October 2, 2014
Healthcare reform, as virtually every US citizen knows, has initiated a seemingly endless series of changes to the process of shopping for health insurance. And it should come as no surprise that businesses offering health plans, continue to be among the groups most significantly affected by the Affordable Care Act. Premiums have risen. Renewals have become increasingly complicated. Deductibles and max-out-of-pocket expenses are higher. There are more forms and mandates than ever, and yet, the system is still evolving.
Among the vast concerns voiced by companies of every shape and size, are increased premiums and deductibles. And while it's unlikely that these will drop anytime soon, there are ways in which employers can still offer affordable group plans which provide exemplary benefits, in addition to low deductibles.
Combination High-Deductible Group Plans
One of the ways businesses are keeping their premiums and expenses under control, while still being able to offer their employees a generous health plan, is through the use of combined plans. An example of this would be combining a high-deductible HRA plan with a Flexible Spending Account (FSA). In this scenario, employees would have access to (amounts up to) their full out-of-pocket maximum at the beginning of the year, thus offsetting the higher deductible.
Keeping Premiums Reasonable
By their very nature, high-deductible health insurance plans are offered at lower premiums. The common complaint here, however, is that employees may have to spend several thousand dollars in order to hit their deductible. Combining plans, such as the HRA/FSA example mentioned above, ends up being far less expensive than traditional plans, without ever having to sacrifice the quality of the coverage.
Reducing Max Out-of-Pocket Expenses
By combining HRA and FSA you can structure a plan that has very little to no out of pocket expenses for the employee. This is possible because the saving in premiums can be used to offset the deductibles. Savings from the high deductible plan can be used to fund a portion of the employees deductible, with the leftover amount being funded by the FSA.
Providing Comprehensive Benefits
By combining an HRA and FSA plans, the benefits are felt by both employees and well as the employer. Employees will have very little to no deductible, very little to no max out-of-pocket costs, and 100% coverage once the HRA and FSA are exhausted. This includes all copayments for doctor visits, prescription drugs, emergency room visits and more, which will now be covered at 100%. Once your HRA and FSA are exhausted, the plan covers 100% of all eligible expenses with no maximums; a foremost concern to many employers and employees alike.
Looking to Lower Your Group Health Premiums?
Located in the heart of the Lisle & Naperville business district, Premier Financial Insurance prides itself in being one of the area's most renowned specialists on group health plans. Whether you're a business over or under 50 employees, we can help tailor a group health insurance plan that keeps your premiums low, while still offering superior coverage to your staff.
Contact us today via e-mail or by calling our Lisle health insurance agency at 800-369-0287 to get more information, or schedule a free consultation in your office or place of business.