Choosing health insurance for your employees is an important decision. It can affect your ability retain employees as well as hire new ones, not to mention greatly improve the health of your current workers. With so many options on the market, how are you supposed to choose?
This guide is here to not only make sure your employees have healthcare, but to have the right healthcare as well.
Does the Plan Meet ACA Requirements?
The first thing to look for when choosing a health care plan is whether or not it meets the Affordable Care Act’s rules. This means that if you have 50 or more full-time employees, you will need to offer affordable coverage at a minimum value to 95% of that full-time staff. Affordable coverage must cover 60% of health costs while keeping the employee’s cost at less than 9.5 percent of their household income.
Any policy following ACA requirements cannot have lifetime caps and must limit out of pocket expenses. All of this can be more than a little confusing. So, make sure to ask your broker for more details.
Should You Choose Fully Insured or Self-Funded Plans?
Self-funded plans are when employers bear the main risk of health claims exceeding the company’s estimate in a given year. Although the risk is higher, the overall cost is usually lower. It is highly recommended to purchase stop-loss insurance to cover unexpected emergency claims when choosing this option.
Fully insured coverage plans require the insurance company to bear the weight of the risk, but cause employers to pay higher premiums. You can choose to offer high-deductible plans in order to spend less money each month on premium when picking this option. While this can cause an increased cost burden on your employees, you can alleviate this by offering generous pretax savings accounts.
Both of these plans require you to choose a group plan and pay a percentage of the premiums every month. Either is a good option, so choose whichever will work best for your business.
The Variety Option
The variety option means going through an insurer that offers a variety of plans. They include PPOs and HMOs along with several different co-pays, premiums, and deductibles. This gives you a chance to avoid excessive costs by setting aside a certain amount of money for each employee every month, which allows any worker who chooses a more expensive plan responsible for covering the difference.
Pay close attention, as not all of these plans meet the ACA minimum requirements. Ask your broker about any you are looking at before making a final decision.
Look For Extras
Specialty plans and benefits can help you lower your long term health care costs while attracting and retaining employees at the same time. Things like dental insurance, life insurance, and accidental coverage are all welcomed benefits by potential employees.
Some of these extras can also encourage your employees to lead healthier lives. In some cases, wellness goals are set that offer premium deductions for those who exercise and diet to meet those goals. This can create an incredibly healthy workforce as well as a happier work environment.
The SHOP Exchange
In some instances, business that have 51-100 employees might have the option of buying their insurance from the SHOP Marketplace. This route is offered on a state by state basis. So, make sure to look into its availability.
Choosing the best health insurance option for your employees can be a complicated and confusing task, but following these general guidelines can help you narrow down your search. Always talk to an insurance broker who can answer your questions and help your business steer clear of less than desirable insurance plans.