Health insurance benefits for your employees and yourself are both a blessing and a curse. It’s become more complicated with health care reform legislation and I cannot possibly speak as an expert on all of it. I can, however, point you to some resources for researching options, offer some things to look for and avoid and get the basics to you.
Small business is defined differently by health insurance providers. Generally speaking, it is 2-50 employees and that can include you and a spouse. If you are adding health insurance, or even seeking new quotes, you might gather input from your employees to see what is working, and what is not, in your existing plan or what they’d like in a new plan. If your company is larger, get a team together to discuss.
RESEARCH service and don’t pick a company based on rates alone. How the insurance company treats its customers is as important as the costs. Ask other business owners how they feel about their company and consider asking some of the health care providers (doctors, nurses) that you use who they recommend. Each state has an insurance commissioner who’s office should be able to answer questions about various companies.
TURN TO a trusted advisor first. You should have an insurance agent who handles your liability and worker’s compensation, or perhaps your personal policies. Be sure to turn to this person first if you have a solid relationship with them. If they are an independent agent, so much the better.
CONSIDER offering a variety of plans like health savings accounts (HSA), preferred provider organizations (PPO), or point of service plans (POS).
INVESTIGATE the tax implications of your health care plan. Start here for more information.
Offering a quality benefit package, include health care options, is a great way to attract and retain the top talent in your business. Take the time to investigate solutions that fit both you and your employees’ needs and budgets.
by Steven Schlagel