Questions to Ask When Purchasing Group Health Insurance

It can be hard to decide on a Group Health Insurance plan for your business. As a business owner or administrator, you’re already swamped with other important back-end tasks for your business. When getting group health insurance, where do you start when there are so many options and things to think about?


Even though we can’t tell you right away which plan is best for you, we can suggest some important questions to ask yourself and your agent when buying group health insurance. When shopping for group health plans, think about the following:


 
WHICH PLAN IS THE BEST OPTION FOR MY BUSINESS?


Depending on the company, most group health insurance providers offer several different plans. The benefits and styles of these vary. You might be qualified for more than one plan.

  • Point-of-sale (POS) (POS)
  • A high-deductible health-care plan (HDHP)
  • Organization for keeping people healthy (HMO)
  • An organization that gets the most business (PPO)
  • Self-funded
  • Level-funded
  • Fully-insured


Each plan is very different and may have different benefits. Talk to a Hitchings Insurance Agency rep if you aren’t sure which plan is best for your business. Some strategies may be more beneficial to your company than others. You might be able to buy more than one thing for your employees to choose from. This way, you can give them a variety of options and more than one benefit.


 
WHO WILL BE ABLE TO BE COVERED BY A GROUP PLAN?


As the business owner or plan administrator, the first thing you’ll need to do is figure out who can get health insurance through your group plan. You will probably want coverage for yourself, your spouse, and/or your dependents. But who are the workers? Depending on your plan, you may not have to insure part-time workers. Only full-time workers, such as those who work 30 or more hours a week, will be eligible. You can’t pick and choose who is covered in a certain category; everyone in that category should be covered. You can also decide if you want to cover your employee’s family members as well.
 
Think about the health needs of each of your employees. Some people may need coverage for pregnancy, prescription drugs, and regular visits to the doctor. Without looking at their health records or asking them personal questions, you might want to go around and talk to them about what kind of health insurance would be best for them.


 
HOW MUCH DO YOU INTEND TO PUT TOGETHER FOR MONTHLY PREMIUMS?


What is your budget for paying the monthly premiums for your group health insurance? Employers are almost always required to make contributions, which are usually around 50 percent. The employee is responsible for the rest. If your employee’s spouse and/or children are also covered, there are fewer limits on how much the employer has to pay. Note, though, that it may seem expensive to contribute as much as 50 percent or more to your employees’ plans, but your contributions will be tax-deductible and the benefits of offering great coverage plans are priceless.


 
WHAT WILL BE COVERED BY YOUR PLAN?


With group health insurance, you may be able to get extra benefits like an insurance for your eyes and teeth. You should ask for a list of what you may be able to get and what your standard policy covers. Some add-ons are worth buying because, according to statistics, people will choose lower-paying jobs with better benefits, especially those that include vision and dental care in their group health plans. If you’re willing to pay a little more for the extra premiums, vision and dental insurance are important to think about. It has been shown that they help keep employees, cut down on absenteeism, increase profits, and make a business more productive.
 
You might also want to do a survey of your employees and ask them what benefits they value the most. This can help you decide if you want to include your dependents and spouse in your plans or not.


 
HOW MUCH WILL THE WHOLE PLAN COST YOU?


Aside from contributions, the cost of group health insurance can vary based on several different things, such as:

  • What do you do for a living?
  • The insurance history of the employer
  • How old is your average worker?
  • The number of staff members
  • The health of your staff
  • What kinds of insurance do you choose?
  • Any extra benefits, like eye care or dental care,


Keep in mind that different jobs have different levels of risk and that the company you plan to buy your plan from will also make a difference. A 2016 survey found that the average family coverage premium for larger companies with 200 or more workers was between $18,000 and $19,000 for all plans. Average plans for a single person cost about $6,000 per year.


 
WILL YOU HAVE MONTHLY PREMIUMS OR “COST-SHARING” OPTIONS?


You can choose a plan that has employees pay more upfront and less when they get sick or hurt or the other way around. You can choose to pay a monthly premium, which is a payment you have to make to keep your coverage. If you choose cost-sharing, it doesn’t start until you need medical care. Paying deductibles, co-insurance, and co-payments are all ways to share the cost of something. If your employees don’t need prescription drugs very often, are young, or don’t go to the doctor very often, it may be better to choose higher cost-sharing and lower monthly premiums. If the opposite is true, you may choose to have less cost-sharing and pay more each month. It all depends on how many employees are in the pool.

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