By David Notari, CEO of Innovation Health
If you are a business owner in Northern Virginia you are most likely are renewing your health insurance this fall. With all of the options available for your business, it is important to know what to look for in an insurance carrier. To help you navigate the myriad choices, here are my three top tips for choosing the best health coverage for both your employees and your bottom line.
Review all your options
Insurance brokers play a vital role in uncovering and presenting your company with a variety of health plan options. While they remove the burden and headache of uncovering these health plan options, be sure to ask that they present ALL the coverage options available so that you can make your most informed choice. Compare the list of insurance carriers you received last year to this year’s choices. If your list is the same, there is a good chance you are not seeing all your choices. Some brokers receive incentives for endorsing certain plans over others. If you don’t nudge them to look at all the available insurance carrier options, you could be missing out on the one that’s the best fit for your employees and a lower price point.
Be sure your broker understands what your employees want from their health plan. By conducting a simple internal email or survey, you can gather important information from your employees about what they value most in a health plan. Once you have that information, be sure to relay it to your broker. Arming them with this information will help identify specific plans that meet your employees’ needs.
Look for plans that value both cost and quality
Last year the Affordable Care Act (ACA) changed the way rates are generated for people on small group insurance plans. Heading into this year’s open enrollment you will find that there are different rates for everyone in your company, depending on their age. For example, recent college graduates will have a much different rate than the executive with 30 years of experience.
As a reaction to this ACA change, some plans now offer something called composite rating for small businesses, where the rates for all employees are blended into a single rate. This is an attractive option for Northern Virginia business leaders because it brings predictability to health costs. Without a composite rate, business owners are forced to evaluate coverage expenses as part of their hiring strategies, which is never ideal. Composite rates free owners to focus on bringing the right people into their business, and accurately planning for the future.
Choice is king
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all health plan option for all your employees. With different ages, salaries and family needs, what might be ideal for one employee is often different than what is ideal for another. This is where looking for an insurance carrier with a variety of options comes into play.
Carriers that offer multiple health plan options might be the best fit for your business, since one plan option may apply to your employees more than another. Also, some of your employees may want a Health Savings Account (HSA) to help cover the cost of their doctors’ visits and prescriptions. Look for plans that offer these accounts as an option so interested employees have the ability to enroll. Your employees will undoubtedly value the selection and will be more likely to find a plan that works best for them. Don’t worry about the cost difference for each of these plans. By offering a flat rate to all employees for what you will cover within their plan, or contribute to their HSA each month, you can ensure that costs are manageable and predictable.
Enrolling for health plan coverage can be easy. By following these three tips, you can make sure that your workforce gains access to the quality health care options their families’ need, while growing a thriving business.