Buying small business health insurance requires thorough research on your part to make sure you find the health plan that will provide your employees with adequate coverage at a price that you can afford.
a. Affordable Group Health Insurance
You may obtain group health insurance quotes directly from health insurance companies, through an insurance agent or broker, or via the Internet.
It is worth exploring each of these options.
If you decide to go direct to the health insurance provider, make sure you contact not just one, but several insurance companies.
That's because health plans vary widely from company to company, and it's always wise to understand the various options available to you so you are better able to compare coverage and costs.
You may also work with an independent health insurance agent or broker.
These agents or broker typically work for agencies that represent different insurance companies, and are able to act on your behalf and help you find the small business health insurance plan that suits your needs.
These agencies also handle multiple benefits for small businesses (health, dental, vision, life, disability, etc.) and help employees process claims or resolve problems.
Make sure you work with an agent or broker with a valid state license and who is experienced in dealing with firms of similar size and the same industry as your own.
Going online is the fastest and easiest way for you to get quotes and start comparing plans.
To get started, you only need to have on-hand your employees' names, birth dates and home zip codes.
Make sure you use the services of a reputable online company.
ehealthinsurance is a leading provider of affordable Individual and Small Business Health Insurance quotes online.
b. Health Purchasing Alliances
Health purchasing alliances provide an alternative to traditional group insurance.
And because there is strength in numbers, these groups are able to negotiate lower health insurance premiums from insurance providers.
There are three parties involved in health purchasing alliances: The owning company that purchases the plan, the members made up of small businesses, and a third-party administrator that manages that plan.
Getting group health insurance through health purchasing alliances goes through an underwriting process.
Employees will have to fill out a questionnaire regarding their health as well as their family's health.
To find out if there is a health purchasing alliance in your area, call your state department of insurance or health and human services department.
Also, check into the operations of the alliance to ensure that all of the funds are managed correctly.
c. Trade Associations
You may also check out your trade association or local chamber of commerce.
Most of these groups are able to secure small business health insurance at lower costs, and offer this as benefits to its members.
Such associations include professional or trade associations, labor unions, credit unions, and alumni associations.
Association plans tend to have higher premiums and offer fewer plan choices than purchasing alliances.
Furthermore, members are required to pay dues in order to be eligible for insurance coverage and any other benefits offered through the association.
Take some time to examine the operations of such organizations to ensure that all funds are handled appropriately.
d. Statewide Purchasing Pools
Be sure to contact your state insurance department to get information on ways to get affordable health insurance for your small business, particularly if you have exhausted all your local resources.
Find out if there are statewide purchasing pools that offer less expensive health insurance for small businesses.
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