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5 Things to Consider While Choosing a Group Health Plan

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Small business employee benefits cost

Ever since the institution of Obamacare in 2013, if your company has more than 50 employees, you are required by federal law to offer group health insurance plans to your staff. However, even if your small business has fewer than 50 employees and you are not required to include group health plans in your employee benefits package, offering comprehensive group health plans may be beneficial to you. Offering a great insurance plan makes you an attractive employer, helps you retain great employees while catching the eye of quality talent, and gives your business a good reputation.


When you viewing good insurance plans, it is beneficial to consider the following factors to find an option that both gives your staff great coverage, and is affordable to you.

Factors to Consider When Reviewing Group Health Plans

  1. Determine your resources for offering medical coverage to your staff.
    In ideal circumstances, you will give your employees the platinum package coverage, at no cost to them. But since we live in reality instead of make-believe land, that is not always practical. Before even looking at any group health plans, take into account what your business can afford for healthcare coverage. Ask yourself the following questions:
    • What dollar amount can your company afford every month, or annually, to provide health insurance to your employees?
    • Can your business afford to completely cover your employees health insurance plans?
    • If it is not feasible to pay 100% of your employees premiums, determine how much of a contribution it is feasible for you to make to your employees healthcare, and ask yourself if it is enough for your employees feel valued.
    • What message is conveyed to your employees through the level of your contribution?What type of medical benefits do you need to offer to remain competitive with other employer in your?
  2. Consider what your employees’ priorities are.
    Paying for diamond level drug coverage may not be the best use of your resources if only a couple of your employees need it. If vision and dental coverage are a priority for your employees but your resources are limited, sometimes it is less expensive to use a separate insurance company for those add-ons. If your resources only allow you to offer HMO group health plans, take into consideration how it meets the needs of your employees before choosing one.

  3. Get feedback from your employees before selecting a plan.
    One of the greatest advantages to offering small business employee benefits packages is showing your employees that you really care about them. Soliciting their input when choosing group health plans shows them that they are being heard. It also helps you identify a health insurance option that adequately provides for your employees healthcare needs, but doesn’t involve paying benefits that they’re not using. A few good questions to ask your staff before selecting group health plans include:
    • How much would you be comfortable paying each month for your premium?
    • What co-pays and deductibles is reasonable to you?
    • Would you prefer a lower monthly premium but higher co-pays and deductibles, or vice versa?
    • Would you be interested in participating in a health savings account?

    The more information you collect from the people whose livelihood is most impacted by your insurance plan choice, the easier your final decision will be, and the better the outcome.

  4. Consider incorporating a wellness plan into your group health plan.
    It is beneficial to your business for your employees to stay healthy. Healthy employees are happier, they utilize less sick leave, and they have fewer medical costs. A few things to incorporate into a wellness plan for your employees are blood-pressure checks, flu shots, gym membership discounts, and even diet promotions or incentives to quit smoking.

  5. Ask your perspective insurance companies if they offer any patient support programs.

    Some insurance providers offer support programs for patients with specific needs, such as diabetes. These programs help your employees manage their conditions, which leads to lower healthcare costs, and could potentially save you through lower plan costs. This is a great perk to a health insurance plan that you should take into consideration.

What factors did you consider when choosing a group health plan? Did you have any priorities that we didn’t mention in this article? Please share your input in the comment section below.

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