This content has been marked as final. Show 38 replies
While there are not a lot of options out there, I have found the SBA to be a good source of information thus far. I found this page on their website and poked around a bit. It may be helpful to you.
Yiou might want to call a healthcare provider in your area, or a larger company like Blue Cross Blue Shield. They have people waiting to sell your business their health plan benefits. They will be able to give you pricing and options.
Don't know if you still needing an answer... I just selected Aetna as my business healthcare provider. My final decision to use them was made because they are a larger company, with many plans, and I can manage it all myself from their website.
What helped me select from the many in my area was http://www.ehealthinsurance.com/. I entered what I was looking for, my employee information, and it provided me with all the options and pricing.
I can second the Aetna route. Did some digging online because I didn't have time to sit down, look through the phone book and call 5 local brokers. That, and the majority of the brokers in my area don't typically deal with small business's.
This may or may not help you budget, but my business has 3 full time employees including myself. We also insured other members of the families including a baby. We had several pre-existing conditions and we pay approx. $1200 a month. This was also for the best plan Aetna could offer. They also provide dental and vision that you can add on.
There are number of choices available for you.
- First thing you need to find if your type business has any association. Contact them and see if they are offering any type of insurance program
- Contact local chamber of commerce and ask them if they areoffering any type of insurance program. Most do and get the program.
- Check the local insurance broker and see what type of program are being offered for your small company.
- Check directly from Kaiser, Blue shield and other and get the program offered for small businesses.
- Contact other local association which offers health care program and you can be member of them. gettheir programs.
Now you have enoughdata to decide what program is best for you and your company.
Healthcare is expensive and as you said you want to keep your talent.
You have been in business for a few years.
Do you have an Accountant??
Do you have cash flow and profit projections?? (on a spread sheet you can
see what heath care benefits will do to the bottom line)
A final thought might be for the company to pay a part (like half) of the healthcare in the
beginning and the employees part. Great goodwill.
The best option for small businesses, especially those who did not currently have a plan in place would be a HDHP (High Deductible Health Plan) or Deductible First Insurance linked with an employer funded HRA (Health Reimbursement Arrangement or HSA (Health Savings Account). For small businesses starting a plan, the HDHP with an HSA would probably work best as it can sucsessfully and sustainably provide:
-a robust benefits program at reasonable premiums
-level premiums (premiums would trend or increase only 3% a year - approx.)
-you can fund employees' HSA accounts to provide them the money to fund the deductible or save for future medical expenses or retirement (many employers see this as a way to maitain thier employee talent)
To learn more:
1. Watch the Whole Foods segment of John Stoessel's report, Sick in America at www.abc.com
2. Check out my book on the topic - Stop Buying Health Plans and Start Buting Health Insurance - available on http://www.amazon.com/ at http://www.amazon.com/Buying-Health-Plans-Insurance-Understand/dp/0595429858/ref=sr_1_6/103-4256601-7938248?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1192483338&sr=1-6
The best health benefit for your money that you can offer is a combination of high deductible
health insurance with a consumer driven first-dollar coverage plan. Email me if you need details
of the companies that offer such products. Also, you should buy dental and vision coverage
separately for best value.
As the other posters said, it can be difficult to find an affordable plan to offer your employees. You might consider alternatives, such as a company matching flex spending account for medical and dental care.
My business is helping small to medium sized businesses offer benefit plans to their employees, so I'd be happy to help you out. However, I am new to this community and want to respect the guildelines, so I'll have to ask you to contact me via my profile information if you are interested.
Good luck with your search!
Network Guru gave you the best advice. Many small businesses I work with have asked about Healthcare and I always recommend they use eHealthInsurance.com Here you have access to over 160 vendors online and you have the ability to compare offerings/prices side-by-side to get the best bang for your buck.
I think this is a big need out there for many small business owners. Please let us know how it turns out.
TinMan - Houston, TX
I agree try the E-health network. The policies for self employed and small business owners are ridiculous but e-health can help you.
Blue Cross has a new program for small business owners where you can customize your options. They give pretty reasonable rates as well.
I am a health agent in AZ, but I can sell anywhere in the U.S.
To be honest,. AETNA is not very good with their benefits, and Blue Cross is very expensive.
I have access to 14 companies, and can get the best benefits for the cheapest price.
Now I reccomend getting a plan with a high deductible, along with a HSA (health savings account) it is NOT a FLEX account,
As an employer, you get a $1500 deductible, place half of that deductible in the savings account (which makes a very good interest rate) or how ever much you as the employer wants to contrubute to the savings account.
The client still has the normal Co-Pay and prescription sbenefits, the deductible is usually only for something major, so if the client has nothing major, every year you put that amount into the savings account and it adds up.
Really, how many people use the major medical portion of the policy.
Depending on how much you love your people. Average family plan costs 16,000. and 9,500 for individuals. It's around those areas. Alot of businesses can not retain talent due to fringe. If you can afford it, it's a must have for most employees.
Most businesses share the costs 10/90 (large companies) 15/85 (small companies) and 25/75.
Another thing to look at is the HSAs and FSAs as well. There are also different health programs sponsored by different states that you are in. Some states actually require Small Businesses to insure their employees if they have a x number of employees. Some even offer assistance in getting group coverage!
In addition to healthcare benefits, there are other benefits which will help you to keep your Talented Employees feel proud of their job and employer.
Check the link: http://wserver0.prepaidlegal.com/Multisite/Multisite?site=group&assoc=kumar50
Small business owners that don't want to deal with the hassle of benefits, HR issues, workers comp, 401K administration etc should look into employee leasing companies. Don't get this confused with staffing companies. Employee leasing companies like Administaff, ADP TotalSource, Gevity and Barrett Business Services can offer fortune 500 type benefits to small business owners without the headache of dealing with these issues. These services are not for everybody but they are very attractive for some business owners.
Does this help, LUCKIESTh3. Health Savings Accounts
Created in January 2004 as part of the Medicare prescription reform
law, health savings accounts (HSAs) are sometimes referred to as
medical IRAs. These plans are increasingly popular and, according to a
May 2005 study by American Health Insurance Plans, more than one
million people are now covered under HSA-based health plans.Many
insurance companies, local banks, as well as specialized administrators
offer HSAs, but be advised, the fees charged to run these plans vary
widely. For an online list of the top ten most affordable providers, go
How do they work?
Like IRAs, individuals contribute pre-tax dollars into accounts that
are tied to a wide range of investment vehicles (savings accounts,
mutual funds or, in some cases, stocks). These accounts can accrue
interest and roll over any unused balances to the next year, unlike
standard Section 125 or “cafeteria” medical benefits plans. These funds
can be withdrawn from the HSA at any time, without penalty, to pay for
legitimate medical expenses not typically covered by the insurer, such
as office visit and prescription drug co-payments, vision expenses, and
dental work. To see a list of federally approved expenses, go to
An important note: HSAs can only be used in conjunction with
health-insurance policies that have steep annual deductibles—between
$1,000 and $5,000 for individuals, or $2,000 and $10,000 for
families—but these plans typically cover 100% of expenses once this
limit has been met.
Luckiest, high-deductible major medical coverage with an HSA is what I provide for my employees. I think it's the best solution for us, but I'd suggest that any business owner considering it be aware that it's a cost management challenge. The premiums escalate rapidly (zero claims, and yet our premiums had doubled after a year) -- so you have to periodically shop for a new provider if you want to keep the cost down. Of course, changing providers means you may change the provider network that serves your employees (i.e., they'll have to change doctors, pharmacies, etc.) which is understandably upsetting.
Being a small business, I make it a point to not to make that decision myself, but rather facilitate the EMPLOYEES making the decision (increase the deductible, increase the co-pay, pay a portion of the higher premium themselves, or change providers).
I agree that providing health care coverage is a key benefit, but it is a VERY expensive one. I think employees appreciate that more and can see that real value of what you're offering them (instead of complaining about what's wrong with the coverage) if they're aware of the whole picture and making the choices themselves. Larger firms can afford to offer better plans that we do, yet all their employees do it complain (I have one client where the union workers went on strike because in the new contract proposal, the company wanted them to kick in $12 a month to help pay for a zero deductible, full coverage plan for their families -- we should all be so lucky!).
Good call on letting employees choose their coverage. In California there is a provider called CA Choice which will allow the employer to pick a plan they are willing to fully fund and if employees are not happy with it, they can choose their own plan but pay the difference. This program really cuts down on complaints to your HR people. If an employee wants a certain plan they can have it but I find most employees are fine with a HMO plan if they are the ones funding the difference. Most employees have no idea how expensive health insurance really is.
I can also relate to your story about unions. I saved a local firefighters district $300k per year (our tax dollars) on their premiums and actually improved their network but their office copay went up from $5-$10. The union went ballistic and accused me of being unamerican in the wake of 9/11... LOL.. I was fired the next year and they placed their coverage with Aetna direct for $400k more but with $0 office copay. That is what I get for trying to save the fire district some money.
I personally like the copay options of group plans rather than the HSA plans even if the deductible is higher w/ the copay. Having said that, the copay benefits of small group plans vary from state to state and policy to policy even w/in the same company. I love the small group health insurance plans w/ copay benefit richest plans. This way emergency visits can be covered w/ copay only, doctors' office surgery and lab/x-ray can be covered w/ doctors' office copay. The deductible and any-coinsurance applies to hospitalization and/or perhaps major services done outside of doctor's office w/ such plans...again plans vary from state to state so talk to your local independent broker or make phone calls to various providers....also there're HSA plans that have rate guarantee of up to three years and most providers allow you to offer dual options to your group...agai each stat mandates its own policy so the options and benefits can differ from one state to another....
Yes, you can offer benefits to any W2 employees. The good news is that the carriers are now offering different levels of coverage to meet small business's budgets. There are plans like HSA plans that are just catastrophic. Then there are plans with generic only Rx and limited office coverage. Some plans even package dental/vision.
The more benefits that are added to the policy the higher the price goes. Please feel free to go to our web site for quotes and information and I will be in the office tomorrow. You reach us at 877-840-0554 and ask for Don
The best solution is to work with an insurance broker who knows the area and industry. As a small business their services are usually free to you as they are paid by the insurance carriers they work with. My company provides employee benefit and HR consulting. Depending on which state you are located I could assist or refer you to someone in your area who could help. Feel free to touch base with me at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
I work for a company called IAB (International Association of Benefits). My company offers insured benefits through a group blanket policy for its members. IAB has been in business since 1982. These are insured benefits. These can be used at any doctor, dentist or hospital. There are also discounted benefits through the Beech Street network. The plans range in price from $69.95 for the entire family up to $273.95. My company is very ideal for small business owners like yourself to offer employee benefits at a very affordable price. For more information, please visit: www.iabweb.com/viglietta
I can be reached at: (845) 427-7100
Thanks and good luck!
If you're still wondering about health care benefits, Aetna will be joining the SBOC on Tuesday February 10th @ 2PM EST. I encourage you and all that are on this thread to pose your questions/concerns to them. How often does this opportunity come up?
Check it out - Event: Health care benefits for your small biz
I am a broker, CDC Employee Benefits, Inc., and can certainly help you design a plan for your employees.
If you are interested, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 732-730-0014. I have been
catering to small groups for several years and can certainly provide references. There is no fees for
getting quotes. You will be under no obligation.
National HealthCare Advisors( NHA) Provides a direct opportunity for consumers/employers in 46 states to speak with a highly trained diversified Licensed insurance Agent/Advisor .Our approach has been defined as "a must have" service once used.We take the intimidation, and head ache out of what is considered by most to be one of the most important decisions to protect you health,wealth,and family..We specialize in individuals,self employed ,family,and group insurance products.NHA proudly introduce a free service that offers simplicity,value and a cutting edge approach to all your insurance buying needs. Services available include health insurance ,Life insurance ,and disability plans . Stand alone Cancer plans, critical illness,Dental/Vision plans,Short Term insurance,and Accident plans .We encourage everyone to experience this revolutionary new marketplaces.. . We assist in helping our clients understand the complex world of insurance.We don't believe in "Telling" you what's best for you We want our clients to make the best decisions for themselves. National HealthCare Advisors utilizes unique technology allowing our agents to present Multiple carriers in just seconds. This allows NHA to offer the best plans and benefits to fit your personal or business needs. Search options are based on budget and protection requirements.Our main goal is to educate our clients by patiently explaining all the details of the insurance product they have selected.This approach allows the consumer to determine for themselves if a specific plan selected is suitable before buying it .As a whole consumers biggest complaints are 3 things. Lack of direction on where to obtain insurance, the rising cost to obtain and/or continue carrying coverage,and the admission that as consumers they don't truly understand how insurance works let alone protects.Individual and group.HDHP and HSA plans also available. We Represet the carriers listed below:United Health **BCBS **Humana** **GoldenRule** *Aetna** **Assurant** **GTL** **World** American Community** * *AIG** *Colorado Bankers** **VBA** **Team Corp** **United American** **Fidelity**
Hi, my name is vicki and my business is to help small businessess and individual people to enroll in my health benefits company. I have an website you can look at also and I will give some information on my benefits that we offer. We offer a wide range of services and products, including dental services, prescription drugs, vision care, chiropractic procedures. Dental Plus (Individual) $14.95, Dental Plus $19.95, Basic Health $29.95, Total Health $39.95, Total Health Plus $59.95 all cover your entire household 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed.
There are no limits on visits or services
Ongoing dental problems are accepted
No age limit
No waiting period
Orthodontics (braces) and cosmetic dentistry included
Specialists included, where available you can change dentists.
Yes, employees take advantages of such facilities from the company. You can offer 5% of basi pay to them as medical allowance.
I have an affordable healthcare benefit plan for your business. Have you heard of Ameriplan. Here is my website www.mybenefitsplus.com/v.akbar. Let's talk business call me at 414-535-0177. Good Luck !
Hey Techie, My name is Stephanie Melo and im a Benefits Specialist for AmeriPlan. I believe i have a great solution to your problem and dont forget this is common. I have encountered many people wondering what to do as well.
AmeriPlan is the largest discounted organization in the nation. We offer 4 different benefit packages for individuals, families or groups (employees). One of the many good reasons about joining AmeriPlan is that no one needs to fill out any forms with health history, everyone is accepted. AmeriPlan is becoming extremely popular as its a great way to help your employees and also save you BIG bucks.
If you have any questions, feel free to email me at email@example.com
I look forward to helping you out :)
Independant Business Owner
Go to original post
Reply to original post
I own a pretty young company with a few employees. Now, that we've been profitable for a few years, my employees are now asking that I provide healthcare benefits for them. I have no idea what types of options are available for small businesses. I can't afford to lose my talent, but at the same time, I have no idea how expensive this all is. Any suggestions?