Low Costs, Broad Coverage, and Lots of Choice Are What Employees Want
As a group health insurance broker working with small businesses throughout California, we are frequently asked, “What are the benefits small companies should offer employees?”
There is no one or correct answer to that question. Every business has its own needs, priorities, and budgets. The right health coverage benefits and plans for one company may differ from another. Some California small businesses that aren’t required under the Affordable Care Act to provide group health coverage may choose to offer no benefits at all.
However, at Preferred Insurance, we recommend that business owners offer health benefits even if they don’t have to under the law. The upsides of attracting and retaining top talent, improving productivity, and tax incentives far outweigh any costs.
Insurance brokers tailor plans to the specific circumstances of each company we work with (one of the many benefits of working with an independent health insurance broker near you). But in our experience, certain health benefits are incredibly beneficial for and popular with employers and employees.
Low Employee Costs
Group health insurance is one of the essential benefits small companies should offer their employees. This coverage is most valuable in cases of catastrophic illness or injury or when expensive hospital stays or long-term treatment is needed. In such situations, the limit that policies put on annual out-of-pocket costs can save employees and their families from financial ruin.
But short of such extraordinary circumstances, the amount of money an employee must spend on their health care each year, even with group coverage, can be a significant burden. In addition to contributing to the costs of premiums through paycheck deductions, employees must pay coinsurance and co-pays for most care and services. These can quickly add up. More significant is the amount of the deductible, the amount that the employee must pay out of pocket before coverage kicks in at 100%. A higher deductible means the employee is potentially on the hook for a larger amount each year.
Your employees want a robust package of benefits but also want to keep their healthcare expenses down. As you evaluate policies, make sure you examine the average cost of coverage for each employee, taking into consideration all of their potential out-of-pocket costs.
More Benefits and Coverage
Under the Affordable Care Act, all group health insurance plans must provide specific baseline coverage and benefits. These are called Essential Health Benefits and include such fundamental services as doctor visits, outpatient and inpatient hospital care, prescription drug coverage, pregnancy and childbirth, mental health services, and more.
But beyond these basic benefits small companies should offer, plans may differ significantly, and some may offer more benefits than others.
These optional coverages include popular options such as dental and vision benefits and medical management programs for specific medical needs like diabetes management, weight management, and back pain.
Related: How Do I Lower Employee Health Benefit Costs In California?
A Broad Physician and Hospital Network
Most workers like the idea of being able to see their current doctor or another physician of their choice. This is especially important for employees who live and work in rural or remote areas where there aren’t as many options in terms of healthcare providers and facilities.
The size of your plan’s physician network and the number of doctors “in-network” are important factors to consider when selecting what benefits small companies should offer.
When reviewing the plans available in your area, make sure that you select one with the type of network your workforce needs or prefers. For example, you may need to decide if an HMO with limited physician choice is acceptable to your employees or whether they need a PPO to access a more extensive network of doctors.
Learn More About What Benefits Small Companies Should Offer Their California Employees
Finding the group health insurance policy that fits most of your employees can be time-consuming and frustrating, even for savvy business owners. Because of that, many California small business owners work with group health insurance brokers who can quickly filter through the options and select the best plans.
Helping California small business owners navigate the complicated landscape of the Affordable Care Act and group health insurance coverage is just one way that Preferred Insurance helps them ensure that their workers stay healthy and covered. As an experienced California small business and individual health insurance broker, we can answer your questions and provide practical, affordable coverage options for businesses of all kinds.
Call Preferred Insurance today to schedule your free consultation with one of our experienced brokers to discuss your small business health insurance needs.