The rising costs of healthcare is a concern for employers and employees alike and can pose a challenge to small business owners in particular when deciding to offer an employee benefits plan. Employees want to make sure that they have the coverage they need for the health of them and their families. Employers are looking to provide a quality plan that is both efficient and cost-effective with their employees’ best interests at heart.
While there’s no running away from the fact that healthcare will be one of the largest expenses’ businesses will have to shoulder, there are a few things you can do as a business owner to save on healthcare costs.
Evaluate your network options
The size, scope, and amount of access to a network can have an impact on how much you can save when building your benefits plan. Weigh the pros and cons of different types of networks such as an Accountable Care Organization (ACO) where doctors and hospitals will usually refer patients to other doctors within the network, but would still allow for the freedom for your employees to visit outside the network. Compare this to a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) which tends to run on the cheaper side for both you and your employees, but strictly limits their access to doctors within the network. These will vary greatly depending on the number of networks available in your city and state.
Offer dual options…even triple options!
Depending on your employee demographics, providing a variety of plan options is important so that all of your employees can get the coverage they need. Employees might opt for a higher premium, low deductible plan if they have ongoing health needs. While others who are relatively healthy and don’t need to visit the doctor often will most likely benefit from a lower premium, high deductible plan. Either way, having different plan options ensures that employees aren’t paying for a service that they won’t use.
Offer a plan with a health savings account (HSA)
HSAs are only available when combined with a high-deductible plan but can provide significant tax benefits that we often refer to as “triple tax savings”; it allows your employees to use pretax money to cover any non-eligible medical expenses. Both you and your employees can contribute to the account and any unused funds carry over from year to year.
You can find more information on HSAs here.
Helping your employees understand their health insurance options can steer them towards more cost-effective plans and help them make more informed decisions for their health plan. Education can take many different forms that include benefits materials from your provider, training sessions leading up to open enrollment, and providing a point of contact as a resource for employees to go to with questions.
Implement a wellness program
By creating health-centered awareness and encouraging employees towards healthier life choices, a wellness program can help lower your business’s insurance costs in the long run. A wellness program can include offering gym membership reimbursement, providing health screenings and flu shots, or healthy snack options in the office.
Meet the Choice Benefits Team
Choice Benefits can help your business build out a comprehensive employee benefits package. Learn more and get in touch with a benefits advisor here.
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