21 Aug A New Way for Foodservice Reps and Manufacturers to Look at Health Insurance
The health insurance market has become an enormous challenge for all of us. Foodservice reps and manufacturers, like any business owner, should consider establishing a “Small Business Group Plan.”
In many cases, the individual insurance market (Healthcare.gov) has become very limited in its plan offerings. The networks with these plans have a limited number of providers making it difficult to find a plan someone’s doctor participates in. This “provider access” can be as much of an issue—if not more, than the high premiums and deductibles associated with Healthcare.gov plans.
Small Business Group Plans for Foodservice Reps and Manufacturers
Establishing a “Small Business Group Plan” can be a great option to consider for your health insurance needs. Access to a group plan is an enormous perceived benefit for employees and potential hires. A rep firm that offers a better solution to the chaotic world of individual health insurance can attract better talent, and help keep the exceptional talent they currently have.
Although the premium will be similar to a Healthcare.gov plan, these premiums become a deductible expense as an “employee benefit”. Also, the deductibles for a group plan are much lower (1/3 to ½) of a Healthcare.gov plan. This significantly limits a person’s financial “exposure” to health insurance costs.
Another, and maybe one of the best benefits is the networks that are linked to group plans are very extensive and offer doctor and facility options that allow one to seek the care they need from the doctor/facility they want.
That’s not to say a group plan isn’t without its costs for the employer. Since they’re required to pay 50% of the health insurance, it’s certainly an investment. But the perceived value is so high for employees, it’s worth it for an employer that wants to invest in that benefit.
HOW WOULD REPS AND MANUFACTURERS DO THIS?
Every state and county is different. As a rule, Healthcare.gov can be chaotic, and when a company can offer a group plan, they’re at an advantage of those who don’t with employees or potential hires.
If employers are required to pay 50 percent of health insurance, there’s an inherent investment there. But since the perceived value is so high, it’s worth it for an employer that wants to invest in that benefit.
Premiums are age-rated and will be lower with younger employees. Consider these facts:
1) Group plan premiums are not cheap. The same numbers apply to a 40-year-old on group plans and on Healthcare.gov.
2) Deductibles can be $2500 instead of $7000.
3) Max out of pocket expenses are lower than $15,000.
4) Networks are deficient on Healthcare.gov. This is not the case with Blue Cross group health plans.
Yes, the health insurance market has become quite a puzzle, but the puzzle can be solved using creative options to pursue the solution that works for you.