Health insurance and other benefits are some of the biggest expenses for small and medium-sized businesses. Despite this, many workers aren’t adequately covered, and they might have to pay thousands of dollars in deductibles or copays each year. If you’d like to reduce your costs by $1,000 per employee per month and offer better benefits, you might have to look for alternatives to health insurance, such as a VALOR health plan.

Together with a consultant from Health Compass, Florida business owners can analyze their current situation and then create a more tailored plan, which improves the benefits package they offer their employees and saves them money at the same time. Read on to find out more about optimizing small business health insurance.

Alternatives to Health Insurance: 10 Ways to Save Money on Small Business Health Insurance

1. Book a Strategy Session with an Expert

There is a confusing range of healthcare options available for small and medium-sized businesses, and finding what works best for you can be challenging. If you’re not sure that you’re doing the right thing or you believe you could save money by switching from your current health insurance provider, consider booking a strategy session with an expert.

At Health Compass Consulting, we offer this service for free, so you can take part without any financial commitment. During the appointment, our CEO Donovan Pyle will analyze your healthcare expenses and show you what other options there are. Additionally, he will look at your other benefits, such as your pension plans, and help you find ways to optimize them, as well.

2. Join a Health Plan

Large businesses are economies of scale, so their expenses are often much lower than those of smaller companies. This doesn’t only apply to raw materials and inventory, but it also affects the cost of benefits, including health insurance. As a result, many small businesses have to choose between paying high health insurance costs or offering their employees a subpar plan. 

The latter option is problematic because it makes employee retention more challenging and reduces the likelihood of attracting talented workers. Fortunately, there is another option for small companies in Florida. VALOR is a health plan that allows you to save around $1,000 per employee and eliminate expensive copays and deductibles. Reach out to us at Health Compass to find out whether you could join.

3. Educate Employees on Health Insurance 

Studies have shown that employees often over-insure themselves when they are given the choice between several plans, especially if they don’t take the time to study each option and figure out what kind of care they might need in the future. Your health insurance consultant can help you develop a range of plans that are simple to understand and that will reduce the chance of unnecessarily high premiums. 

Additionally, you can help your employees understand the ins and outs of health insurance by holding a meeting or developing a short course about the topic. If you’ve decided to switch to a health plan, discuss this with your workers and explain the benefits to them. By communicating openly and educating your workers, you can more easily retain talent and eliminate unneeded expenses.

4. Invest in Wellness Programs 

The health of your employees affects the cost of your health insurance. If many of your workers suffer from long-term conditions that require a lot of medical care, it’s likely that you will be paying much more than if most of them are healthy. For this reason, making sure that your company culture and work environment doesn’t adversely affect your employees’ health, for example by causing too much stress, is important. 

You can even go a step further and actively promote healthy habits by setting up wellness programs. These can incorporate free physical activity events, guidance on healthy nutrition, and occasional meditation or relaxation workshops aimed at reducing stress. Another important step could be to encourage your employees to get health screenings, follow-up care, and immunizations, so serious diseases can be prevented.

5. Look Into Strategic Health Insurance Creation (SHIC) 

There are many different ways health insurance can be financed and procured for employees. Visiting a traditional broker and choosing the plan they suggest is only one of your options. In most cases, your broker will offer you a good deal, but it might not be the best option, and a more customized approach could save you and your employees a lot of money. 

Strategic Health Insurance Creation (SHIC) is a multi-year strategy that allows businesses to reduce their costs by eliminating any products they don’t need and customizing their health insurance plans. Most businesses can save between $800 and $2,000+ per employee by implementing SHIC.

6. Evaluate Your Strategy on an Ongoing Basis 

A big part of creating a strategic plan is looking beyond the current situation and reevaluating your plan on a regular basis. Although you might have had a good deal a few years ago, health insurance options and premiums change regularly, and your plan might no longer be ideal. What’s more, your business might change and grow over time, which means that your needs will change. 
A good consultant will meet with you every year to evaluate your strategy and make sure that it is still the best option out there. Donovan Pyle and his team are thought leaders in the health insurance industry, so they are the first to know about updates and changes to the market. As new alternatives to health insurance become available, they can help you evaluate whether these are right for you. 

7. Never Use Brokers with Misaligned Financial Incentives 

While many insurance brokers work to represent the best interests of their clients, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes, brokers are paid by the insurance companies. Because some companies pay them, they might be tempted to sell you insurance that doesn’t suit your needs.

Always check with your broker whether they are paid by you or whether they are receiving money from insurers. That way, you can avoid being sold a product that might be too expensive or unsuitable for your company. 

8. Look for Plans that Offer Low-Cost Services 

Not all healthcare services offer the same value for the money spent. One of the best ways of reducing your firm’s healthcare costs is to seek out plans that offer low-cost services that meet your employees’ needs. For example, since the Covid-19 pandemic, many health clinics have started saving time and money by offering telemedicine. This means that patients can see their doctors without going to the clinic. 
The appointments are conducted over the phone, via text messaging, or via a video call. During a telemedicine consultation, the patient can be diagnosed, the need for an in-person meeting can be evaluated, and medication can be prescribed. Not only is this kind of appointment much cheaper, but it also allows your workers to save time because they won’t be going to the clinic. Speak to your health insurance consultant about offering such low-cost services. 

9. Offer an HSA-Compatible Plan

The Health Savings Account is a great tool for people who would like to pay for their health insurance with before-tax money. If you’re struggling financially and you’re not able to offer a low-deductible plan, offering HSA-compatible insurance could be a way to still cover your employees without having to pay a lot.

However, the deductibles are likely to be high, which can reduce the attractiveness of this option and make it harder for you to retain talented employees. Speak to your health insurance consultant about HSA-compatible plans and whether they are a good option or whether you can save more with a VALOR health plan. 

10. Optimize Other Benefits 

Health insurance is just one of the benefits you can use to attract and retain high-quality employees. Additionally, they might also expect excellent retirement plan options. Many traditional 401(k) plans are invested in managed funds, which often sell high and buy low and therefore don’t perform very well. A great way to improve employee satisfaction is to offer better plans, similar to the ones provided by larger companies. 

As your company grows, you might have to hire high-level executives as well as regular workers. The senior employees will expect an even better benefits package, which might include corporate-owned life insurance, split-dollar plans, private annuities, and estate and tax planning. Together with your consultant from Health Compass, you can come up with a comprehensive strategy that is both affordable for you and attractive to potential employees.

In Florida, many small businesses pay high health insurance premiums, even though their workers aren’t optimally covered. Fortunately, there are alternatives to health insurance. By speaking to Donovan Pyle and his team, you can find out more about the VALOR health plan. Give us a call at Health Compass Consulting to book your free session. We will analyze and optimize your benefits package, so you can save money and attract more talent.

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