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Five Questions To Ask When Buying Group Health Insurance

Five Questions To Ask When Buying Group Health Insurance

It’s always a good idea to get more information, especially when your business is investing in something as important as health care. For an employer, that extra information is essential when finding the right group health coverage.

Even if you have a good grasp on the basics of group health insurance, it doesn’t hurt to ask a provider a few important questions before you purchase a plan for your business. Here are some key things that you should ask a provider when you’re ready to buy group health insurance coverage.

Five Questions Small Businesses Should Ask Group Health Providers

What are the different plan options available to my business?

If you choose to offer health benefits, there are several types of group plans that you can offer to your employees. These plans include:

  • Fully-insured plans
  • Self-funded plans
  • Level-funded plans
  • PPO (preferred provider organization)
  • HDHP/SO (high-deductible health plan with a savings option)
  • POS (point-of-service plan)
  • HMO (health maintenance organization)

Each one of these types of plans offer different types of benefits. As such, some plans may be better suited for your business than others. For a breakdown on the advantages and disadvantages of each type of plan, check out our post on the different types of group health insurance.

While many businesses offer only one type of plan, that doesn’t mean that your organization is limited to a single offering. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) 2021 Employer Health Benefits Survey, 25% of organizations offer two or more plan types in an effort to diversify and improve their overall benefits package for employees.

What does my plan cover?

If you’re going to purchase something, you should know what you’re getting. Make sure to ask your group health insurance provider for a detailed breakdown of what your plan covers so that you and your employees know what to expect.

It’s also important to ask about additional benefits, such as dental and vision insurance. While some plans have add-ons for ancillary benefits, it’s not always the case. That distinction is important because nearly 90% of employees would consider a lower-paying job in exchange for better health, dental, and vision insurance. Your plan plays a pivotal role in attracting and retaining talent, so make sure your provider gives you everything you need to know about your plan coverage.

How much will group health insurance cost me?

According to KFF, the average annual health insurance premiums in 2021 are $7,739 for single coverage and $22,221 for family coverage. Employers contribute an average of $6,440 and $16,253 for single and family coverage respectively.

Of course, those numbers are just the averages. Your business’ exact health insurance costs can go up or down depending on a variety of factors. The specific factors that insurance agents use to determine group health premiums include:

  • Size and health of the group
  • Average age of the group
  • An employer’s claim history
  • Type of occupation
  • Type of coverage and add-on benefits

Who should my plan cover?

As an employer, you do need to abide by some ground rules in terms of who is eligible for group health insurance coverage. Any business that provides health coverage must offer it to all full-time equivalent employees. However, that does mean that employers have some wiggle room in terms of part-time employees and family members.

Simply put, employers can either decide to offer coverage to all part-time employees or none at all. The same principle applies to family members and dependents of eligible employees. Not offering coverage to these groups can help lower your costs, but may make your plan less attractive to certain employees. As such, you’ll want to iron out these details and determine which options align best with your business’ needs when buying group health insurance.

Who can help me if I have any questions or problems?

You shouldn’t feel like you’re stranded on an island when you have questions about health insurance. A good health insurance provider should have a team in place that can assist you with any potential questions and issues in the future.

Ask each provider about their customer service to find out who your contacts will be and how their process works. If they don’t give you many details about who can help you, that’s a red flag that they may not have your back in the future.

Group Health Insurance Coverage From A PEO

It can be a tricky to find an attractive group health plan that won’t break the bank. Fortunately, a Professional Employer Organization may be able to help you find the best of both worlds.

At GMS, we can help you choose a group health insurance plan that’s right for you and your employees. Thanks to a higher collective buying power and other cost-prevention strategies, GMS can help you lower your premiums and help you save. We also have the experts to help you make informed decisions about benefits management and oversee plan administration so that you have time to focus on the rest of your business.

Ready to invest in quality group health insurance at a lower cost? Contact us today to talk to one of our experts about what we can do for your business.

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