The health care scene is changing wildly in recent times. When considering the health insurance broker you will choose for your employee group plans, and in the conversations that will ensue, if may be helpful to have a basic knowledge of some of these changes in mind. Here are a few facts and tips to help to guide you on your way.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (or PPACA, but colloquially known as "Obamacare") will begin with an open enrollment period in October of 2013, and an implementation date of January 1, 2013. The changes will mean that government-sponsored health insurance exchanges will offer both individuals and small businesses new ways to compare and purchase health insurance coverage, with the overall goal of increased coverage for everyone. What this likely means for your health insurance broker is a more competitive climate. What it may mean for you is a heavy penalty for not providing insurance to any full-time workers if you qualify as a large or medium sized business (this includes anyone with 50 or more employees).
Unless you are running a huge business, you should seek out a group health insurance provider that specializes in companies on the smallish size. For an endeavor like this you are going to want top quality customer service and special attention paid to your individual needs. If you go for a provider that serves many businesses that are much larger than yours, this may mean that you are a somewhat lower priority customer. Fortunately, there are many smaller brokers out there who make it their business to dominate the smaller business market. They will be able to offer you the very best selection and service because you represent the corner of the market that they, in these changing times, would like to win over.
One of the biggest problems people run into with managing their healthcare, and understandably so, is how complicated coverage can get. Make sure that the coverage that your employees and their families are given is not only inclusive enough to keep them well (which ideally should include medical, dental, life and disability insurance), but user friendly enough so that when they are sick they can manage their plans relatively easily. Employees that are healthy and satisfied will be happier to contribute to the company that keeps them that way, and a big part of this satisfaction will be a user friendly interface and a simplicity of language in the coverage that they receive.