As an employer, you know you’re not simply proving a paycheck for your employees; you’re helping to create a lifestyle for them – and constantly competing for the best talent in the industry through your compensation and benefit package. One thing every potential employee cares about (or should) is his or her health, and the healthcare coverage you provide could be what sets you apart from the competition. If you’re searching for a group health plan for the first time, or hoping to improve on an existing plan, there are a few things you should consider first.
Do your employees want healthcare?
It might seem like a silly question – of course your employees want healthcare! – but if you have a very small business and your employees are already covered through a spouse or a personal plan, they may prefer you spend your employee benefits money elsewhere – like on retirement benefits, life insurance or other “perks.”
How much can you – and your employees – afford?
For any business owner, the cost of a health plan is going to matter. But it’s not just your bottom line that matters – it’s also your employees’. That’s because, according to Fortune, the number of employers who pay 100 percent of employees’ healthcare has dropped to 9 percent as of 2016, down from 34 percent in 2001. On average, employers pay 82 percent of the cost of healthcare premiums, and 71 percent of the cost of family premiums. That means both your wallets matter, so finding a plan to suit your business’s and your employees’ budgets is vital.
Do any employees qualify for a subsidy?
Under the Affordable Care Act, some of your employees could qualify for government subsidies on plans offered through the ACA marketplace. Generally, these are any employees making less than 400 percent of the federal poverty level. If you offer a group health plan and make your employees eligible, they will lose the subsidy option in the marketplace. If the bulk of your employees are entry-level or lower-paid, you may want to consider this when searching for a plan.
What’s important to your employees regarding deductibles, coinsurance, etc.?
Choosing one solution for a number of people is always a challenge. One thing you’ll want to consider when selecting a group health plan is whether to choose a high-deductible plan that comes with lower premiums, or a plan with higher monthly premiums but a lower deductible. Depending on your needs and budget, there are benefits to each. For example, high-deductible plans may be combined with Health Savings Accounts, and most plans provide preventative care at no cost.
What’s the out-of-pocket maximum?
With healthcare coverage a federally mandated requirement, going without insurance isn’t really an option. That said, many people (maybe even your employees) still see health insurance as a catastrophic option. That means they want something there to ensure they aren’t going to wind up broke, in debt or simply unable to pay for care if a serious accident, injury or illness occurs. That’s why the out-of-pocket maximum attached to healthcare plans is so important. Your employees will want to know how much they will have to pay out of pocket per year for those worst-case scenarios.
How often do you need to see the doc?
Larger companies will have difficulty determining how often their employees need to seek medical attention, but for smaller businesses, it’s helpful to understand if any employees require regular doctor’s visits due to a chronic condition. While it’s not your place to ask personal health questions, any information you can gather about frequency of medical care is valuable when selecting a health plan.
Who can help me?
This is our favorite question, because the answer is – US! If you own or manage a business and are considering a healthcare change for your employees, it’s time to come see us. We’ll give you options to suit your needs, budget and those of your employees. Give us a call today.