Healthcare costs are very important when it comes to providing one of many benefits for your employees. When it comes to small businesses, being budget conscious is also very important too. Healthcare costs can become very steep for those who are not covered by the best and most affordable plan available to them. This is crucial because recent studies have shown that over half of American workers absolutely rely on their employer benefits when it comes to taking care of their ongoing medical needs. Employees are far more likely to stay with a business that provides healthcare insurance.

How can an employer stay within their budget and still provide great healthcare benefits to their hard-working employees? The answer is based on several important factors to keep in mind. It all comes down to rate negotiation, amazing brokers, finding an excellent provider with rates that match their needs, company size, and whether a plan is fully insured, level-funded, or self-funded.

Company Size & Level-Funding

Company size can always play a factor when it comes to negotiating the rate of health insurance plans. Larger businesses generally have a larger budget to work with and more employees to take care of while smaller companies may be constrained by budget but still want to provide healthcare as best as possible for their employed workers.

Companies with fewer than 50 full-time employees are generally considered to be a small group. If this company is fully insured, the rates are then not able to be negotiated. However, level-funded small businesses that have a very low-risk population can possibly use a broker for negotiations on their behalf. This means that you wouldn’t have to settle for expensive health insurance premiums even with a smaller business.

To be considered a large group, the company must have 50 or more employees on the payroll whether it be full-time or part-time. This is usually the point where businesses have even more bargaining power with their health insurance plans and premiums. This allows them to also potentially secure much lower rates which is a fantastic benefit for the workers. This applies if the business is fully insured, level-funded, or even self-funded.

Level-Funded Plans

What is level funding? A level-funded health plan essentially means that an employer pays their chosen health insurance company a certain amount of money each year. That amount will cover all the expected costs, claims, and premiums. If the employer paid too much and costs come in lower than anticipated, the insurance company issues a refund. On the other hand, if costs exceed what an employer pays to the insurance company, the premium on their stop-loss insurance will increase during the following year.

Overall, the cost of a level-funded plan varies and can be an excellent way to save money if a small business owner has a workforce in good health. Level-funded plans aren’t subject to all the ACA requirements, either, and might even be exempt from some state requirements.

Find the Right Broker

Now that you know that health insurance coverage is very important for employee retention and overall employee well-being, having the right broker is just as vital. Health insurance can become complex, regardless of the size of your business, and a time-consuming task at that. Most employers are busy running their business with very little time to research the regular changing laws and regulations. This is where the insurance broker steps in, to ease the burden, save the employer time, and provide the absolute best plan available for your business’s needs.

Choosing the right broker for your business is essential. You will want to find one with the right skills, the right background, and one that fits your specific needs. When researching the best broker for you, there are several key factors to keep in mind in your search.

1 – Experience

With experience comes extensive knowledge and great expertise. When you’re searching for a broker, you will want someone who knows the health insurance industry very well. Healthcare and health insurance be challenging but not for those who spend time doing extensive research as well as finding new ways to be innovative.

Abbot Benefits Group brings that type of experience to the table. They’ve been in business since 1982, giving them decades of brokerage and health insurance experience to work with. That’s the kind of support you need in your corner when you’re looking for lower rates.

2 – Competitive Quotes

The most effective negotiating tactics involve introducing some competition. Abbot Benefits Group knows that and will always quote competitive rates. A broker’s job is getting the lowest rates for their client, and that rarely means taking the first one on the table.

3 – Claims Knowledge

Claims knowledge ties back to having a broker with extensive experience. Abbot Benefits Group knows how to properly conduct reviews, to identify claims to premium ratios, as well as large claimants that no longer pose a risk to the plan. When you bring in a broker who can calculate claims costs, loss ratios, and more, you know where your money is going and how much will come back to you.

4 – Carrier Relationships

Being in business since 1982 means Abbot Benefits Group has strong relationships with the insurance carriers they’ve worked with for so long. Those relationships put a positive spin on negotiations and allow brokers to secure lower rates for the clients they represent.

Thanks to the relationship with Benefit Concepts, they have greater leverage. The association with Benefit Concepts makes Abbot Benefits Group one of the largest private agencies in Texas, and that designation grants them a considerable amount of negotiation power.

5 – Technology

Being up to date with the latest technological advances gives brokers & their clients even greater capabilities. With faster software and paperless options, your healthcare benefits can be presented to you with increased efficiency.

Abbot Benefits always focuses on keeping up to date with increasing potential as they progress every year. By offering 24/7 benefits enrollments, paperless efficiency, and accurate quoting, employers know they are getting the best care for their business.

Final Thoughts

Being a small business doesn’t mean you have to worry endlessly about healthcare costs. Finding the right broker with the right insurance plans can make all the difference to an employer. With a knowledgeable & caring health insurance broker like Abbot Benefits, you can rest assured that you will have the best plan that works for you, your employees, and especially your company. Being a small business means you can still get an affordable rate and still provide excellent coverage for those incredible workers who you value.