Most business owners rely on their brokers to address and answer all of the needs for their employees when it comes to benefits. And, it is up to your broker to provide that information BUT it is also up to the owner to educate themselves on certain aspects of the benefits. Here are some examples:
1. Understand your network options for your employees. Networks tend to overlap in some areas and depending on the carrier and network design it can be confusing but it is not rocket science. You might find out your EE’s doctor(s) is one a network with carrier ABC that is more cost effective than the network and carrier XYZ.
2.Understand gap or supplemental coverage and the need for these products along with higher deductibles. The way to drive premiums down is higher deductible and any business with a deductible under $2500 is getting ‘stuck by the man’ and your broker is not doing you justice. Also gap/supplemental plans are cheap and effective and pay directly to your EE’s if claim is filed. The monies go along way toward deductibles or other bills. OFFER THEM or if reduced premiums are now in place then PAY FOR ONE OF THEM for your employee. A ‘free’ benefit to an employee is a happy employee. A happy employee stays longer and is more productive.
With full blown Obama Care here in less then 8 months many employers are starting to look at ‘carriers’ that offer self-funding as an option in the game of health insurance.
These companies over a viable and better cost effective options over traditional carriers. Self Funding allows the employer have more ‘skin in the game’ as far as the model, gap coverage needs, deductible, and overall say on how the process works in conjunction with the ‘carrier’.
The ‘carrier’ or administrators do a better job of watch dogging providers, processing claims, and pretty much everything else allowing for lower overall costs associated with the insurance coverage for the employer.
The average savings per employee in 2012 when you compare self-funding models vs. traditional carrier models was about 37% ($9100 per EE vs. $12600 per EE).
I would think about a self-funded/partial self-funded model with your broker as it makes sense.
The vouchers we are hearing about are not free money. They are actually funds currently provided by employers to fund a % of employees health insurance thru the group model. These funds will now be available for employees to utilize in the exchange or thru the private market to purchase health insurance. So, Uncle Sam is not giving you free monies. Depending individual/family coverage and how you decide to address your needs (because you are mandated too) you maybe be entitled to monies you are already getting except they are calling it a ‘voucher’.