As we approach the 2020 political season, healthcare remains an eternal “hot topic” issue; one that acts as an economist’s reoccurring bad dream. Much like a bad dream, the obvious warning signs of our domestic system’s atrophy disappear into the cognition of the economist’s mind and are forgotten by mid-morning. The economist, much like the rest of the country, has an eerie feeling due to this reoccurring healthcare nightmare, but can’t quite seem to pinpoint the root of their discomfort or begin to answer the lingering paradox of “How can we make healthcare in the U.S. financially sustainable?”
The answer to that question is a large, complex, and convoluted issue to tackle. An alternative approach is to look at our ongoing mistakes as an industry and start to peel back some of the fraud, waste, and abuse at least long enough to get our collective head above water to propose a semi-legitimate long-term solution.
When small business owners decide to offer health insurance to their employees, they don’t have to find a plan by themselves. The process can be very complicated for people without an intimate knowledge of how health insurance works, so owners typically turn to brokers or PEOs to guide them through the process. While both PEOs and brokers have the same general goal—to find you quality, affordable health insurance for your business—they work in different ways.
Small business owners weigh many factors when deciding whether to invest in a group health insurance plan, but oftentimes the decision comes down to dollars and cents. The Kaiser Family Foundation’s 2016 Employer Health Benefits Survey notes that the high costs of insurance premiums are the primary reason why firms won’t offer health benefits. Even for business owners who do offer plans, rising insurance premiums can create a lot of stress and confusion, especially if the owner doesn’t know how these premiums are calculated and how they can manage them.
Employers can have many questions for group health providers, and that includes exactly how much they can expect to spend. Here’s a rundown on what the insurance industry uses to calculate your group health insurance coverage premium, as well as some strategies that can lead to lower costs.