Feb 22, 2014

Choosing the Best Health Insurance Plan for Your Business: 4 Helpful Tips

With all the options available, and new regulations and requirements cropping up all the time, it can be difficult to choose the best health insurance plan for your business.

Most small businesses are now required to offer their employees some level of health insurance coverage, but finding the best fit at a cost that your business can handle can be a daunting task.

Here are four tips to remember that can help you find the best health insurance plan that makes the most sense for your company:

1. Know the Best Methods to Get Insurance

There are various ways to purchase insurance plans, but some of the most common options include:

  • Directly from the insurance company

Getting a plan directly from the insurance company can be cost effective in some cases, particularly if you are a large company and are already very familiar with the plan that you need.

  • Through a broker

An insurance broker can sometimes negotiate a better deal with insurance companies on your behalf, and may be able to offer beneficial guidance for small businesses.

  • Through an association

Membership in a trade-specific association that offers health insurance plan benefits can bring valuable expertise and benefits that are specifically tailored to your business.

2. Keep Criteria in Mind

As you look for the best health insurance plans for your business, keep price and plan flexibility in mind:

  • Price

Price is important—you must be able to afford the coverage for all of your employees. Make sure you weigh the employee cost-sharing percentage, potential out-of-pocket costs, and copays with their take-home wages. A good plan should make sense for both you and your employees.

  • Flexibility

It’s not surprising that employees who are proactive about their health are more productive and miss fewer work days, but studies have also shown that employees who are offered options for better health coverage are happier in their jobs and also are willing to pay a greater percentage of their health plan costs.

3. Take Advantage of Available Benefits

Many of the best health insurance plans feature additional advantages that can help save you money, so it’s important to know if a plan you are looking at offers any. Look for:

  • Cost sharing

If you are unable to cover the entire cost of a health insurance plan that offers your employees sufficient coverage, sharing the premium costs with them is a good alternative to cutting benefits to the bare minimum.

  • Tax credits

If you employ fewer than 25 people, you may be eligible for the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit, which can cover up to 35% of the cost of your health care insurance plan.

4. Know Your Rights

As you shop around for the best health insurance plan, it’s important to know your rights. For example, insurance companies can’t turn you down or charge you higher premiums based on gender or pre-existing health conditions of employees or their dependents. They also cannot raise your premiums due to high medical costs of your workers. Any insurance provider should know this, but be firm about your rights and ask questions—this will ensure you and your employees get the best health care coverage possible.

For more information on finding the best health insurance plans for your business, read about AWANE’s approach to Healthcare Plan Design, or contact us directly—we’re always here to help.