Business owners who have not offered their employees health insurance benefits in the past may have good reason to do so now. The individual health insurance market in Indiana is in shambles, making it difficult for everyone seeking coverage to find an affordable quality plan. Group health insurance plans are not just for large organizations anymore. If you are a business owner looking for coverage for yourself and your family, you may want to consider implementing a group plan for your company. It may end up costing you the same for better coverage and happy employees. However, the time to act is now. With the year quickly coming to a close, there is little time to get a group health insurance plan in place by 1/1/2018. Below we offer some steps you can take to streamline the process to help ensure your coverage begins when you need it. Step 1: Contact an independent health insurance broker to begin the process of searching for coverage. Because they do not work for just one insurer, independent brokers like Wharton Insurance & Financial Services can shop around for plan choices that match your budget and needs. Depending upon the makeup of your employee base, your broker will direct you to either community-rated plans under the Affordable Care Act, or medically underwritten plan options. Step 2: Community-Rated Plans – Gather census info for your employees, such as gender and age. No medical information is required at this time, which works well for companies who do not have a healthy workforce. While that can be difficult to determine, usually the age and lifestyle of your employees can give you a clue about their health. This information will be used to help determine which plan best suits you and your employees. Medically Underwritten Plans – These plans are based on the medical risks shouldered by the insurer by covering your group. Therefore, medical information must be collected. Your broker will direct you and your employees to a portal where each person can supply their information privately. The data is not shared with anyone but the insurer, who will determine your plan choices and premiums. There are preferred rates for healthy groups, so if you have a young, active employee base, these plans may offer the best options. Step 3: Plan to meet with your broker to review your options, choose a plan, and schedule employee enrollment meetings. At Wharton Insurance, we meet with all of our clients’ employees to ensure they understand their options, coverage and premiums. We want them to feel confident in signing up for and using the plan you have chosen for them. Time is running out to offer you and your employees group health insurance by January 1! For more information on how Wharton Insurance can help, send us an email, or give us a call at 317-663-4138.