Your company’s health care plan is arguably the most important workplace benefit for your employees. Thus, it’s a decision you have to get right. A good insurance plan, among other benefits, can help you attract (and keep) the best talent, according to the Society for Human Resource Management
Unfortunately, business owners sometimes pick the wrong plan because they make a few common missteps. Here are the top three mistakes to avoid when you vet options for your next health insurance plan:
1. Only Looking at Price
While the monthly cost of a health care plan should be a factor in your decision, it definitely shouldn’t be the only consideration you make. The monthly premium is only part of what you and your employees pay for a health insurance plan. There are also out-of-pocket expenses — like a deductible or co-payments — when your employees use health care.
A plan with a lower monthly premium will have higher out-of-pocket costs, which can erase your savings from the lower premium. At the same time, the plan might have more restrictions for care, such as your employees can only see a small network of approved physicians. There are instances when a low-cost plan can make sense, like if most of your employees are healthy, but you should consider the entire picture before deciding.
2. Not Considering Your Unique Workforce
Your health insurance plan should fit the unique needs of your employees. This is no “one size fits all” plan that works for every business. As you consider your options, think about your employees’ health care situations. If you have a younger workforce, a lower cost plan might be more appropriate because they likely need less care, so higher out-of-pocket expenses would not be as big an issue. This plan, however, would not work with an older workforce or a workforce with more advanced health issues.
You may want to have your employees complete an anonymous survey to get their opinion on what they would like to see in your next health insurance plan. This way, you don’t have to guess what would be the best fit.
3. Not Working With a Professional
Health insurance plans aren’t easy to figure out, especially if you try to do everything on your own. A qualified health insurance agent or broker can help as you vet different plans. These professionals can explain your options more thoroughly and come up with ideas you didn’t consider. For example, they might look at your workforce and see that it’s a great candidate for a high-deductible plan combined with an HSA — a combination that would bring down your premiums while still protecting your employees against major health care expenses.
Your workforce is important, so it’s essential to offer the correct health insurance plan. By avoiding these mistakes, you should be in good shape to get the best value for your plan.
David Rodeck is a professional freelance writer based out of Delaware. Before writing full-time, he worked as a health- and life-insurance agent. He specializes in making insurance, investing and financial planning understandable.