How to Choose a More Affordable Employee Health Plan

Health insurance is a huge business and it can end up costing business owners some serious cash. You want your employees to be able to take solace in being covered, but you also want to keep their coverage budget-friendly. Whether your company has 10 people or 100 people, it’s important to choose the best employee health plan.

Types of Healthcare Companies

There are several types of healthcare coverage plans offered, such as HMP, PPO, and HDHP; these three are the most common, but PeopleKeep says there are other options. A PPO, or preferred provider organization, offers members a choice of “in-network” physicians; you can still choose to go outside of the network, though. The positives of a PPO include the ability to see a wider range of providers without needing a referral. However, the premiums and deductibles are usually higher. 

HMOs, or health maintenance organizations, are another plan option that typically comes with lower premiums as well as lower costs compared to a PPO. Unfortunately, you’ll have to stay within the network; going to a physician outside the network will rack up out-of-pocket expenses. 

HDHPs, or high deductible health plans, have recently been on the rise thanks to lower costs to employers. Like PPOs and HMOs, you’ll have the meet the deductible before insurance begins paying costs. However, members usually have access to a health savings account (HSA) to help cover the high deductible costs. In most situations, the money is pre-tax and goes straight into the account for employees.

High Deductible Plans v. High Premium Plans

When searching for the perfect plans for your employees, you’ve got to consider your own costs as well as what your employees will have to spend on healthcare. With high deductible plans, the premiums are typically lower; premiums are what your employees will be spending each month for coverage. Alternatively, plans with high premiums usually see lower deductibles. 

It’s all about what is covered. For most HDHPs, people may access little coverage outside of a high-cost emergency situation. Whereas PPO and HMO plans can cover prescriptions and regular doctor visits, their high-deductible counterparts won’t pay for anything until you’ve completely met your deductible. Obviously, the lower level of coverage offered means lower costs. 

Your employees may not choose to pay for a doctor visit, but they’ll still need care. According to Carenet Health, nurse advice lines reduce unnecessary ER and urgent care visits by giving patients the right direction to take for symptoms. Often, members find that virtual doctor visits can also be cheaper. With the use of apps, patients only have to connect through the internet to a doctor who can help them.

Be Proactive With Your Employees

One of the best ways to cut down on employer health costs is to simply invest in your employees. For example, offer your workers incentive to practice healthy behaviors. Fit for Work suggests starting an anti-tobacco initiative and reward employees for cutting back. Employees enjoy an environment that takes an interest in their overall well-being. By providing a workplace that encourages good health, your employees may need less coverage and fewer doctor visits. 

Choosing health care coverage for your employees doesn’t have to be a dreaded task. You just have to consider several factors, such as picking the right insurance carrier and plan, as well as incentivizing your employees to stay healthy. Picking the best health insurance plan for your company’s needs will save you money in the long run.


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