one of the most important philosophical elements that aligns your company with employees, and a key way to demonstrate your commitment. Our business motto has always been to hire smart people that get things done. We attract and retain these people through our culture, our products, and our benefits.

We're not paying our employees lip service when we say that we're on their side, and subsequently the company they work for is on their side, too. As a result, our employees are happier and more inclined to stay at the company.

Our policy makes hiring easier. Being able to say with a straight face to candidates that they won't pay a single dime out of their pocket for healthcare is a huge relief to many people. Insurance companies inspire dread and fear in people, and knowing this anxiety will be forever taken off their plate is a great relief to many.

It's also cheaper. We shop around for policies that have really high deductibles (since we're already going to pay for them) to allow us to mostly self-insure. We're still covered for major procedures and unforeseen accidents, but the high deductible makes our premiums really low.

Paperwork also becomes a lot easier. We work with a 3rd party to handle all of the deductible reimbursement, which allows us to keep our noses out of employees' private matters and have someone help with all the insurance administration.

It's important to me that employees of Trello know that the company is always on their side. If there's an imperative medical issue or cost, we don't want the company's policies to be a blocker in them resolving their issue.

Our software is about bringing people together and getting team members on the same page. Our internal company policies should mirror that philosophy: We are all on the same team. Their goals are our goals.

Investing in the health of our employees is ultimately an investment in the health and success of our company. When the sentiment is apparent and the numbers add up, the decision is a no-brainer.

Published on: Nov 18, 2016
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