Ways to Save with Group Health Insurance
Offering your employees group health insurance benefits is a great thing to do and it can help you keep and recruit the best employees. Unfortunately, the cost of providing those benefits has practically skyrocketed in recent years. Paying for group health insurance is increasingly more difficult for small businesses in particular. Luckily, there are ways you can save on those group health insurance premiums so that you can continue to offer this valuable benefit to your employees.
In order to find the most cost-effective group health insurance plan, you have to determine exactly what you need and don’t need. One way to do this is to discuss the situation with your employees. Find out what type of expectations they have for a health care plan and what they could live without. Scaling back coverage can help you save money, and it doesn’t make sense to pay for benefits your employees don’t plan on using. Additionally, you can offer your employees choice in health care benefits. Some employees may want or require less than others, and that can save you money as well.
Once you have decided what your business needs, you should take the time to shop around. Start with your current insurance provider. If you don’t already have group health insurance set up, you can turn to your business insurance provider. You can usually get discounts on additional insurance coverage from an insurer you already have a policy with. Be sure to get a few additional quotes, however, so you can comparison shop. Using an online agent is a great way to get quotes from multiple insurers and compare different plans. Make sure any agent you work with is properly licensed and qualified, however.
Consider a different pay structure to alleviate some of your business costs. By splitting the premiums with your employees, you can save a lot of money. It’s important to gauge the reaction of your employees to this arrangement, though. Inquire about how much your employees feel they can contribute to the premium. If your employees can’t afford the premium for the health care plan, it’s no good offering it at all.
Another way to save money is to increase the deductible for the policy. Increasing the deductible reduces the premium without changing the level of coverage offered. This means that your employees will be insured against major medical expenses that arise from serious illness or accidents, but will have to pay out-of-pocket for lesser expenses such as office visits. It may not be the most desired situation, but it’s far better than having no health care to rely on. The disadvantages of the high deductible plans are often offset by using “Health Savings Accounts” (HSAs). Employees can pull from their account to pay for certain qualified medical expenses.
Your accountant can help you make up for some of the costs of providing group health insurance by taking advantage of applicable tax benefits. You can usually deduct group health insurance benefits from your taxes. Your payroll tax can also be lessened by how you offer your employees health benefits.