5 Tips to Make Shopping for Small Business Group Health Insurance Easier
Dan Levenson May 08, 2018
As the owner of a small business, you need to make sure that your workforce—no matter how big or small—knows that you appreciate them and are looking out for them. After all, today’s employees are often looking for more than just a steady paycheck. They also want to know that their leadership has their back.
One effective way of doing this is by providing group health insurance benefits.
Now, don’t panic—you have options. Since there is no such thing as a generic health plan, however, you will have to identify a few things ahead of time to be sure you’re picking the right one. The more you know about your needs as a company, the easier it will be to customize a plan to be a true employee benefit.
1. Know What You’re Looking For
You need to know more about the type of insurance you want to be able to offer your employees. Consider such things as adding dental and vision to the plan to give them a more comprehensive benefits package.
You may also want to explore HMO (choose within a plan) versus PPO (choose any provider) versus health spending accounts (a set amount of money in the account to spend from). Some of this may be based on focus groups that you have already held with your employees to discuss the possibility of offering group health insurance. They may have their own opinions as to what you need to be looking for, so it is a good idea to ask for their opinions.
2. Know Who’s Interested
The cost of health insurance for groups will depend significantly on how large the group is. You may have 500 employees and only 10% are interested. This would mean that you are shopping for a group health insurance plan for approximately 50 employees. Then again, you may have 10,000 employees and 40% are interested, resulting in approximately 4,000 people needing health insurance within your group.
Do a little bit of research and give your employees a survey so you can get more information in terms of who might be interested in obtaining health insurance.
3. Know What You’re Willing to Contribute to Employee’s Premiums
Employers will often contribute to the employee premiums. This is considered a premium benefit. In fact, many employees will ask about group health insurance plans prior to accepting employment. You may be able to lure a number of qualified individuals to your payroll by offering a better set of premiums than other companies within your industry.
The more you contribute, the less your employees will have to pay. It also identifies as being a better employee benefit. Of course, you don’t have to contribute anything. However, you need to know how much you are willing to contribute prior to receiving any kind of quote.
4. Understand Timeframes (3-4 Weeks to Implement a Group Plan)
It’s important to consider the kind of timeframe you are looking at for rolling out group health insurance to your employees. You may be looking at implementing something a few weeks away or a few months away. This may impact the total costs involved.
Health plans are constantly changing. What prices are available now may not be available when you’re ready to obtain your plans. You also have to consider the amount of time you want to keep open enrollment open for the initial sign-up period.
5. Trust Your Agent
One of the main reasons to work with a professional insurance agent is to tap into their knowledge. They will be able to guide you through the various group health insurance options available to your company based upon how many people will likely be in the group, as well as how much you are willing to contribute. A variety of questions will be asked by the agent to better understand your unique circumstances.
It will be a lot easier if you trust your agent to make decisions for you. While all final decisions are yours, they will provide you with comparisons as well as recommendations. Be confident that they are doing what is best for you and your company.
Making the decision to obtain group health insurance is a great one as your employees will appreciate the benefit. It is not something that you can jump into immediately without thinking a few things through. Start talking with your employees to find out what they have to say about their health insurance needs and wants.