January 25, 2018
As many need no reminder, the cost of offering health insurance benefits to your employees has done nothing but skyrocket over the past few years. Not that it was ever cheap, but today, things seem to have gone completely off the rails. Group premiums are at all-time highs, and they continue to take a financial toll of businesses from every industry.
The ongoing increases have forced many companies into a corner of questions few thought they would ever have to ask: Do we cut our staff? Drop our benefits plan? Convert our full-time force to a mélange of part timers? Offering health benefits to those you rely on most shouldn’t be this stressful, expensive or professionally consuming.
Fortunately, 2018 seems to offer a bit of relief, though very few businesses have been made aware of it to the extent they should. Let’s review some of the things you can do, right now, to reduce your group health premiums without grossly sacrificing the quality of coverage you offer.
New 2018 Group Plan Options
It hasn’t dominated the mainstream news, but some of the industry’s main providers of group medical benefits (Blue Cross, United, Aetna, Humana) have added new plans for 2018; some of which offer what many would consider to be significant savings. Additionally, if you offer ancillary coverage such as dental, vision and life, it can be beneficial to have your agent review any new options which have been made available since your last renewal. We’re not exaggerating in saying that we’ve already seen premiums reductions as high as 20%.
Benefits Benchmark Analysis
If this term is new to you, your current agent isn’t doing their job to its fullest potential. Benchmark assessments are done to determine where your company’s benefits stand in comparison to others in your industry, rating area, etc. They should be conducted annually prior to renewal in order to tell you where you’re potentially overpaying, under-covering, and a wide range of other factors. Most importantly, they can help identify the plan type that most appropriately meets the needs of your budget and employee health concerns.
One of the most popular ways for Illinois businesses to reduce their group health insurance expenses, is to consider a partially self-funded plan. HRA (Health Reimbursement Accounts) continue to be a favorite among businesses of varying sizes, as they allow you to pay only for the employees who are using their benefits. It’s been estimated that roughly 20% off all employees account for an overwhelming 80% of group healthcare costs. This alone makes group HRA plans something worth considering, especially if premium increases are hurting your bottom line.
Is Your Company in the Right Group Health Plan?
If you own or manage group health benefits for an Illinois business, and are concerned about premium increases on your upcoming renewal, Premier would like the opportunity to help. We’re an independent agency headquartered in Lisle, IL specializing exclusively in health insurance. Premier has been serving Illinois and Chicagoland area businesses since 2003, and there are no fees of any kind for our group services.
To learn more or schedule time to meet with one of our agents, give us a call. The process takes about 20 minutes and there is never any obligation. Premier can be reached by phone at 800-369-0287, or by writing to us through our secured contact page.