A Guide for Employers Offering Health Insurance Plans to Workers

Health insurance plans come in many forms, and it can get very confusing very quickly. That’s certainly true if you’re an employer who wants to offer health benefits to your employees. Here are the basic facts you need to know.

  1. Different categories. There are several ways you can go about this:
    1. Defined benefit plan. This is the standard model for workplace health insurance. You’re the employer who offers coverage through a group plan. Your workers have to settle for the services and the network provided in the plan.
    2. Defined contribution. This time, you just provide an allowance, and your workers pick the plan from a range of options, such as disability or life insurance plans.
    3. This stands for professional employer organization, and the PEO you join provides the benefits at large group rates.

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  1. Different types of plans. These plans can also be defined by the network.
    1. With a health maintenance organization, the health care network is limited, but the premiums are lower as well. Seeing a specialist will require a referral from a primary care doctor.
    2. You get more flexibility with preferred provider organizations. The workers can visit a doctor outside the network without a referral, though staying in the network saves them more money. This flexibility does come with higher premiums.
    3. This is a hybrid plan. You don’t need a referral to see a specialist, though you can only choose from a limited network of hospitals and doctors.
  2. Preventive measures. Many employers offer health insurance because they want to make sure their workers are healthy. One way of doing that is to offer wellness programs that help employees form healthier habits. These can be workout programs, yoga classes, fitness trackers, or even assistance for quitting smoking.
  3. Match the plans with the employee profile. Do you have workers who qualify for insurance subsidies or Medicaid? Then you should make sure that they make full use of these assistance programs. If your workers are mostly healthy young adults, it makes more sense to offer them plans that involve lower premiums and higher deductibles since they’re more unlikely to use the insurance. Mostly older employees, on the other hand, will probably benefit more if the deductibles are lower even if the premiums are higher since the deductibles are more likely to come into play.
  4. See what your competitors are offering. Many industries these days are competing for skilled applicants, and many businesses are trying to hold on to their experienced workers. Aside from higher salaries, attractive health insurance options are another way to entice employees to stick with your business organization. Check the websites of your competitors so you can at least match the health insurance plans your rivals are offering.

Offering health insurance plans to workers is a very attractive incentive, it boosts morale, and it keeps your workers healthy. So make sure you offer the right health insurance plans to maximize the benefits and avoid litigation!

May Capobianco