90% of mid-size and large businesses offer medical benefits to their employees. Are you looking into health insurance for your staff?
Providing health insurance will improve employee retention and will make you a competitive business to work for, especially when health insurance is becoming more expensive and many people can’t afford individual coverage.
However, the process of comparing plans can be arduous, especially if you don’t understand the rules and the best options.
Fortunately, there’s a way to simplify the insurance shopping process. Here’s the best way to find business health insurance with some helpful advice to know.
Hire an Insurance Broker
If you have no knowledge of health insurance or just don’t have the time to shop for plans, an insurance broker will come in handy.
An insurance broker knows how to navigate difficult policies, ensures you comply with the law, will help you renew the policy each year, and can even help with the paperwork.
They can also look for different aspects that affect your plan, such as ensuring your plan is up-to-date.
Insurance brokers also take business size and affordability into consideration.
For example, if you own a small business, insurance brokers can help you find health coverage for small businesses that work with your staff size and budget.
But not every insurance broker is the same. Some are scams, asking for money upfront. Your insurance broker should only accept a commission.
Should you immediately hire a broker? You can start searching for plans alone and then can seek a broker if you’re having any difficulties.
Contact Health Insurance Companies Directly
Is there a health insurance company you’re interested in? You can always contact them and inquire directly. While some insurance companies only work through brokers, many can work directly with business owners.
One of the benefits of contacting health insurance companies directly is you may land better rates, especially because you don’t need to pay broker commissions.
Not sure which insurance company you want to buy from? There are different ways to conduct research.
Research different health coverage packages, take a look at the online applications, read reviews, and you can even contact their customer service and ask a few questions.
Use Purchasing Alliances or PEOs
Is health insurance becoming too expensive?
You can use a purchasing alliance to bring down insurance costs. A purchasing alliance groups businesses to reduce the cost of health coverage. In addition, you can choose what percentage you want to cover.
Another benefit of using this method is you have more flexibility and you can even offer your employees different plans.
You can also use a PEO. This is similar to a purchasing alliance except PEOs offer more than just health insurance. You can receive other benefits such as recruiting, managing payroll, and filing taxes.
Use Government Programs
The government is making health insurance easier for businesses.
A program, such as SHOP, or the small business health insurance options program, is a database that compares plans and provides easy-to-read data points.
The health insurance cost and options depend on your state. You may also qualify for tax credits that can save you a substantial amount of money.
Why Offer Health Insurance?
Do you wonder why you should offer health insurance in the first place? Here are a few good reasons why.
It’s Better for Employees
No one likes being without health insurance.
And with health insurance costs reaching an all-time high, your staff can’t afford individual plans. Business health insurance is more affordable; if you can’t cover the entire price, you can split the premiums with your staff.
Group health insurance not only benefits your staff but also their family members. For example, if your employee has a spouse and children, their plan can cover their whole family.
It’s the Law
This reason isn’t so much of a why as it is a need — by law, you need to offer health insurance for your staff, depending on your staff size.
If your business employs more than 50 workers, you need to offer health insurance.
Not offering health insurance results in a huge fine.
You’ll Receive Tax Benefits
By purchasing health insurance for you and your employees, you can qualify for tax credits. This means you can save a lot of money on your health insurance cost.
However, you must go through SHOP, the government’s health insurance portal for small businesses.
You can also qualify if you meet these requirements:
- Have fewer than 25 full-time employees
- Cover at least 50% of the premium costs
- Pay less than a $50,000 salary for each full-time employee
If you don’t meet these requirements, you can still earn other tax benefits. You can write the cost of health insurance off as a deduction.
Which Costs to Consider
Health insurance comes with many expenses. These include:
- Out-of-pocket maximum
- Copayments and coinsurance
As an employer, you’re only paying for the premiums. But it’s important to look at the other costs associated with the health insurance plan you choose.
These can affect the plan’s quality and your employee’s satisfaction with the plan.
Monetary costs aren’t the only costs to consider. You’ll want to consider lost time researching the best plan. Filling out paperwork and ensuring you comply with the law also takes a significant chunk of your time.
The time spent on health insurance doesn’t end with the initial sign up. You’ll have to revisit your health insurance each year to ensure you want to continue the plan for the following year.
Sign Up for Business Health Insurance
There’s a lot that goes into buying business health insurance.
With the open enrollment period here for 2020 coverage, it’s essential that all business owners know how to shop for health insurance plans.
Use this guide to find the best coverage as well as weighing out the costs and factors that affect each plan.
Health insurance isn’t the only expense you have to worry about. Here are other hidden costs that affect startups and small businesses.