Is free health insurance the best company perk?

Under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), companies with fewer than 50 full-time employees are not required to provide health insurance to them. However, it seems that most do provide coverage for their employees, despite the often long and frustrating journey to find health insurance appropriate for a small team (and often, an even smaller budget). We sat down with 21 other startups to talk insurance with

Founding a company is hard work, and thinking about health insurance while you’re bootstrapping, even as a healthcare startup, is even harder. But Noteworth’s co-founders, Justin Williams and Nishant Panchal, made it their mission to make healthcare coverage a priority.

They believe that access to good, affordable healthcare is a basic human right, so once they got their first round of funding, Nishant and Justin decided to invest in their team—literally.

“After Noteworth raised some funding, I decided to cover 100 percent of the team’s health insurance premiums each month. Having and affording coverage, or worrying about being able to go the doctor wasn’t something that I wanted my employees to be anxious about,” said Justin.

Rather than focus on perks like foosball tables, free lunches and parties (though those happen at Noteworth some of the time), the founders decided that the team’s healthcare was more important.

If you don’t have your health, you don’t really have anything, do you? So, are gym reimbursements and free health insurance better than Happy Hours or ski trips? Or unlimited sick, mental health or vacation days better than in-office yoga classes? We think so.

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