It seems like the largest worry that small business owners have is findng good employees. Health benefits are a large factor for workers when they are choosing employment opportunites. Small businesses may be at risk of losing their employees to competitors that offer group health plans or not attracting additional personnel.
As a small employer, you may feel there are just too many barriers to offering an affordable employee health insurance plan yourself. Too few employees, high costs and poor risk ratings are the top three worries, all of which most likely can be overcome because you are a member of the Builder’s Association of Greater Indianapolis or BAGI. BAGI offers a group health insurance plan to its members which focuses on providing a quality option to small businesses.
If you are like many BAGI members looking for health insurance options, you are the owner of a small, closely held business. The BAGI plan has been crafted to allow for a group health plan to be written just for a business owner and his/her spouse, as long as they are both covered and both are 30+ hours per week employees. So, two employees, including yourself, is enough to qualify for the BAGI plan.
The key to assessing the cost of group health insurance is to consider the amount you have to pay, not the set premiums. As an employer, you only have to pay 50% of the premium for your employee to be competitive—not the full amount for the individual or any part of family coverage. Offering access to an individual plan with or without family coverage is what is essential, not necessarily paying for all of it.
Another idea to consider is that if you need to purchase health insurance for yourself, implementing a group plan could reduce your personal premiums. If health insurance is going to be an expense for your business anyway, it makes sense to make the most of the line item.
The first step in offering an employee group health insurance is the underwriting process to assess your group’s risk factor score, which determines the level of premium you will pay regardless of the plan you choose. For employers with healthy employees, this step is easy. However, if your workforce has medical issues, worry sets in. Fortunately, Scott Wharton of Wharton & Power Insurance, who manages the BAGI plan, can look at other options in the brokered group marketplace if the BAGI plan is not favorable to your situation. Knowing that there are other options available should alleviate the angst associated with the underwriting process.
BAGI’s group health insurance is implemented by Anthem, who has a lot of experience with providing association-based plans within multiple industries. They understand our local marketplace and have structured the program to serve BAGI members well. There are 12 coverage options to choose from, all of which allow you and your employees to use local doctors and hospitals. As the employer, you get to choose the plan design you want to offer, allowing you to craft your benefits to suit both you and your employees.
With the mess that is individual health insurance these days, BAGI members are fortunate to have a viable option to cover not only themselves and their families, but their employees too. Reach out to Scott Wharton via email or phone at 317.663.4138 for more information.