Choosing insurance

5 Things You Must Know Before Purchasing Health Insurance

Small business health insurance is a must-have if you want to keep attracting top-tier talent to your workforce. However, before deciding on the best health insurance options for your employees, there are quite a few things that you need to consider:

5 Things You Must Know Before Purchasing Health Insurance

1. Types of Plans Available

What type of plan is best for your workers? You’ll need to ask the insurer to completely understand each plan’s options and costs. A few of the plan options that may be offered to you are:

Choose a plan, or multiple plan options, to find one that is ideal for your workforce. Once you have a plan, consider the provider network.

2. Provider Network

Provider networks must be extensive in your area so that employees can get the care they need conveniently. Review the network and what options are available for:

  • Primary doctors
  • Specialist
  • Etc.

If the network where the business is located and in the surrounding area is lacking, it may be in your best interest to consider other health insurance providers for your employers.

3. Premiums and Costs

Can your workforce afford the premiums? Can your business afford to offer the plan? It’s crucial to consider the average cost of premiums versus the salary employees are paid to learn whether the insurance is a good choice for all parties.

As an employer, you may also opt to pay more to lower premiums or even cover 100% of the insurance, but it’s often difficult for a newer small business to cover these types of expenses.

4. Deductibles for Employees

Cost must also include deductible options for employees. The lower the deductible, the higher the insurance premiums will be. However, you should consider whether the insurer offers a variety of options that will include:

  • Different deductibles
  • Varying co-pay options
  • Coinsurance
  • Prescription coverage

Small businesses that want to offer the best for their employees must consider the out-of-pocket expenses for their staff. You may have to pay more to offer a better insurance plan or can cover all medical premiums, but you must consider the overhead and how it impacts your business in the long term.

5. Does the Plan Keep Employees Healthy?

Health is reliant on a person’s wellness. Some insurers offer wellness options, which provide the following to employees:

  • Incentives to join programs
  • Discounts on premiums
  • Cash rewards
  • Gym memberships

Wellness programs encourage your workforce to make smarter, healthier decisions in life. Through wellness programs, you’ll offer bonuses to employees while also helping them live happier, healthier lives in the process.

Many plans are starting to offer wellness programs, and it’s something to consider when choosing an insurance option for your employees.

Offering the best small business health insurance possible will strengthen your workforce, improve employee satisfaction, and protect them. However, if you have any questions or need to know more about choosing a plan, we can help.

health-insurance-agent

The Benefits Of Hiring A Health Insurance Agent

Health insurance agents help people, just like you, navigate complex insurance options. Paperwork, exclusions, and inclusions make understanding what’s included in your insurance frustrating and confusing.

A health insurance agent helps make all of these complications trivial.

In fact, you’ll benefit from hiring an agent in many ways, including but not limited to the following:

5 Benefits of Hiring a Health Insurance Agent

1. Coverage for Price Considerations

Insurance companies make coverage options complex and difficult to understand. You might sign up for a more expensive plan while receiving fewer benefits than with a cheaper plan.

When you work with an agent, they’ll ensure that you maximize your coverage.

For example, if you can only pay $100 a month for insurance, the agent will work to find the absolute best plan in this price range so that your money goes as far as possible. Your agent will also have a better understanding of your healthcare needs and will find a plan that includes the coverage you need.

2. Local Insurance Knowledge

If you’re a business owner looking for insurance options for your small business, an agent is an invaluable asset to have by your side. Local agents:

  • Understand your business and its unique needs
  • Work with insurers that know your business and offer custom insurance options

Local insurance knowledge is ideal for business owners because the agent already has connections in the industry that can help.

3. Clear Options Presented to You

Insurance agents know that insurance is very complicated. When you work with an agent, they’ll spend the time to make coverage as transparent as possible. The agent will provide you with:

  • Multiple insurance options that fit into your budget
  • Transparent costs and coverage options

With so many insurance options available, agents make getting health insurance as simple as possible. Of course, you’ll still have many choices to make, but when they’re all presented to you clearly, it’s easier to find a perfect plan.

4. Personalized Service

Your agent provides personalized service that includes asking questions and getting answers from insurance companies. Since these professionals already have contacts at many insurance companies, they’ll rapidly narrow down your insurance options while offering a personalized service that can save you time and money.

5. Save Yourself Time

Finally, you’ll save yourself a lot of time when working with an agent. You won’t have to scour through dozens of plans, ask questions to insurers or do anything else. Instead, you only need to work with a single agent that handles all of these nuances for you.

Your agent is your point of contact, and since you hire them to find a plan for you, all you need to do is sit and wait for them to get back to you with plan options that you make prefer.

If you need health insurance and want to maximize your coverage while also paying the best price, hire a health insurance agent. These professionals know how to navigate complex insurance plans and make them simple to understand.

a Dental Insurance Provider

Pro Tips for Picking a Dental Insurance Provider

Dental care is a necessity, but traditional insurance plans do not include dental insurance options. However, with over 90% of people over the age of 20 having at least one cavity, it’s crucial to consider the right type of dental insurance to cover the expense of major dental work.

If you’re trying to pick an insurance policy, consider the following tips to help you get started.

Tips for Picking a Dental Insurance Provider

1. Learn About Coverage Structure

Dental insurance is different from health insurance. Your health insurance provider likely starts paying for 100% of your medical bills after you meet a certain deductible threshold. Dental options are slightly different because they often have a 100/80/50 structure.

The structure is broken down into:

  • 100% of preventative care
  • 80% of fillings, extractions, root canals and similar
  • 50% for major procedures, such as implants, bridges and crowns

If you need to see a cosmetic dentist, this isn’t covered under a normal plan.

2. Research In-network Dentists in Your Area

Since you must go to in-network dentists, it’s crucial to know the options that you have around you. Often, you’ll find a single dentist in the area with some cheaper plans, and if you don’t like the dentist, you have to pay out of pocket for another one.

Before signing up for any policy, always see the in-network options in your area.

It’s always better to find an insurance provider that has many in-network dentists in the area so that you have greater freedom when choosing one. Otherwise, you may have to travel further to go to the dentist, and if you have any serious work done, this isn’t ideal.

3. Ask Your Employer First

You can go and find your own dental insurance, but your employer may have options available. Group insurance policies keep costs down, and if your employer does have this option for you, compare it to what you can get on your own.

Also, you may be able to seek group insurance policies through the following:

  • Seniors may find options through AARP
  • Medicaid may have plans
  • Affordable Care Act marketplace may have opportunities

Again, you can also go and sign up for your own plan at any time.

4. Consider the Wait Time

Many people assume that once they pay their first premium, they can finally go and get the dental implants or major work they’ve been putting off. But, unfortunately, insurers will often only offer coverage for preventative and basic care during the first six to 12 months.

If your premiums over this time exceed the cost of the procedures you need, it may be better to get these procedures before securing your policy.

Finally, you’ll want to be cautious of what your policy covers because cheaper policies will offer less coverage. Consider the dental work you need now and in the future before deciding which policy to choose.

If you’re not sure which dental insurance provider is the right choice for you, work with a broker who can help you find a policy that fits perfectly into your budget.

Open enrollment

Open Enrollment is Over. Let’s Look at Some Options Still Available

For workers or anyone that can no longer open enroll, there are a few options still available that will provide coverage.

Special Enrollment Period

Healthcare.gov does have special enrollment periods that may be triggered on an individual basis. These periods can be triggered by the following:

• Household changes, such as a divorce, marriage, adopting or having a child

• Change of residency to an area that no longer offers the same insurance

• Loss in coverage

• Legally obtaining US citizenship

If you enter into service or exit for the AmeriCorps, NCCC or VISTA, you may be able to enter into special enrollment. You can also qualify if you become recognized or granted membership to a tribe under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act.

Qualifying for special enrollment will require you to fill out an application that will verify your claims and allow you to take advantage of special enrollment periods.

State-Run Exchanges

Most states had their exchanges end on January 15, but it’s essential to see if your state has a different deadline. Some states kept their enrollment open even longer, and Idaho was the only state not to extend its deadline.

While you might have missed these exchanges in 2022, they can be extended during any year.

Medicaid and CHIP Options

Medicaid and CHIP programs are open to Native Americans all year long. However, if you’re not Native American, certain qualifying events will allow you to enroll for either of these insurance options.

For example, you may qualify if you:

• Lose coverage

• Move to an area with different insurance options

• Become a legal citizen

• Adopt or birth a child

• Get married or divorced

If a trigger event occurs, act as swiftly as possible to secure your health insurance coverage.

Medicare Special Enrollment

Medicare also has its own special enrollment periods that you may qualify for, depending on eligibility. The initial period begins when you either reach the age requirement of Medicare or become disabled and lasts for a period of seven months.

Fall enrollment is also an option and lasts from October 15 to December 7.

Otherwise, you may be able to enroll under the general enrollment period, which runs from January 1 to March 31. During this period, you can apply for Medicare Part B. If you want to apply for Part C or D, this period will be from April 1 to June 30 and will begin on July 1.

Short-term Plans

Depending on the state where you live, short-term insurance plans may be offered. Federal regulations allow many short-term plans, with renewals, to last up to 36 months. Unfortunately, some states do have rules that are restrictive and may prevent you from obtaining a plan.

If you missed open enrollment, it’s worth seeing if a short-term plan is available in your state.

Open enrollment comes around every year. If none of the plans above fit into your needs, you’ll need to wait until the next enrollment period, which starts in November.

 

ClaimLinx featured on My City Podcast

ClaimLinx’s National Benefit Consultant, Tom Quigley, was featured on the My City Podcast with Bob Friedenthal. They talked about Tom’s success with clients in helping them save 20% or more on health insurance.

Watch the full video interview now.

Bob Friedenthal: What percentage of the companies that you work with, do you ultimately save them money?
Tom Quigley: 100 percent.

BF: Wow, that’s a relatively big number.
TQ: It’s mathematically impossible not to save the way we do it.

BF: So the key to this is to get in front of people … because I think you’re absolutely in the right market for this.
TQ: Right now it’s very simple to save money, regardless of the size of your company. It’s a matter of … we work on what we save companies. Most insurance agents are working on how much you pay.

BF: That’s an interesting statement. Yes, I know people that, quote unquote, compete with you. But it’s [all about] what they bill, not what they save their clients. That can have a huge, huge impact. So tell us what the process is. How do you do that?
TQ: The first things is to look at what you’re currently doing. Most people buy what’s called a group health insurance plan. I’ll give you an example:

I have several companies, one in particular. … They had roughly 8 people and they were paying roughly $8,000 a month for health insurance.

With the same insurance carrier, we showed them that because of the Affordable Care Act, their employees were eligible for subsidies … So instead of paying the insurance company $8,000, they started paying the insurance company $1,500 a month.

Then what we showed them was: “Why not create a plan with a $0 deductible and have copays for everything and give your employees the best benefits in the area?” So they ended up net saving after 6 months roughly $30,000. And their employees have better benefits than they’ve ever had.

BF: Wow, wow, It’s almost mind boggling what you can do.
TQ: That’s also the problem. People — when I tell them I can save them 20% easily … They don’t believe it.

BF: Valid statement, valid statement. So really it’s about getting the word out and finding people who will say yes before they say no. The ‘no’ people: they’re creating their own demise. They’re so frozen.
TQ: What my line to them is: “What objection do you have to listening to me for 5-10 minutes?” I can help you increase the value of your company.

It really has nothing to do with insurance. It’s how you purchase the benefits, and that’s what everyone is missing. Benefits are what you pay when you go to the doctor or the pharmacy and how much [you pay] out of pocket if you have a surgery or a hospitalization.

The insurance is the piece that covers the risk that the company shouldn’t take.  In essence, what everyone is doing, if you compared it to car insurance, is they’re buying oil change, gasoline and tuneup insurance.

BF: That’s the problem today. You get so many people that feel like they’re always being sold and instead if you can get in the door, you can prove to them that they’re going to benefit.
TQ: I’m not really selling anyone anything. I’m showing them how to take a liability and shift it to an asset. And I get rewarded based on how much assets I create.

BF: So what do you do? You go into a company and they show you what they’re doing. And you can see, probably almost instantaneously, that you’re going to save them money. Period.
TQ: I ask one question: What insurance carrier are you using? They say, “United Healthcare, Aetna, Anthem …” Whoever they’re using. I say to them, “Do you buy office visit copays and drug copays with the insurance company?” And they say, “Yes.” I instantly know that there’s 20% of savings just by showing them how to rearrange the group plan.

BF: Interesting. Well, we gotta get this video out to a lot of people so they can see what you’re all about. Because hands down if people are tunnel visioned enough, they won’t do anything. But if they’re willing to look at something. … That’s all it takes.
TQ: If they have an open mind, and they’re willing to change, and they’re truly looking out for the employees. Because you’re providing better benefits and you’re asking the employees to pay less, not more.

Contact Tom Quigley directly to talk about your options for saving.
Email: tquigley@claimlinx.com
Phone: 513-470-9440