Finding the right health insurance plan for your small business can be frustrating. In the current climate of escalating premiums, finding decent coverage for you and your employees can sometimes feel like trying to find a needle in a haystack.
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But quality, affordable health insurance plans do exist. Here a few tips to help you in your search.
Tip #1: Do your research
The first step in finding the right health insurance plan is research, research, research. The internet is a great source of information on all kinds of topics including health insurance. But don't buy into an insurance plan just because they have a great website. If you find an insurance plan that looks good, make sure you know enough about the company to determine whether or not they are reputable and whether their plan meets your company's needs.
Another good starting place for finding small business health insurance is your local Chamber of Commerce. Don't expect them to just hand you the name of the insurance company that is right for you. You'll still need to do some research on your own. Even so, they will be able to point you toward reputable health insurance plans used by other small businesses in your community.
Tip #2: Avoid scams
Although the internet can be a good resource, it is also rife with scams that target small businesses trying to save money on health insurance. Often these scams hide behind terms like "health plans" or "health discount plans". The rule of thumb is that if a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Use common sense to avoid the scams and make sure your employees have the coverage they need when they need it.
Tip #3: Shop around periodically
Health insurance plans do change periodically. The best deal right now might not be the best deal a year from now (or even a month from now for that matter.) It's smart business to schedule an annual review of your company's health insurance plan. Just be aware that changing health insurance plans too frequently may draw the ire of your employees, especially if they are forced to change doctors every time your company changes its insurance carrier.
Tip #4: Keep your employees informed
Health insurance is a hot button issue for employees. Without a reliable health insurance plan, your company faces an uphill battle to attract and retain a high-quality workforce. One of the reasons it is such a sensitive issue is that changes in coverage may have serious ramifications for the well-being of your employees and his/her family.
Keeping your employees informed about changes in your businesses health insurance plan before the changes occur is critical. Solicit your employees input about the coverage and services that are most important to them.
At the same time, let them know the financial costs and pressures associated with your health insurance plan. Some entrepreneurs even find it helpful to involve their employees in the process of choosing the company's health insurance plan.