Small business owners like you have a lot on your plate, renewing your company health care plan is important, but keeping up with employee needs and constantly changing regulations makes it a challenging task.
The important strategy when reviewing your renewal is starting early
The most important strategy when reviewing your renewal is simple, start early, generally, you need at least two months to plan, but you can submit your completed renewal as late as two weeks before your current plan ends and still be covered.
But know that the earlier you submit the more likely your employees will get ID cards by your effective date. If you make any changes to your plan you'll also need to build in at least one week for your employees to review. Their options plan often change in terms of both coverage and cost from year to year, and so does your workforce.
Ask some questions when thinking about renewing
Last year's perfect plan may not fit your current needs, ask the following questions when thinking about renewing or switching carriers.
If your rate has increased can you offset some costs by choosing a lower deductible consumer-directed health plan or a plan that has a smaller network that's still filled with quality doctors and hospitals?
Are you sharing the right amount of the costs with your employees? You shouldn't pay for everything, but you do need to offer a competitive benefits plan.
If you're considering switching insurance carriers due to cost are you considering the value of the new plan over time and not just short-term cost reductions?
Are your employees getting the resources they need from your current carrier? Your plan should offer access to tools to understand their benefits, select in-network providers and compare costs.
Can you save money by combining specialty lines of coverage? Such as dental and vision with one carrier.
Finding out your workforce's needs should help a lot
You can also discuss these questions with your employees, finding out the needs of your workforce should help you use your health care budget more wisely, by cutting services they don't need or rarely use, in favor of services they would take full advantage of.
If you're confused about what regulations you need to follow talking to your broker could be a good idea, but know that major carriers only sell plans that follow all the new requirements. In the end, you need to find a plan that meets your needs and your budget.
By considering the right variables you'll be well equipped to make the right choice.
Other web page resource
How to offer SHOP health insurance to your employees: https://www.healthcare.gov/small-businesses/choose-and-enroll/enroll-in-shop/