Want to Save Money on Your Health Insurance? Call in the SWAT Team
Running a small business is hard enough and, for many, having to choose a health insurance plan is a needlessly frustrating experience involving complicated calculations and impenetrable jargon. But choosing the right plan doesn’t have to be an ordeal. Since different plans are designed to meet different needs, the key to choosing wisely is selecting a plan that offers all of the features you need without making you pay for any you don’t. To help you along, consider calling in the SWAT team. It’s an acronym, of course, and it stands for the following:
In health insurance, bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better. Bigger may mean more options, but more options usually means bigger bills, and you often end up paying for options you don’t need and will never use. This is one reason why narrow networks are growing in popularity among businesses looking to control costs. Designed to offer access to an exclusive community of physicians and caregivers, narrow networks can offer a carefully curated selection of health care professionals and, as a result, come with a more modest price tag. Smaller networks, however, do not mean that quality is compromised. At least one recent academic study shows that well-designed narrow networks offer access to care that is of the highest quality, in part because they are free to choose only doctors you’d want to use and discard the rest. So if a plan offers access to the physicians your employees generally see; if its facilities are right in your backyard; and if it costs less – it may well be the best choice.
It hardly takes a physician to realize that there’s a direct correlation between health and productivity: sick employees mean absent employees, which, in turn, means that less work gets done. In order to help maintain the health of your workforce, look for health plans that offer wellness programs and smart incentives for staying healthy. Many will contribute to the cost of a gym membership and some will even help to pay for yoga or Pilates classes. In addition to offering incentives to lead a healthy lifestyle, some plans also have a dedicated disease management department to help those who suffer from a chronic condition (like heart disease or diabetes or asthma) stay as healthy as possible. This all helps employees stay well – and helps companies save money.
The temptation to stick with your current plan may be great, especially considering the hassle of switching. However, with health insurance, like with everything else, shopping around pays off. Take a careful look at the offerings of several carriers and compare. Most plans experience occasional rate hikes, but some offer more than others for the same money. Choosing the one that meets your company’s needs is paramount.
It’s everything. Leave yourself plenty of time to make the right decision. One way to find the right plan is to compare plan options, pricing and features, and see which one works best for you.
* Estimates are based on a comparison between publicly available rates and CareConnect offerings.