Group Health Insurance
A happy employee is the company’s biggest asset. So, if you’re a business owner, a rather straightforward way to unlock higher growth is to ensure your employees are happy.
Now, there are many ways how to make your team happy at their work. Getting them health insurance is among those ways – and it is perhaps one of the most effective ways of all.
In a survey done, 56 percent of the US adults say whether they like the employer-sponsored health benefits or not is an important factor in deciding to stay at their current job. (1) That’s a big number! Back home in India, it’s not unwise to assume the same inclination among the employees. This is especially true if you realize, as of 2018, 56 percent of Indians didn’t have a health cover. (2) This picture gets grimmer when put into context that healthcare cost in India is expensive; hospitalization is 6 times more expensive in the private sector. (3)
So, naturally, the majority of the employees want health benefits from their employers. If given, not only it may boost their performance and productivity but it would also increase employee retention for the company. In addition, there are several other direct and holistic benefits of buying group medical insurance policy (like tax benefits and better talent acquisition), which is why business owners are recommended to make this investment.
But comes now the most fundamental question: How do you buy group health insurance Policy?
The answer to it is much more complex than what it may seem. It’s much more than just about approaching an insurance company and buying a plan. For instance, according to a survey in India, 57 percent of employees believe their medical and accident benefit plans offered by the employer are inadequate. (4) The same survey revealed 83 percent of the employees want to customize the insurance offered by the employers.
So, there are many factors that must be considered when buying group insurance for employees. To help you with that, here are a few things you should remember:
(1) Establish your basic requirements and budget
There are two ways to go about with this. First, establish your employees’ health requirements and then set a budget. Second, have a defined budget and then outline the requirements within that budget.
In any case, when picking a group health insurance, given there are too many details and nuances to it, you will have to answer several key questions.
- What will be the limit of the coverage?
- What kind of ailments will the policy cover?
- Will it cover just the employees or even their family members including spouse, children and dependent parents
- Which are the network hospitals under the policy?
- Will it include dental and vision care?
- How much will the insurance cost the company?
Such questions need to be addressed to ensure you’re informed and educated. This will then help you determine the kind of group plan you require.
(2) Follow the industry standards
Do some industry-wide research and find out the kind of health insurance plan your competitors have for their employees.
This would be the bare minimum on your part. You should ideally offer your employees the same benefits that are standard in your industry. And then, of course, you can take a step or two more to ensure your team avails even more benefits. In a way, outdo the industry standards. (This can be a big difference-maker in your marketing and branding efforts.)
(3) Ask them what kind of plan they would prefer
You’re buying health insurance plan for your employees… Why not ask them what kind of plan they would prefer?
A rather common mistake many business owners make is to treat buying a group health plan as an obligation. They remain oblivious to all the benefits it brings for the employees and the employers. So, they usually make the decisions based on what they want, prefer and like. Don’t be one of them!
Instead, choose to discuss it with the people whom you’re buying the insurance for.
If it’s a small company with 10-20 employees, a conversation over lunch can be enough to ensure you understand what they want. If it’s a medium or large-size business, a company-wide email with a small survey can bring you a lot of insights into the kind of health benefits the employees would like.
Of course, this doesn’t mean you have to listen to each of their demands; you may not have that much resources. But asking for their opinions and understanding their needs can be very helpful in choosing a fitting group medical insurance policy.
(4) Consult an (experienced) insurance broker
There’s only so much you can read and watch. The world of business insurance is complex with too many terms and conditions. You would need an expert by your side to explain to you those terms and conditions. Thereon, you would need them to choose the right group insurance plan and customize it if needed.
So, in the process when you’re still trying to learn more about group health insurance and the kind of insurance plan you should invest in for your employees – reach out to an insurance broker.
Talk to them. Let them know your requirements and budget. Ask questions and resolve all your queries. Consult them on any point if you’re confused. Ask for advice and recommendations. They will provide you a free quote of the insurance from different insurance companies. Browse through different plans and pick the one that best suits you.
(5) Buy the group insurance for employees
This is worth mentioning: Don’t overthink it.
Admittedly, it’s a big investment and it can be a bit intimidating and overwhelming. You may feel anxious. That’s okay! Remember, as you go, you can always customize the insurance plan. Besides, if you’ve worked along with a good insurance broker and they have provided you with proper advice and assistance, there’s very little to be anxious about. So, take the step forward, buy group health insurance, and give your employees another reason to love you.
A word about premium reimbursement: A different approach
There’s another approach to get your employees’ health insured. Instead of choosing an insurance plan for them, you let them buy individual health insurance of their choice. In return, you reimburse their premium – either in full or a part of it. Several companies are going this way in recent times. It has several advantages.
For one, your employees are choosing an insurance plan based on their unique needs. You can offer reimbursement based on how important individual employees are to the company (as long as this decision is not made on a discriminatory basis). For instance, a manager who is more important to your business operation – you can offer them a higher premium reimbursement and wider coverage vs. someone who has only recently joined the company. Or, say, if a position is difficult to fill, you may choose to provide greater coverage to the person in that position vs. a position for which you can easily find many talents.
So, you can also choose this premium reimbursement approach to insure your employees’ health. Do talk about this with your insurance broker and see how you can go about with this, if you do want to go this way.
As mentioned earlier, buying a group health insurance policy is a big decision. It impacts both the company as well as the employees. So, you want to consider all the important factors and be as informed as you can about the topic when taking any decision.
Hope the above-mentioned points help you. If you have any question, feel free to contact us. Our licensed insurance brokers are happy to help you. Good luck!