For some reason when you start talking about health insurance with business owners and c-level decision makers, there is an obvious expression that appears on their faces of "I don't like those words", but it's true, they don't. With health insurance being the second biggest expense for most businesses and organizations, there is no taking the conversation lightly.
Small to mid-sized businesses think they have to make the tough decision to offer or not to offer health insurance. More so, mid-sized businesses are deciding whether or not to stay under 50 full-time-equivalents/employees (FTEs) to avoid the requirement to offer health insurance.
Now the cold hard truth is that it really doesn't matter, because more and more employers are now being discriminated by their top performers and potential candidates on whether they
1) Offer health insurance
2) How much employees have to contribute (ideally nothing!)
3) Can employees afford to add their dependents
What does matter is getting health insurance, because like any business you want to have low turn-over, top performing employees and new growth. Now there is a lot of ways businesses can control the cost without having a plan that has a deductible equal to the value of an S-Class Mercedes. Some kinds of cost saving or value tactics that a lot of brokers are not recommending to their clients are
- Alternative funding
- Dual or multiple plan offerings
- POP plans for pre-tax deductions
- Monitoring utilization trends
- Employee education seminars
Another way to control cost is having your broker perform a comprehensive market analysis to ensure they are not just showing your renewal or the highest cost alternatives. The health insurance marketplace is different in every state butin Washington State alone there are 40+ health insurance carriers and association health plans. Granted, a lot of associations are industry specific but there are a lot of moving parts that brokers need to be actively aware of to ensure decision makers have everything they need to be completely informed and educated when making decisions for their second biggest expense.