For months now, there have been rumors floating around regarding the subject of 2016 group-health premium increases.  As many hardworking businesses are finding out right now, these were far from being just speculation.  Some businesses are facing renewal increases that range anywhere from 20-40%, and this has left many wondering how it will affect their bottom line over the months and years to come. 

How to Manage Premium Increases and Keep Coverage Affordable

In this article we're going to review a few of the things to be mindful of when renewing your company's employee health insurance plan.  It's in no way a complete list, and we strongly urge you to work with a broker who can help guide the process in an affordable direction.

Don’t Automatically Renew Without First Discussing All Options

It's not surprising that many companies, prior to the onset of the ACA, were comfortable giving the verbal "OK to renew" to their agent over the phone.  If you do that today without looking at the numbers, even inadvertently, it might end up costing you dearly.  This is an entirely new era of health insurance, and just as there are new aspects to consider, there are new options that you might not know about.  Have a sit down with your broker to thoroughly review everything before giving the go-ahead. 

Make Sure Your Broker is Up-to-Date on the Affordable Care Act

It's a fact, not speculation, that some agents simply want nothing to do with healthcare reform.  And while we completely understand their frustrations, this could end up being very expensive while finding you in the center of some nasty compliance headaches down the road.  That said, it is imperative that your agent be familiar with new HCR policies and updates that directly affect your company.  Ideally, they should have the proactive willingness to address them before you're forced to come looking for information.

Consider Switching to an HRA or Self-Funded Group Plan

A surprising number of businesses remain unaware that there are many alternatives to traditional group plans, which may allow to you provide better coverage while still keeping your premiums manageable.  Based on your company size and industry, a self-funded or alternative-funded plan could be an excellent option.  For others, it could be a group HRA or combination plan that helps you reduce premiums without sacrificing the quality of coverage offered.  Talking to an agent who knows the various options is a great place to start.

Get Professional Assistance from a Local Health Insurance Agent

If you've received a renewal quote that is far more expensive than you anticipated, or if you're concerned that you won't be able to afford offering healthcare benefits to your employees if the rates go too high, Premier can help.  We charge no fees for our health insurance services and can show you an extensive range of more affordable options.

Call Premier at 800-369-0287 to arrange a free review of your existing group health plan, or e-mail us to get answers to your questions.