5 Things Large Group Employers Should Consider Before Selecting a Health Insurance Plan

Selecting a health insurance plan for your employees is no easy feat. Depending on the size or demographic of your business, there could be a variety of specific benefits or providers your employees desire from their health insurance plan.

It’s important to note that this is not a decision that should be taken lightly. A new survey shows that *56 percent of U.S. adults with employer-sponsored health benefits said that whether or not they like their health coverage is a key factor in deciding to stay at their current job. Furthermore, 46 percent said health insurance was either the deciding factor or a positive influence in choosing their current job. Thus, the health insurance plan that you provide could have a big impact on employee retention and future hiring.

That’s why we’ve outlined the top things large group employers should consider before selecting a health insurance plan for their employees.

1. Decide whether you’ll offer a self-funded vs. fully insured health plan.

With a self funded health insurance plan, employers can save money by essentially creating their own health plan that is directly provided to employees — though it can come at a higher risk. Through a fully-insured health plan, the company pays a premium to the insurance carrier and the employee is responsible for paying all co-payments or deductibles.

2. Define the demographic of your employees and their desired benefits.

The most important part of selecting a health insurance plan for your employees is picking one that best suits their individual or family’s anticipated needs. That’s why it’s important to define what those needs might be before making a decision. For example, if you have a younger employee demographic that may be getting married or starting a family, they may be more interested in coverage that offers family planning. Alternatively, if you have an older workforce that may have specific prescriptions or planned surgeries, that may be something to consider as well.

3. Decide the which plan types you’ll offer.

Based on the demographic of your employees, you’ll want to determine which plan type may suit their needs best. While there are a variety of options to choose from, the most common plan options are HMO’s and PPO’s.

  • HMO – Health Maintenance Organization
  • PPO – Preferred Provider Organization
  • HSA – Health Savings Account
  • HRA – Health Reimbursement Account

4. Confirm that the plan type you choose has provider networks near your office or your employee’s homes.

A provider network is a list of doctors, health care providers, and hospitals that are contracted to a specific health insurance plan. You’ll want to check for nearby hospitals and health care organizations in your area to make sure they are covered under the policy you’re offering employees. We suggest eliminating any policies that don’t have local in-network doctors and those with few provider options.

Furthermore, many employees may want to remain with their primary care physicians if they have an existing relationship with them and so that is often a factor when selecting a health plan. For many of the businesses we work with, we send out an anonymous survey that collects provider network information from current employees. This enables us to run a network analysis and see which provider networks would be the most inclusive for your employees so they can remain with their primary care physicians. It’s often these small extra steps that really add value to the employee experience.

5. Select a Plan or Plan Options.

Once you’ve selected a plan or a few options for your employees to choose from, make sure to work with your insurance broker to set up a benefits introduction meeting. This will ensure your employees understand their benefits, how to use them, which one may be right for them, and more. Here is an inside look at one of the enrollment meetings we did for a client.

If you have questions about which plans to select for your employees or want to set up a meeting to get a second opinion on your current benefits, give us a call at 619-222-0119.

Sources: https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr-topics/benefits/pages/health-benefits-foster-retention.aspx

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