Business Health Insurance – Something That Is Very Common

Business health insurance is increasingly being adopted by employers as a motivational tool to get the best out of their employees. The benefits of getting this cover for employees are highlighted, and explained in available sources. It is hoped that after reading through, a clearer understanding of the topic will be gained and common pitfalls will be avoided.

The type of insurance cover a company provides for its staff speaks volumes of its welfare packages. Without mincing words, it is a well established fact that organizations with great paying jobs and superb welfare packages are able to attract great minds and brains, thereby, increasing their productivity geometrically, as compared to businesses that adopt a lackadaisical attitude to employee’s health. One of the ways of achieving this is by providing a business health insurance for its workers.

Business health insurance also called business medical care is a special kind of insurance cover provided for the employees of a business and comes in many different flavours; however the most common is employers compensation, other types include critical illness insurance, life insurance, income protection, etc. It is available to all kinds of businesses, from mom and pop kind of establishments to those employing thousands of employees.

How it works

The employer contacts one of the several insurance cover providers, either directly, through insurance agents or retailers. Then the employer determines the extent of cover required, naturally, the cover determines the amount payable as premium. The premium payment can be paid by the employer alone or jointly with the employee. Though employees prefer the former there may be different classes of cover for different categories of employees such as managerial staff and junior staff. Most times, this is spelt out in the employment contract.

A company that provides business health insurance motivates its employees; most people consider this before accepting employment. It also gives the business owner greater control over the number of health related absentees as each visit to the doctor will be documented and sent back to the business owner. As a healthy workforce is a productive workforce, the insurance provider relieves the business owner the responsibility of ensuring a healthy workforce.

The providers of health insurance are many, hence the choice of which carrier to use generally is not an easy one to make, however, all major providers have websites that provide information services, also some insurance agents and health advisors provide calculators, online search services and other tools to help your search for a fee or for free. These services enable you to compare two or more providers. However, be wary of using such services, and their impartiality cannot be guaranteed.

Most providers of business insurance health offer flexible options for the employer to choose, the best option to suit his budget and that of his employees. Business health insurance has been analyzed, as can be seen, companies that provide this cover for their employees generally have more satisfied, healthy and dependable workforce. This cannot be compared to those who ignore this important motivational tool, with its range of benefits.

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Small Business Health Insurance: Big Benefits for Small Companies

Although Canadians are covered for a substantial portion of their health care expenses by their provincial plans, certain areas of care lack coverage or have limited coverage. Group insurance acquired through an employer is a common method of obtaining coverage to fill those gaps. Small business health insurance is designed to provide group coverage for small companies, offering the same types of employee benefits as those presented to large companies.

Who Qualifies for a Small Business Group Policy?

Companies with two or more employees can usually qualify for a small business health insurance plan. However, each insurance company makes its own rules; some providers may necessitate 5 or more employees to qualify for group insurance, while others offer options for companies as small as two.

There are also policies available for companies that consist solely of the business owner. Such plans allow individuals just starting out in business to obtain coverage for themselves and their dependents until the need to hire staff presents itself, at which time they can apply for a typical small business health insurance policy.

It is irrelevant how long you have been in business or what sort of company you run; these factors have no impact on qualification, but they can however influence the rates. For example, a company engaged in potentially dangerous work might find that their rates are higher than a company who is not, due to the fact that the risks are higher.

Can Full-Time and Part-Time Employees Receive Benefits?

Who qualifies for benefits on the group plan is up to the business owner to decide. An employer can choose to offer the benefits solely to full-time employees, or include part-time employees and even contractors hired on a regular basis as well.

Some employers offer certain benefits to part-time employees and a large range of benefits to full-time employees, while others adjust benefits based on an employee’s seniority in the company. An employer’s decisions regarding group insurance can be changed over time, allowing for adjustments to the staff and growth of the company. At some point in time, many change the policy to include coverage for part-time employees, or add different coverage options to accommodate individual needs.

As health needs differ from one person to another, some companies allow their employees to select the type of coverage they want. For instance, a person wearing glasses might find vision care an important option, while a parent whose child will need braces might find dental care coverage a necessity.

What Benefits Does Small Business Health Insurance Offer?

A small business insurance policy for supplemental health coverage provides benefits to the business owner as well as for the employees. Under a group policy, you can have coverage for what would otherwise be out-of-pocket expenses in areas like dental care, vision care, prescription coverage and other areas including disability insurance, life insurance, alternative health care insurance and much more.

Offering a benefits package is strong incentive for employees to stay with the company, lowering staff turnover and minimizing the costly and time consuming hiring process. It also attracts potential applicants as the company is viewed as one that values and rewards its employees.

Small business owners get a tax deduction for premiums paid toward a group health insurance plan. From an employer’s financial standpoint, that aspect is appealing.

What Insurance Companies Offer Small Business Health Coverage?

There are many insurance providers that offer small business health policies to Canadian companies. You can buy a group plan from the same big name insurers that offer benefits to large companies, enabling you to take advantage of the wide range of resources and competitive prices. You can compare rates and coverage, request quotes and then choose the company that is right for you. You should not have to settle for anything less than the best coverage for the best price for your small business.

To have a small business health insurance policy in place from the onset of your company makes for easy adjustments as the company grows. New employees can be included and coverage options can be added. Your insurance provider can work the details out with you in order to adapt and change your policy to meet your new needs.

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The Quest For Affordable Small Business Health Insurance

Studies have consistently shown that small businesses are much less likely to provide health insurance to their employees than larger companies. Indeed, the smaller the business, the less likely it is to offer health insurance benefits. As recently as 2003, about 50% of the uninsured in the United States were either self-employed or worked for companies with less than 26 employees.

The main reason for this disparity is cost. Health insurance for small businesses is typically more expensive than for larger companies (on a per employee basis) because it is more difficult for insurance companies to accurately predict the average cost of medical care for a small group. That is, risk is greater for insurance companies for small businesses since small businesses have fewer employees to spread the risk of health claims. It only takes one employee with significant health claims to have a significant impact on the overall costs for the group insurance. This is also the reason why small businesses do not self-insure; the financial risk is simply too great for the majority of small businesses.

So what can a small business do if it wants to offer health insurance to its employees? Often they have no choice but to pay the premiums. More often than not they will split the cost of premiums with their employees, typically 50/50. Unfortunately, these small business health insurance plans are not only quite expensive, but also include significant deductibles and co-payments for the employees.

Small businesses can sometimes reduce their health insurance costs by either joining or forming a purchasing cooperative to negotiate better rates and benefits from companies offering small business health insurance. Depending on the type of business, professional organizations can also offer better health insurance rates to small businesses.

In their search for affordable health insurance, small businesses should obtain multiple quotes before deciding on any one small group plan. One of the best places to start the process is online. By using the Internet, within a very short period of time, small business owners can access dozens of quotes from several insurance companies, making comparison of various plans much easier.

Of course, as a small business owner, if you are not comfortable shopping for your small business health insurance on the Internet, look for a good health insurance broker. If possible, interview more than one broker, and ask your peers for recommendations.

In order to remain competitive in the labor market, small businesses need to be able to offer health insurance benefits for their employees. This is not always easy as cost can be a limiting factor. With some effort, however, small business owners can find affordable small business health insurance. Joining buying cooperatives or professional organizations, using the Internet (probably the most convenient), or contacting a health insurance broker can be effective ways to begin the challenging process of securing affordable small business health insurance.

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