Group Health Insurance is necessary to attract and keep good employees. While employers may not like the cost of group health, they should be aware of the benefits to the company and overall morale. There may be things you as an employer can do to alleviate some of this costly pain. Also, all Group Health companies and insurance agents that offer them are not created equal.
The cost of this health insurance versus the need for solid employees should be weighed. There a perception that many in this country that employees will take a cut in pay if they were to be guaranteed a group health plan. There is a simple explanation for this reasoning. People know they will have to go the doctor. Women need to have mammograms and pap smears, the children need their shots and physicals, and men need their prostrate examined, people realize these services cost money. Employees often would prefer that you take money out their check for group health then for them to write a check each month for it.
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It is the job of to keep your group health cost to a minimum. If you already have a group health plan, you can raise the deductible to discourage overuse of coverage by your employees. However a dramatic raising of group health deductible or co-payment may cause some rumbling among your employees. Yet it is t is a good idea to start with a lower deductible, so you can absorb rate increases. (Your group health rates will go up) Also know beforehand what networks are in your area, and what health networks most of your employees' doctors belong to.
It is very important to review and understand your group health quotes that you will receive. Any insurance agent or broker that provides you with initial group health quotes over the phone, without having your employees fill out any applications, is doing you a disservice. Unless the agent is the Great Houdini, no one in our field can give you a firm, group health quote without a thorough underwriting. Group Health Insurance is too complicated to be taken this casual. Remember, look for an agent that gets to know your particular situation, understand your needs, and has the group health benefits that meet your expectations.
Is going with the biggest named group health insurance companies, the best choice? Choosing the "big name" companies over less known, group health insurance companies with reputable ratings, may not be in your employees and yours' best interest. All group health plan are not designed the same. If XYZ, group health companies pays 80% for a mammogram and ABC, group health company pays all, could it make sense to you to check the other benefits of the health plan?
Employers realize that they must offer group health to attract and keep quality employees. There are a few hints that can keep group health costs down. It is important to realize that an initial group health quote, with no underwriting is worthless and probably should never be used. The listings of the benefits of the group health plan would be meaningful. While big companies have good "branding," do not overlook smaller group health companies with good ratings.
Other Group Health Tips
1. Realize that you will be required as an employer to contribute as least 25% of the premiums for the group health insurance. (I never seen an group health carrier ask for less.)
2. Also realize that many group health carriers want at least 60- 70% participation of eligible employees to take the group health insurance or they will not underwrite the group.
3. Before you bind coverage with an agent or broker, find out who will process any claim paperwork and who your employees call about a claim.
4. Decide whether you will want current employees to keep their group health insurance when they retire.
5. Review and ask questions about such terms as group health deductibles, coinsurance, and maximum limits if you are not familiar with them.
Matt McWilliams is one of the co-founders of HometownQuotes.Com, an online insurance quotes web site. He is originally from Pinebluff, NC and attended Middle Tennessee State University. He is considered an expert in the field of online insurance shopping and finding new ways to help consumers save money on their insurance. For more information visit http://www.hometownquotes.com
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