Benefits & Compensation News

Answering 5 top questions employers have about offering health insurance

An independent employee benefits advisory organization has addressed some of the biggest pain points for employers that offer health insurance and are looking to control costs while remaining competitive for talent.

To celebrate its tenth anniversary, United Benefits Advisors (UBA) answered a bunch of common employer questions on its website.

Here are five of the more pressing questions facing our readers:

1. What’s the best way to control health care costs?

UBA says this requires three things:

  1. Careful plan design
  2. Negotiating with carriers, and
  3. Employee education.

2. Should we adopt a consumer-driven health insurance plan?

UBA says going with a consumer-driven health plan (CDHP) isn’t always the best way to save. It says that adjusting the deductible on a PPO plan can provide the same savings as making the switch to a CDHP.

3. Should we consider self-funding ?

In short: Talk to your plan advisor.

Moving to a self-funded plan is a trend that has been building, says UBA, thanks mostly to the increased control self-funding gives employers over plan dynamics. That trend could be strengthened by the health care reform law — as changes in the marketplace have more benefits advisors looking to talk to small and mid-size employers about self-funding.

4. What ancillary benefits will give us the biggest bang for your buck?

With health insurance costs taking up the majority of benefits budgets, companies need to carefully weigh what other benefits — dental, disability, auto and home insurance, etc. — to offer. UBA recommends your decision process begin with a look at what other employers in your region, size range and industry are offering.

5. How should we stay on top of our obligations under the health reform law?

UBA says your benefits advisor should be providing you with a simple checklist of your obligations under the law. If they’re not, ask for a rundown — and frequent updates. Your advisor should also be able to pass info and tools along to you that can be used to educate employees on what’s happening with reform.

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