Buying strategies

Propel HR
Health insurance buying strategies for small businesses

By Lee Yarborough, President | Propel HR

Which job candidate should I hire? Should I expand my business? Will new software boost employee productivity? Every day, business owners are confronted with decisions that have far-reaching impact.

In my profession, the decision I often see business owners struggle with the most is health insurance. They want to choose the best option for their employees and one that is affordable for their business. Health insurance comes in all shapes and sizes. How do you know you’re making the right decision for your employees and your company?

When I personally consider insurance, there several factors that drive my decision- making:

When I evaluate my insurance needs, I consider my family first. Whether life insurance, disability insurance, or health insurance, my family will be affected by my decisions. What would happen if I become sick or have a terrible accident? How does this financially impact my family? What if my medical needs change and I am prescribed a specific regimen of medicine, can my family afford it without the proper insurance?

I think through all the ‘what if’ scenarios when it comes to my family and our insurance options, but I can’t overlook the other factors.

  • Convenience– does the insurance plan have my doctors in the network? Can the premium be deducted from payroll?
  • Value – are the benefits worth the cost of the premium? Am I paying for something I will never use?
  • Price – can I afford it? Can I afford NOT to have it? Insurance protects me in case of a loss. I must think about my future needs, not just my needs today.

Just like I consider many factors for my personal insurance needs, business owners also go through a similar process when selecting a health plan.

Price is often considered first. A company must be able to afford the coverage provided to employees. By working with a good insurance agent, companies can offer benefits to employees within a reasonable budget. Look at different plan designs, consider master PEO plans, and provide duel options with different cost-sharing options. For a company with 50 or more full-time equivalent employees, the Affordable Care Act must also be considered. The insurance may be less expensive than the potential penalties, therefore it is important to evaluate it completely.

When companies explore the value of providing benefits to their employees, they consider more than just the insurance plan. By offering a top-rated benefits package, employers can attract and retain quality employees. This value is hard to quantify but so important in today’s competitive hiring environment. Offering insurance also increases employee morale and can decrease absenteeism. A healthy workplace is a happy workplace.

Convenience is also a factor. When comparing health insurance quotes, most organizations want benefits that are easy to use and easy to administer. The provider list must include conveniently located physicians and enrollment options must be easy to administer.

The decision to provide insurance for your business is not an easy one. It is important that each company thinks through all the factors in order to make the best decision for employees and our business.

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