Employees consider health insurance the most important benefit. So when shopping for a health plan or renewing your current plan, do not take the decision lightly. Find out what your employees need from their health plan and do your best to make a decision based of those needs and your company’s finances.
Step 1. Speak with your employees.
The for the most part, they’ll be the ones that need it. Discuss with them how much coverage they need, ask them who their current doctor(s) are, or which ones they’d like to start seeing.
It might seem inviting to have a company meeting, but avoid doing so. Some employees might not be open to discussing their medical needs in front of their coworkers. Indeed, they might not be willing to speak about it with you.
Here’s an alternative idea. Collect confidential medical questionnaires. Have your employee complete them, place them in a sealed envelope and hand deliver it to a trusted source. When you’re ready to make your plan selections, you have anonymous data to work with.
Step 2. Start researching your options – all of them.
Make an appointment with a local broker and ask for information on various local health plans. Collect quotes, ask for information on other types of health plans that might be available for your company and your employees. A local broker can be a wealth of information and a good one will help you along, every step of the way.
Step 3. Balance the information the broker gave you against your employee and company’s needs.
Your broker may have a lot of great ideas and may steer in a direction or two that could be great options. But at the end of the day, this is your company and the decision about which option to take is going to fall on you. If you have a good broker, they’ll help complete the paperwork for you and tell you what additional documentation the carrier will require to start or renew your health plan. They should also have tools to assist your employees complete the forms they need.
There are a lot of ins-and-outs about how to analyze which plan would best fit your needs. Knowing your employees’ medical needs is going to be immensely helpful. Your broker’s insight should be invaluable to you. Here’s a few guiding hints:
- You don’t have to jump into the strongest plan available because you have an employee or two with expensive medical needs. Your broker should be able to show you how to select multiple health plans for your company and some tactics about how to offer that plan to the employees that need it without breaking your company’s bank. If your broker doesn’t know how to do that, then run away.
- Don’t discount HDHP (High Deductible Health Plans) just because they have a high deductible. Ask your broker about them and about an HSA. These are an amazing and simple way to lower your taxable income.
- Try not to be too stingy on how much of the premiums your company will contribute to. Remember that health insurance is the most important benefit that most of your employees will be looking for, and a valuable employee is much more likely to jump ship for another company if she feels her budget is being overwhelmed by deductions for her health insurance. Also, a lot of valuable potential employees might accept alternative offers if your health plan isn’t up to snuff. Again, don’t take your company’s health plan decisions lightly. Just because you only have to contribute at least 50% doesn’t mean you should only contribute 50%.
Ready to start looking into your health insurance options? Contact me today!