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Group Health Insurance – Benefits for Everyone

Offering an employer based group health insurance plan for your company is a great decision. So much goes into that decision – researching plans, understanding the costs, helping your employees understand their options – sometimes it can be overwhelming. Thomas and Associates is ready to help with the information you need.
Group Health Insurance

Employer Health Big Choices for Small Businesses!

You may be surprised that your small business really can offer an employer health plan. Employer health care is available for any size group. If you have as few as 2 full-time employees—including yourself—you can provide a health care plan for your company. One of our experienced agents can help you get started today.

The advantages of group health insurance

Offering a group health insurance plan – especially in a small business – is surprisingly advantageous to you as an employer. Your company can take advantage of tax credits and deductions, including part of the employer portion of employee premiums, depending on the type of plan you offer. Call one of our experienced agents today to learn more about these savings. The fact that you offer a health plan sets you apart to prospective employees, who might otherwise pass on an opportunity to join your team.

Not only can you attract great talent, you can retain the talent you already have. An employer group health insurance plan gives your employees more affordable options for health care. We can answer questions you may have, you can also consult with your accountant or read more about this type of healthcare coverage here.

Employer Health Coverage – Getting Started

As you begin your research into the best components to add to your plan, you may find yourself wondering ‘where do I even start?’ Below are the basic types of health coverage, and a short description. You can learn more about these products on our Health Insurance pages. We have also developed an easy to follow checklist, which will help you through the process. You can download that checklist here.

In addition, you will need a Census (your business type, business name, address, and employee demographics.) We will explain how to gather that information as we walk you through this process.

More than health – Ancillary benefits

While the benefit package you choose can be as simple as a health plan, there are additional benefits that could add real value for your employees. Thomas and Associates can work with you, and within your budget, to develop a comprehensive benefits package for your employees. We offer ancillary benefits such as Life, Short- and Long-term Disability, Critical Illness, Accidental Death and Dismemberment, Dental or Vision insurance. We can help you add these options, as well as other beneficial policies to help your employees and/or retirees.

The Basics – Understanding Health Insurance Options

Below are the basic types of health coverage, and a short description. You can learn more about these products on our Health Insurance pages.

HMO (Health Maintenance Organization)

HMO plans provide predictable cost-sharing and simplicity for participants. Members pay a monthly premium and a small copay for things like doctor visits, medical treatment and preventative care, from providers in a more selective network than other plans. The member’s Primary Care Physician (PCP) is the ‘hub’ for his/her medical care. The PCP can refer the member to a specialist when those services are needed.

PPOs – (Preferred Provider Organization)

PPO plans provide your employees with a larger choice of providers than HMOs, and the premiums are similar. Members do not need a PCP, though many members select one. The PPO plan does not require members to have a referral to receive services from a specialist. There is usually a deductible – a certain amout a member pays out of pocket before insurance pays for services. After the deductible is met, the member will either pay a copay (a However, the out-of-pocket cost is generally higher and a bit more complicated. PPOS will allow participants to go outside of the provider network without a referral from a primary care physician.

POS – (Point of Service)

A POS can best be described as a hybrid of an HMO and PPO. It requires a participant to select a PCP, like an HMO. However, like a PPO, participants may choose to receive services outside of the provider network, but will have to pay most of the costs without a referral from the PCP.

HSA – Health Savings Account

With certain health plans known as High Deductible Health Plans, members can open and maintain a Health Savings Account (HSA). An HSA allows members tosave pre-tax dollars to pay for qualified medical expenses. As the employer, you can choose to contribute to the member’s account, as an additional incentive to use this kind of plan. Unlike other savings options, the HSA is connected to the member, not the employer or the health plan. This means that the member can roll over their savings year over year, and if the member changes jobs, the the account – and the money in the account – travels with him.

Other savings options are available for your employees, and you can learn more about these on our recent blog post about medical savings options.

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Top 6 Reason to Offer Group Health Insurance and Other Benefits

  • Group Health Insurance and other employee benefits are seen as an essential part of an employee compensation plan.
  • If a health plan or other employee benefits are seen as high quality, employees might be willing to accept a lower salary in order to have the valuable benefits.
  • Businesses can receive tax breaks for the contributions made to employee benefits plans. These tax implications vary by the size of your employee population, and more.
  • Group purchasing power allows costs to be lower for everyone—including the business owner.
  • Group Health Insurance plans and wellness-related benefits encourage and reward employees for leading healthy lifestyles.
  • Studies have shown that group health insurance and employee benefits help to decrease employee absenteeism and improve morale.

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