Your employees are the lifeblood of your business. In order to attract and retain the best talent, you need a competitive benefits plan – a big part of which centers around health insurance coverage. But for many small businesses, the cost of making this happen is simply out of reach. How can you afford coverage that will meet your employees’ needs while still balancing your bottom line?
A PEO partnership provides affordable access to big-business benefits.
Because they pool employees from all their client companies together, professional employer organizations (PEOs) can offer small businesses incredible benefit opportunities that would not otherwise be accessible to them. These include major medical plans with health savings account (HSA) and flexible savings account (FSA) options. And, your PEO can handle any or all aspects of plan administration. It’s not surprising, then, that it is the search for affordable health insurance that often leads small business owners to discover PEOs in the first place.
Health Insurance and the ACA
When it comes to how PEOs deliver health insurance to their employees, there are some differences that need to be understood:
- The Affordable Care Act (ACA) forever changed healthcare in this country. Most significant were imposed 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 smaller employers through the Small Business Health Options Program (STOP).
- The object of the ACA was to increase affordable access to healthcare for previously uninsured workers by imposing sweeping new requirements onto employers. Today, there is a whole host of options available for individuals and small businesses through the HealthCare.gov marketplace. In this environment, if a small business is solely looking for the best rate, it may very well find itself on the exchange.
But cost does not equal value.
The thing is: rates aren’t everything when it comes to a robust, competitive health insurance policy. Cost doesn’t always equate to value. In fact, the two are very different concepts. It’s easy to get swept up in comparing monthly premium costs without taking all the other aspects of a policy into consideration.
- Unless you are comparing features – deductibles, inpatient care, outpatient care, referral requirements, network specifications, vision benefits, prescription coverage and/or co-pays – a rate is arbitrary. And, it’s very hard to compare health plans across different carriers because there are so many variables. This is where a PEO can really help.
- Larger PEOS likely have a major health plan with more than one major carrier. These plans are generally self-funded.
- PEOs that are not large enough to self-fund or sponsor a major plan with a large carrier can source individual client-based policies and still provide excellent healthcare options. PEOs study and shop the markets and are experts at understanding complex plan designs in the context of premium cost. Most importantly, PEOs help their clients sort through all the malaise that is health insurance, to maximize the value of their healthcare spending.
Looking To Provide Better Health Insurance To Your Employee? – Lyons HR Can Help
For 26 years, Lyons HR has provided comprehensive HR solutions – including healthcare and other benefit services – to hundreds of clients nationwide. We can help you further navigate the ever-evolving healthcare insurance maze and find the plan that best suits your unique business needs. Contact us today to learn more or set up an informational session.