Arkansas Group Health Insurance & Employee Benefits Plans

Trying to rise above the competition as an Arkansas-based business means you need to find a way to stand out. One great way to attract and retain hard-working, qualified employees is by offering them comprehensive health insurance and employee benefit packages. As a business owner, it’s important to care for your employees so that they can better care for themselves and their families at home. Of course, you need to accomplish this while staying within your benefits budget, which is where Taylor Benefits Insurance Agency can help.

When you have the support of a licensed insurance broker at Taylor Benefits Insurance Agency, you can expect to get precisely what you need from a group health and employee benefits plan. Our professionals will network with some of the leading insurance carriers to identify the right approach for you. They’ll modify your plan as necessary and even negotiate costs to get your company’s workers even lower insurance premiums.

What is Group Health Insurance Coverage?

Group health insurance coverage is a plan covering a number of people under the same contract. With such a plan, all members of the group will get the same level of coverage, regardless of their occupation, age, and gender. Large group health insurance will eliminate the requirement of buying a separate insurance plan for every member of the company.

Often, employers offer group health insurance coverage to their employees as a part of their compensation and benefits. In many cases, the plan is also available for participation by spouses, kids, and other dependents of the group members.

Types of Group Insurance

A group insurance plan may offer services to the following groups: 

  • Formal groups are typically the employees of a corporation or other organization (like a nonprofit.) The employer of the group selects and purchases the group health insurance policy, according to their budget and their employees’ needs. The company might choose an indemnity health insurance plan, a preferred provider organization (PPO) plan, or a health maintenance organization (HMO) plan. The company is the sponsor and determines the coverage and how to share the cost with subscribers.
  • Informal groups share a common affiliation other than an employer. It might be that they hold the same credit card, belong to a cultural organization, or are members of a social group or even an alumni association. The group’s administrator buys the small business health insurance plan on behalf of the group members.

Who Can Be a Part of a Group Health Insurance Coverage?

The eligibility requirements for group health insurance plans will depend on the insurer, but typically include these:

  • The minimum number of members may range from 2 to 50. Some small groups with just ten employees may be able to benefit from a group insurance discount. In other cases, the insurer may require 50 or more participants. Also, some insurers require a specific percentage of eligible subscribers to enroll.
  • The members of the group should be a minimum of 18 years old.
  • All members should be full-time and active members of the company or other sponsoring organization.
  • There may be an upper age limit for participation. A few plans come with a maximum age limit of 60 years, while others allow entry till 80 years.

How can Employers Benefit from Group Health Insurance?

Large or small business health insurance is more widespread than ever. Most people realize the importance of health insurance, and the need to offer options allowing employees to choose the one that works best for them.

Let’s take a look at how the plan is beneficial for employers:

Positive Work Environment and Improved Performance

The salary you pay your employees is often a primary inducement for hiring and retention, but it might not always be enough. You need to show your employees that you care for them, and one way to achieve that is by providing robust benefits. When you sponsor an Arkansas small business group insurance cover, it’s a significant step in the right direction for creating a positive work environment.

Satisfied employees are more productive and more likely to stay with the company. One important contributor to employee satisfaction is a good benefits package. 

Boosts Employee Retention

Having a cover provides financial security for your workforce. This, in turn, will help boost employee retention as the employees get the assurance that their healthcare costs are going to be taken care of. Employees can reduce their financial stress when they aren’t worried about medical expenses and is protected by the ACA essential benefits that allow them to take care of their health concerns.

Creates a Good Impression in the Industry

Creating a good impression in your industry helps build strong, lasting relationships with customers and vendors. Providing small business health insurance or health savings accounts demonstrates your goodwill toward your employees. This helps foster loyalty among the employees towards the organization and will pay off in a better reputation in the community as well.

Offers Potential Tax Credit Benefits

Arkansas companies that offer qualified health insurance may be eligible for a tax credit to cover some of the premium and administrative costs. Eligibility depends on the number of employees, the average wage paid, and the amount of the premium subsidized.

Gives You an Edge Over Your Competitors

If a potential or current employee has a choice between similar positions with two companies, they will evaluate the difference between salary, incentives, and perks. Creating an attractive benefits package will often give you an edge over your competitors. Also, consider going the extra mile by extending health coverage to the employee’s family members. Incorporating dependent health plan in your plan will make a tremendous impression on potential recruits as well as your current team members.

Value for Money

Since health coverage policies include sick people with a range of health conditions, the risk is distributed across the participant group. The more participants there are, the lower the overall financial risk. This risk distribution allows the sponsoring company to save money compared to the cost of a comparable policy for an individual. As a matter of fact, small business health insurance plans are as much as 30% cheaper than individual health plans.

How can Employees Benefit from Group Health Insurance?

Because of changes prompted by the ACA, Arkansas small business owners can now provide healthcare benefits to their employees at a more affordable price. A small business health coverage may enhance employee satisfaction and productivity.

Here are some of the top benefits of group insurance for employees:

Financial Savings on Coverage

One of the primary benefits for employees is knowing that they are covered in case of emergency. You may be very healthy, but that doesn’t eliminate the potential for an accident or illness that requires hospitalization or other care. In that situation, knowing you have medical coverage makes a difference in your outlook. As a covered employee, you don’t have to worry about how to pay for the medical services you need if your employer is paying all or part of the premium, which also gives you a financial benefit to complement your salary.

Health Coverage for Families

Being able to include your dependents in your employer coverage is a tremendous benefit. You can avoid the expense and stress of finding adequate protection for your family. Of course, coverage varies according to the specific components of your policy, but you can enjoy the convenience of including everyone in the same insurance policy.

Easy Claims

Consumers holding individual health insurance policies may have to pay for services initially and then seek reimbursement from their insurance company. This process can be a burden for people with limited income or high medical expenses. In contrast, when you have coverage through a small group policy, you typically pay only your deductible and any coinsurance amount. You will enjoy the reduced stress and won’t need to worry about whether you can afford to visit a doctor for the services you need.

Tips to Get the Best Group Health Insurance Policy

Arkansas small business employees spend a lot of time reviewing health covers. It can be difficult to understand the different costs and advantages of each plan. Insurance companies are motivated by making the sale, so as a policy sponsor, you should consider these tips:

Dont Automatically Select the Least Expensive Option

When you are evaluating health coverage, selecting the plan with the cheapest price may not be the best idea. Often, cheaper insurance plans do not offer complete access to healthcare services. If the plan seems surprisingly inexpensive, make sure that it includes everything your employees need. Of course, you don’t want to pay more than necessary, but you don’t want your employees to be dissatisfied with the coverage.

Seek Adequate Coverage Limits

Healthcare service costs are increasing every year, often much more than household income. Although your small business employees can opt to get individual coverage through the ACA (Employee Affordable Care Act) marketplace, it’s preferable for small companies to provide sufficient coverage. 

When you are considering the choices, ensure that the plan you contract for has adequate coverage and offers affordable premiums for your workforce. 

Network Structure and Size

The network size of the small business health insurance plan will have an effect on the number of options employees have when they are choosing their care and the amount they have to pay out of their pocket.
Some PPO and HMO plans have a limited network of hospitals, specialty care, and doctors. The subscribers receive maximum benefits by choosing providers within the network. That doesn’t mean they can’t use out-of-network providers, but they might have to pay more for the doctor or hospital they prefer.
It’s a better idea to choose a plan that includes a broader network of providers. This way the members of the health plans will have the option to choose from more hospitals and doctors.

Questions to Ask When You are Choosing Group Health Insurance

Does the Plan Help the Employees Get the Care They are Looking for?

When employees are sick, is it convenient to get medical care? Does the health plan offer telehealth options or other convenient service delivery choices? Check if the plan has a 24/7 nurse care line for answering questions from subscribers and an online chat with medical personnel. These plans are convenient for the employees and help in keeping the cost under control.

How will the Health Plan Keep All My Employees Healthy?

A good small business health coverage plan isn’t just about the treatment of illness and injuries. It is also designed to promote good health and well-being. When your employees are healthy, it is good for your business. If they are healthy, they don’t take unexpected days offs, and they may be more productive. Consider choosing a plan that includes free employee health assessments, wellness incentives, and the resources to keep employees engaged and healthy.

What Kind of Pharmacy Benefits Does the Health Plan Provide?

Prescription drug expenses can be a significant challenge for some workers, and the high cost is often hidden in an insurance policy. Some insurers have complex formulas for covering essential drugs, so make sure you inquire about the coverage tiers, deductibles, and copayments. If the plan has a large number of excluded drugs, that could be a red flag.

What are Potential Concerns for Employees?

Limited Healthcare Benefits

When you compare group and individual health plans, it may seem that the group plan has less flexibility. That could reflect the need for coverage that is appropriate for a wide range of individual needs. Sometimes an individual plan is customizable to match the preferences of the subscriber in a way that a group plan can’t meet. Still, choosing the employer-sponsored group plan is likely to be a more significant benefit overall, saving you time, money, and stress. If your employer also pays part of the premium, that’s an added benefit.

Lack of Control

As a subscriber of the employer-based health insurance plan, you forego the ability to customize your coverage. Some companies do offer a choice between a basic and a more comprehensive plan. If yours does, you may have to pay more to get the specific options you prefer.

How to Make the Most of Your Health Insurance Plans

When you are getting group life insurance coverage from your employer, you should not just limit yourself to knowing the benefits it has to offer. You should dig a little deeper to make the most of the health plan.

Here we are going to discuss some tips that will help you maximize the benefits of your health plan:

Keep Secondary Health Insurance

It’s a great idea to take advantage of the insurance coverage that your employer offers you. However, if you have access to coverage from another source (for example, if your partner’s company provides insurance for dependents), consider maintaining both. If the premium cost isn’t prohibitive, there are times when dual coverage may be beneficial. 

Make Use of Preventive Care Offered by the Policy

The Affordable Care Act requires insurers to offer preventive care without a deductible. That includes appointments for vaccines, mammograms, blood pressure checks, dental and vision checks, and other services that help subscribers stay healthy. It is available with no copayment, and taking advantage of it can help you improve your overall health.

Stick to the Service Provider Network

If your policy is a PPO (Preferred Provider Organization) or HMO (Health Maintenance Organization) you are encouraged or even required to use medical service providers within the network. If you seek care from a doctor or hospital outside the network, you will definitely pay more for the service.

Group Health Insurance vs. Individual Health Insurance Coverage

There are different types of insurance policies. Two of the most common types of health insurance are group and individual health insurance. Here is a look at some of the differences:

What are Group and Personal Health Insurance?

Group insurance is provided to you by your employer or another organization and is sponsored by the company. Because the policy covers a group, the premium is based on the risk of all the participants, not just yours. In contrast, if you buy an individual or family policy, the amount you pay depends on your medical history, age, gender, and the plan selected. The contract belongs to you, not your business. You control it and can cancel at any time. With employer-based coverage, you will lose your insurance if you change jobs or retire.

Affordability

One of the significant advantages of a group health plan is cost. Since the overall premiums are often lower and the employer may pay all or at least some of the expense, you can usually save money. On the other hand, an individual plan may be more costly, and the expense will likely increase as you age.

Health Insurance and Employee Benefit Plan Options

  • Group health insurance
  • Group dental insurance
  • Group vision insurance
  • Group short and long term disability insurance
  • Group life insurance
  • Long term care
  • ACA compliance
  • Section 125 cafeteria plans
  • Group 401k
  • Group retirement and pension plans
  • Workers compensation
  • Medicare
  • Prescription plans
  • PPO, HMO, HSA and FSA health plans and accounts
Arkansas group health insurance plans

If you’re interested in learning more about Taylor Benefits and how our experienced brokers can help your business thrive, give us a call today at the number listed at the top of this page or visit our offices. We will discuss your options and even provide you with a FREE estimate! With over 25 years of experience in the insurance industry, we know we can help you get exactly what you want from a comprehensive group health and employee benefit plan.

Frequently Asked Questions About Health Insurance And Employee Benefit Plans in Arkansas

These are concise answers to frequently asked questions about Arkansas health insurance coverage.

What Are the Benefits of Large Group Health Insurance Plans in Arkansas?

A large group health insurance plan is the best option for large businesses with more than 50 employees in Arkansas. The advantages of large group health insurance plans are that they offer insurance at a lower cost. Other details include:

  • Deductibles
  • Coinsurance
  • Employee dental programs and coverage
  • Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)
  • Employee vision insurance and care
  • Employees’ drug coverage
  • Comprehensive healthcare strategy
  • Employees’ major medical expenses
  • Out-of-pocket expenses
  • Employee wellness initiatives

How Do Small Business Group Health Insurance Plans Work in Arkansas?

There are several ways that insurance plans work for small businesses in Arkansas.

First, small businesses can insure themselves with a simple group health plan. The company selects the insurer and the structure, negotiating for the coverage and premiums. The employer and the employees often share the cost.

The second option is the Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangement (QSEHRA). Employers can offer a certain amount of money in benefits each month to employees who purchase insurance individually.

It is also possible to invest in a health reimbursement plan such as Group Coverage Health. The company would provide a group health plan and a monthly allowance to cover to cover for the expenses. 

The riskiest options for small business health coverage plans are self-funded plans. Instead of making a monthly payment, employees submit their medical bills or prescription medications, and employers compensate them accordingly. 

Lastly, Associate Health Plans (AHPs) are another option for small businesses. An AHP is when a group of smaller firms within an industry or location join forces to purchase coverage from an insurance company for a larger insurance policy.

What Benefits Do Employers Offer in Arkansas?

Most Arkansas companies provide health plans that cover the majority of medical treatments and equipment, including prescription medications, doctor’s appointments, and surgeries.

Dental and vision plans must be purchased separately because most health insurance policies do not cover these.

How Much Do Employers Pay for Health Insurance?

The amount the employer will pay to provide a health plan depends on multiple factors. The larger the company is, the lower the per-person price is likely to be. However, large companies with over fifty employees must ensure that the employees’ share of the policy premium is not more than 9.12 percent of their income. That could result in the company paying a greater share.

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