Owning a business is a dream shared by many entrepreneurs. The opportunity to produce a product or provide a service that people need and/or enjoy is a balm for the soul–and making money while doing it only adds to the attraction. However, being your own boss carries a great deal of responsibility. Not only must you meet the needs of your customers, but you also need to make sure your employees are adequately compensated for their time and effort. Providing group rate health insurance is one way to do that. Following are a few tips on how to get group health insurance for your business.
What Is Group Health Insurance?
Group health insurance is insurance that is sponsored by an employer and provides coverage for the business owner, their employees, and in some cases, the employee’s families. The coverage can be completely paid for by an employer or the cost could be shared by the employer and their employees. Group rate health insurance plans provide tax incentives for employers, which helps make group plans more attractive.
Why Provide Insurance to Your Employees?
One of the best reasons for an employer to offer group health insurance is that paying for private insurance can be very expensive, and being able to receive health insurance coverage at group rates through an employer often attracts the best employees, and it may also encourage them to stay on with your company longer–which helps make employee training cost-effective.
The first step in getting group health insurance is to find out if your business meets group rate qualifications. Contact the Department of Insurance in the state in which you do business. In some cases, the number of employees must be higher than a specified amount in order to qualify. The next step is to figure out how much money you’re going to be able to afford to put toward employee insurance coverage. The overall amount you can budget for that purpose will allow you to determine the exact percentage of the group plan that you’ll be able to provide for your employees. Whatever remains will have to be a shared cost with the employee, and they’ll have to decide whether or not to participate in the group coverage plan.
Not All Plans are Created Equal
Before you can decide on the percentage of the plan that you’ll pay for, you will have to do some research to find out what sort of coverage you can get from different providers, because all plans are not created equal. If you check out insurance providers, you will get an idea of the type of coverage that is available, and get quotes for comparison. You can use these quotes to compare with the rates of the more traditional brick and mortar companies. In some cases, the online rates will be cheaper. When you fill out the forms, make sure the types of coverage you’re requesting are comparable from one company to the next, so you’ll be able to tell if a quote is actually cheaper or only appears that way because it doesn’t offer as much coverage.
Before deciding which company to go with, you should not only determine whether or not their rate quote is the best overall, but you should also check out the company to make sure they’re reputable and are likely to stand behind their policies. You should find out whether or not the company has a history of denying claims regularly or if they have a reputation of not providing good customer service. It won’t matter how low your rates are if you can’t contact a claims representative when you need to. Reduced rates won’t help either if the company routinely denies claims in the hope you’ll just forget about it and move on.
Health Care Options
A group rate health insurance plan may contain any number or variety of options depending on how much money you’re willing to spend and the type of coverage you’ll need to provide for your workers. Some jobs are more dangerous than others and will require more comprehensive coverage. If you’re patient and thorough, you should be able to come up with a reasonably priced group health insurance plan.