Saving on Group Health Insurance
Group health insurance costs seem to be rising at alarming rates. Unfortunately, the biggest increases tend to be targeted at smaller companies. What can we do to counter-act this trend?
As a small business owner, this is of primary importance. The rising cost of health insurance is widely understood to be one of the biggest concerns for smaller companies. It is an important incentive to keep good employees. But what can a small employer do when the cost of health insurance is so high that it makes more business sense to cut benefit's?
First of all, don't panic. And don't automatically assume that you must pass through crippling rate hikes to your employees either. If you have a health plan and need to save more, or would like to offer one to your employees and don't currently, we have 3 tips to help you find a quality insurance plan at a reasonable rate.
- Always compare quotes and benefit's from more than one insurance company.
Just because your favorite cousin is an insurance agent for XYZ insurance, doesn't mean that you'll get the best deal. Shop around! Do some research on the Internet. In fact, the most convenient way to get the best overview of your options is to get multiple quotes from the Internet, as well as speak with qualified insurance brokers in your area. This will give you a good idea of the kinds of coverage and costs that you are looking at. Whether you work with an agent online, in person or by phone, be sure that this person is licensed in your state.
By looking carefully at what the plans offer, and comparing that with what your employees want and need, you can match the best plan to your business, while also saving some money on extras that are not high priority.
- Consider a high-deductible plan, to save more.
Okay, so you want to offer insurance, but you can't afford a plan with low deductibles? Get a high deductible plan. If your employees are healthy and make few visit's to the doctor, this may work to everyones advantage. You can save money and still provide coverage for your workforce. Although everyone will face a higher deductible, they will still have coverage in the case of serious or catastrophic illness, which is much better than no coverage at all.
- Be sure to take advantage of all tax incentives.
There are tax benefit's available to you, as the employer, when you provide group health insurance. These tax benefit's can help defray the costs of insurance and may even allow you to carry a higher level of coverage for your workforce. For instance, you may be able to fully deduct the premiums paid on your group health plan and offering coverage may reduce your payroll tax. Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) may be combined with high-deductible insurance to provide better coverage and your contributions to them would be exempt from payroll tax. Your insurance agent can also give you some basic information about HSAs and HSA-eligible health plans. A tax professional can help you work out the details.