At this point you may well be wondering what type of coverage might work for your business. Healthcare plans are complicated and many plans can’t be neatly characterized—as an HMO, a PPO, and so on—but offer a mix of features, and what they cover may change frequently.
- Sign the contract before the quote expires, usually in 30 days.
- Communicate plan choices to employees.
- Distribute and collect enrollment materials for those to be covered.
- Copy and return all original materials for enrollment before the requested effective date.
- Weigh the benefits against the plan costs.
- Research the insurers:
- Financial stability.
- Ease of administration.
- Overall quality of service.
- Consider cost-saving strategies.
- Review at least two or three health insurance carriers.
- Review at least two or three different health insurance plan options.
- Learn about how brokers and agents work.
- Ask for referrals from sources you trust.
- Be sure to understand any fees you may be charged in addition to the health insurance premium.
Decide how costs will be shared. Here are some items to consider:
- How much will employees contribute toward the premium?
- How much will employees have to pay for copayments or co-insurance?
Decide how important choice of providers is to you and your employees.
- Decide what type of coverage you want to provide, such as HMO, PPO, or HSA.
- Understand coverage rules and options.
- Calculate the total amount you can spend.
- Calculate per-employee cost you’re willing to spend.
- Consider cash flow issues.
Choose a date at least 30 to 60 days from when you start the process for coverage to begin.
Here are the essential tasks associated with shopping for and purchasing health insurance for your small business. Use this checklist to keep track of where you are in the process. For additional help navigating your options or enrolling in a plan, consider contacting a broker near you who can help you consider the best plan for your business.