In this post we review how to find and choose the best health insurance agent for your business, as well as what types of plans work for different types of businesses relative to size, industry, and the needs of the business and its employees.
You have a lot of options when choosing a group insurance plan and it can be a little overwhelming if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for or should incorporate into your employer-sponsored benefits. That’s where a good health and insurance agent can come into play. There are two basic types of agents, captive agents, who work exclusively with one insurance carrier, and independent agents that have access to several carriers.
While a captive agent can be helpful in choosing among the plans they have available, their options are limited since they only work with one specific carrier. A broker, on the other hand, can offer a more tailored solution to your coverage and benefits needs since they are not limited to one insurance company. If you need to research health insurance agents in California and see which companies they work with, you can look up licensing information using this resource from the California Department of Insurance.
There are three main aspects to consider when assessing what type of group benefits to incorporate into your employer-sponsored health and retirement plan: the number of employees you have, the type of industry you’re in, and the needs of your business and employees. In the section below, we’ll take a look at teach of these factors and how they play into choosing the right group benefit plan for your company or employee group.
Number of Employees – As part of the employer mandate under Obamacare, those businesses with 50 or more full-time equivalent (FTE) employees can face significant financial penalties for not providing a qualified health plan. Any company with more than 50 workers that qualify as full-time equivalent must offer coverage to 95% of those employees or pay the penalty. (This stipulation also includes dependents up to the age of 26.) This PDF from the Internal Revenue Service has more information about who qualifies as a full-time equivalent employee under the Affordable Care Act. If you are a small business with fewer than 50 full-time employees, you are not required to provide health insurance, though there may be tax incentives if you do.
Type of Industry – Your industry also matters to your group healthcare offerings. For example, if you own a local construction company, your employees may have different coverage needs than a local accounting firm. While many of the basic elements may be similar, there are specifics to each industry that are helpful to know about when writing a group health plan. An independent agent with experience in your field is usually the best place to turn if you have concerns about specific aspects of your employer-sponsored benefits.
Business & Employee Needs – In addition to the type of industry you work in, you’ll also want to consider the specific needs of your employees when considering a group health or retirement plan. Things to take into account include the age of your employees, specific perks that may attract quality employees, and a retirement plan that offers several options.
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