How to Pick Health Insurance for your Employees

Small businesses don’t always offer health insurance, but it may be a good idea if you want to attract good employees and convince them to stay for longer. It all depends on the state you run your business in and its associations health plans rules; you will definitely need to calculate both current and future coverage costs, and discover what your employees think about it, but you may discover, probably to your surprise, that it’s worth it. But where should you start? How to make sure that you pick the best health insurance for your employees, but also suitable for your company’s budget? 

Health insurance

Research the types

Most smaller businesses decide on the traditional health insurance plan, simply because it’s flexible for those insured and allows them to go to any doctor or hospital they choose. However, that’s why it’s also quite expensive. Another option can be a managed health plan, but it may include fees, co-pays and deductibles for various services that can turn out to be expensive for employees. 

The first step should be calculating your budget and getting to know your employees’ preferences – maybe they would like mental health, or prefer dental, or maternity coverage specifically – and deciding if you’re able to cover their dependents as well. 

If some of your workers have special needs, you may consider finding a policy that won’t require specialist referrals to make it easier for your employees to get help they require.

Find insurance broker

A good broker will present you with multiple plan offers from different providers for you to choose from. In order to receive the best possible options that will suit your needs and your budget, you need to find a broker that has experience with smaller businesses like yours, not an individual insurance specialist, or ona that works for big corporations. It’s important to get some recommendations or at least try to gather some opinions, even on the internet, as not all brokers will act in your best interest. 

Check other insurance deals

You may discover with time that you can’t afford any of the plans offered by insurers directly, but don’t be upset, all is not lost yet. You can turn to your state department of insurance to ask for help in your searches or join an association for small entrepreneurs that may offer an insurance plan. However, don’t decide on anything blindly – only because you act through someone else doesn’t mean that you don’t have to check the policy carefully.

Know the insurer

There are several agencies that publish their rating books and you should examine them thoroughly before deciding on anything. Make sure that you know your chosen insurer inside out. Know their present ratings, but also over time, and across different services, as they may not be the same. Know everything there is to know about their claims policies and payments, or access to various specialists and rarer services. You won’t find everything in the rating books, but a good insurance broker should know the history and policies of insurance providers they work with. Also, the state department of insurance keeps the records of all complaints filed against insurers, so it may be a good idea to check that as well.

Find an insurer that actually cares about their clients. You don’t want to get stuck with a company that provides you with poor customer support. Search those that are helpful and offer personalized member experience.

What you should consider while choosing a policy?

  • Cost, that is overall cost of the plan, deductibles and coinsurance costs. Make sure you can afford it, or calculate how much you can pay and how much will fall on your employees; see if they are alright with that. If there are many deductibles and other extra payments, employees have to be able to afford them, so take it into consideration – paying more than 25% of treatment costs should be a warning sign that maybe it’s not the best policy.
  • Coverage, that is what types of conditions, diseases, injuries, doctors or specialists are covered. It’s essential to know the total coverage of the policy that should be at least $1 million. What’s more, never agree on insufficient hospital indemnity policies or specific diseases policies as they are never enough. 
  • Reimbursement, make sure that the coverage and your policy really are less than an average stay at the hospital, sick leave or doctor’s appointment. 
  • Limitations, because there are many policies that may look good, but have in fact plenty of bizarre restrictions. For example, your insurance may cover everything, but only in your own state, so when your employee has an accident while on a business trip, it won’t be covered at all or only in a much smaller part. 

Choosing the right health insurance for your employees is not a decision that should be taken lightly, quickly and without doing proper research. You need to know everything about the chosen policy and the insurer, you have to know the exact costs, coverage, reimbursements and restrictions. Make sure that you’re choosing a policy that will truly be helpful and useful to your workers. It may be a valuable asset on the job market that will give you an advantage over your competition and allow you to attract talented employees.

About Carson Derrow

My name is Carson Derrow I'm an entrepreneur, professional blogger, and marketer from Arkansas. I've been writing for startups and small businesses since 2012. I share the latest business news, tools, resources, and marketing tips to help startups and small businesses to grow their business.

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