Many business owners learned a financially painful lesson last year, while renewing their company's employee health insurance plan: 'tis far better to enter the process prepared, than to sit back and wait to see how much the carriers have raised your premiums. As everyone was warned well in advance, group health premiums saw significant increases; ranging from single digit percentages to as high as 30-40% in some instances, such as older groups.
And just like that… premiums which were already pricey, shot up to tiers few could have imagined just three years ago. This left countless executives and entrepreneurs wondering if there was anything that could have been done in advance, to prevent or even offset such drastic rate hikes. The most honest answer we can give is, probably.
Let's review some considerations to be mindful of, as you prepare to renew your company's group health insurance plan.
Don't Wait Until the Day of Renewal
As fellow business owners, we understand how chronically hectic some daily schedules can get. But as you know, the health insurance industry is changing at mindboggling speed. Waiting until renewal day to open the files on your group health plan can leave you with sticker shock, limited options and looming deadlines on decisions that are, quite literally, life changing. This especially true if you renew close to the cutoff date, or are dealing with a broker who has (either deliberately or inadvertently) not explained all of your options.
Know Who You're Dealing With
Today's group health plans are more complex than ever, and each aspect needs to be closely considered in terms of how it helps or hurts both your staff and bottom line. Sadly, some less scrupulous agents have found ways to capitalize on this. We won't point fingers, but we will say one thing on the matter. It is of the highest importance that you work with a broker who has morals, knowledge of the ACA and, most importantly, your best interests at heart.
Have Your Current Plan Benchmarked
Employee health plan benchmark assessments are not as new a concept as one might think, though they have advanced greatly in the past few years. In short, a benchmark review will compare your current group plan with others in your industry and geographic region. They can tell you where you're overpaying, where you're under-insuring, as well as the true valuation of your plan. This is one of many free services that we offer here at Premier, and we invite you to reach out for more information on scheduling one.
Learn How to Keep Your Group Premiums Affordable
We understand what today's business owner is going throgh when it comes to their employee healthcare plan. Rates have gone up. Compliance regulations are unceasing. Employees are asking more complicated questions. At Premier our goal is to address your concerns and help you better understand all of your options, while serving as an expert liaison between you and the carrier.
We provide free assistance on all group health insurance services, backed by honest, unbiased advice on how to get the most from your healthcare dollars. Call and speak with one of our licensed agents at 800-369-0287 and go into your 2016 renewal ready for anything. You can also write to us through our secure contact forum.