When it comes to shopping for health insurance for your company and its employees, it’s a jungle out there.
It’s always been confusing to navigate, but with the onset of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the provision of healthcare in our country took a dramatic turn. The most significant of the ACA’s sweeping changes were its mandates on employers with more than 50 full-time employees, the establishment of a federally subsidized health market for low-income citizens, and the availability of tax credits for eligible employers through the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP).
- The original objective of the ACA was to broaden affordable access to healthcare for previously uninsured workers. But in achieving this goal, the act placed extensive requirements on employers. And, there are now myriad options available for both individuals and small businesses, via the HealthCare.gov marketplace. In this environment, if your business is solely looking for the best rate, you are likely to find yourself on the exchange.
Rates aren’t everything!
As you determine which health insurance to choose, keep in mind that cost and value are two very different concepts. Be careful not to get so caught up in comparing monthly premium expenses that you lose sight of other key aspects of a policy.
- Unless they’re comparing like features – namely deductibles, inpatient and outpatient care details, referral requirements, prescription coverage, vision benefits and co-pays – rates are arbitrary.
- It can be challenging to try and compare plans across different carriers, because there are so many variables.
How a PEO Can Help
The healthcare options offered by a professional employer organization (PEO) vary, but the major benefit of a PEO partnership is that your company can take advantage of your PEO’s group purchasing power. A PEO pools client employees together, making them – -and you – eligible for attractive, competitive healthcare packages that you wouldn’t otherwise be in a position to afford or be eligible for. So when you’re vying to land a candidate or keep a top-performing team member on board, you can hold your own, even against that Fortune 500 hotshot down the street.
- Larger PEOs generally offer a master health plan with more than one major insurance carrier. These plans tend to be self-funded; in other words, claims are paid not by the carrier, but by the PEO itself. Self-funded plans provide flexibility in design and are not subject to state regulations or premium taxes: a huge advantage to many employers.
- Smaller PEOs source individual client-based policies and provide options that best meet an employer’s specific needs. So, even PEOs without a master health plan can still provide excellent value.
If it’s all still as clear as mud – or like many small to medium sized business owners, you simply don’t have the time or resources to navigate the ever-changing world of healthcare and employee benefits – consider a partnership with Lyons HR. Because, it’s true: You already have more than enough on your plate. And yet, you need to be benefit competitive when it comes to recruiting and retaining top talent. For these and other HR management needs, turn to Lyons HR. Because we can handle any or all of those time and energy-consuming functions for you, while still keeping you active and in the loop. Read our related posts or contact us today to learn more.