Based on the group health renewal rates that we’re already seeing in Illinois, it’s clear that many companies who offer their employees health insurance are going to be facing premium increases that can range anywhere from subtle to substantially concerning. This, of course, is never welcome news in a world where the mere cost of doing business seems to be racing inexorably upward at breakneck speed. Fortunately, there are ways to lower your premiums without having to completely compromise the level of coverage you offer.
Whether you’re an HR exec, a business owner or just the lucky one who gets tasked with taking care of employee benefits each year, here are a few simple measures that can be taken to ensure that you’re getting the best plan for the lowest possible monthly premium.
Have Your Current Group Health Plan Benchmarked
If the concept of group plan benchmarking is new to you, your current agent isn’t doing their job. In short, these digital analyses input all of your pertinent healthcare numbers, and run a side-by-side comparison to show what others in your industry and/or geographic rating area are offering… and paying. This is a critical starting point if you intend to have any real point of reference. And again, if your broker hasn’t mentioned this, ever, shame on them. Call Premier, we’ll run one for you free of charge.
Offer Medicare for Employees Over the Age of 65
Many employers make the mistake of not offering their over-65 employees the option of Medicare enrollment and supplements, and this can result in premiums that are simply higher than they should be. There are a wide range of benefits to having this incorporated into your plan, and any agency who knows what they’re doing will be able to show you exactly how much you could be saving, based on the number of retirement-age staff members you have at the time of renewal.
Consider More Cost-Relative Options Such as Group HRA Plans
There’s a dynamic in our industry that’s referred to as the 80/20 rule. By this, it’s estimated that 80 percent of your company’s total healthcare costs will on average come from 20 percent of your staff. Another way to look at it, about four-fifths of your employees are either very healthy, self-medicating or just not utilizing their benefits as much as the other 20 percent. With alternative, self-funded and other plans such as HRAs (health reimbursement accounts), you only pay for the expenses that actually get used. We’ve seen these plans significantly reduce group premiums over the years, and they’ve become increasing popular as more learn how they’re structured and what they offer.
Work with a Group Health Agent if Anything is Unclear
If you’re not comfortable with any part of the process, we can’t stress enough how smart it is to consult an agent who specializes in group benefits. Most, including we at Premier, do not charge for any services offered. Agents have industry-specific insight, information on the latest plan offerings, and direct contacts with all of the major carriers they represent. This can greatly streamline the renewal process, all while making sure that you haven’t overlooked any options that might easily result in monthly savings.
Premier Helps Thriving Businesses Get the Most for Their Healthcare Dollars
To learn more about the most effective ways to keep your company’s healthcare costs under control, or for more information on any of the topics discussed in this article, call Premier Financial Insurance in Lisle to get answers or schedule a free consultation.
We’re an independent health insurance agency that’s been serving Lisle, Chicago and the entire state of Illinois since 2003, and there are no fees for any of the services we provide.
Get in touch with Premier by phone at 800-369-0287 or email us in confidence through our secure contact page.