A great way to identify lower prices and premiums for group health insurance and other benefits in Alaska is to engage a dependable and licensed insurance broker. Because brokers are experts, they can help you find the plan that is ideal for your business and employees. Offering a comprehensive employee benefits plan is an important motivator for your staff to stay with the company. It also gives them an easier way to take care of their own health and that of their families.
Large businesses in Alaska, like other states, must offer comprehensive health insurance to their employees to comply with the Affordable Care Act, or they will pay a penalty for noncompliance. Most large companies prefer to offer insurance, and many pay a portion of the cost for their workers. According to the well-respected Kaiser Family Foundation Benefits Survey, 95 percent of large employers make some contribution to the premium cost, with three-quarters of those employers subsidizing at least a quarter of the cost for individual coverage.
In 2021 large employers offered a range of insurance options to their workforce. Forty-six percent of covered workers in large firms participate in a PPO (preferred provider organization), with another eighteen percent in an HMO (health maintenance organization). Over thirty percent enrolled in a High Deductible Health Plan/Savings Option. What sets the HDHP/SO plans apart from others is that the employer often contributes to the savings option, thereby reducing the burden on the subscriber. That’s not necessarily the case for workers enrolled in other plans, which may also have high deductibles but without the advantages.
One way that small businesses in Alaska can try to reduce their health insurance costs is by offering a selection of plans to employees. If the employer offers the same subsidy for each plan, the worker can then choose how much they want to spend and decide between options based on cost and coverage. For this strategy to work, it’s essential that the employer provide comprehensive education for the employees about how each plan operates.
For example, despite growing use, many employees still aren’t fully aware of how a high deductible health plan with an HSA works to their advantage. The deductible amount seems intimidating, and the employee may not consider the offset of a lower premium. Also, some workers may not understand the difference between the HSA and older FSA accounts, which have unpopular “use it or lose it” provisions. Your Taylor Benefits Insurance can help you design educational material and communications to ensure that employees are fully up to speed on the differences between the plans available.
Aside from compensation, one way that employers can compete to attract talented employees is by offering a comprehensive benefits plan. An appealing package often starts with health insurance, particularly for companies required by the ACA to provide coverage. Beyond health coverage, employees’ wish lists usually rank paid time off for vacation, holidays, and illness at the top. No paid time off is required in Alaska, but many employers provide some. Other benefits that can offer a competitive advantage include:
The insurance plans and benefits you see listed above are just some of the options available to you when you go through Taylor Benefits Insurance, one of the leading insurance agencies around. We will help you create a plan that meets the needs and expectations of your employees. With over 25 years in the insurance industry, we have formed a large network with the leading insurance carriers which allows us room for negotiations and modifications to our clients’ health insurance and employee benefit plans.
Taylor Benefits ensures consistent compliance with all local, state, and federal laws, including the Affordable Care Act. Although the ACA rules are frequently updated, you must maintain compliance. Following the provisions will help you avoid potentially significant financial penalties, and your company could qualify for tax breaks. Ask us how your Alaska business can take advantage of this opportunity.
To find out more about the health insurance and employee benefit options offered through Taylor Benefits, give us a call today. We will even offer a FREE estimate for services when you call in to discuss your options!
The following are answers to some frequently asked questions regarding health insurance coverage in Alaska.
With Taylor Benefits Insurance, you can connect with some of the country’s largest health insurance companies. Whenever you need large group coverage, you can always count on us to get you a great deal.
Some of the top insurance providers we work with are:
Small business owners in Alaska can choose among various insurance plans to meet their business needs.
The first option is a group health insurance plan. Employers pay an insurer a specified health plan premium in exchange for medical coverage benefits for their employees and, in some instances, their families. Often, the employee pays part of the cost.
Another option is a Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangement (QSEHRA). Employers can offer employees a specific amount of money to help with the cost of a qualified plan that the employee obtains independently.
You can also purchase a Group Coverage Health reimbursement plan. In this scenario, the employer would offer group health insurance along with a monthly allowance to cover deductibles, copays, and other costs.
Some companies opt for self-funded health insurance, but it can pose a financial risk to the organization. With this plan, the employer directly pays the expenses incurred for medical care and prescriptions.
Another popular choice is an Associate Health Plan (AHP), which may also be risky for smaller companies. An AHP is created when a group of smaller businesses within an industry or location join forces to procure a larger group health plan.
Taylor Benefits Insurance Agency offers benefits plans for companies and employees in Alaska for the following:
With a group health insurance program, the sponsoring employer can determine how much the employees should contribute (however, large companies must abide by the ACA affordability rules). With a group health insurance benefit, an employee can save a bundle on health insurance compared to what they would pay for an individual plan. In fact, the individual coverage expense is often three times as much as the worker will pay for a group plan.
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