4 Things to consider when buying group health insurance

Have a sense for how much you (vs. employees) will contribute.

Monthly premiums -- the amount paid to the insurance company for coverage -- are typically shared by employer and employees, and how that cost is divvied up is an employer-controlled component.

Consider that an employer’s contribution does not need be the same for single and family coverage. When it comes to national averages, employers typically cover about 82 percent of single employee premiums and 71 percent of family premiums.1

Understand what employees’ value most in a policy.

Employees’ preference for things like deductibles or copay levels can be influenced by their age, family size and financial situation. Also consider the doctors and hospitals they want in their network, and gauge interest in offerings like prescription drug plans or wellness programs.

Our sample health benefits survey can help identify what’s important to your employees.

A well-placed survey or quick poll can help you determine how employees feel.

Look beyond the premium when comparing plans.

Group health insurance includes many moving parts, such as premiums, copayments, deductibles and coinsurance, that all work together to contribute to the bottom line. A higher premium generally means a lower deductible, or the amount an employee must pay toward medical costs before insurance kicks in.

And don’t forget the co-payments that go along with medical visits – they can add up if employees see a doctor frequently. For the true picture, estimate what you will pay and what your employees might pay with each plan choice.

Consider voluntary benefits – like vision and dental – more choice, not more cost.

Workplace voluntary benefits enable employers to add choices to the benefits table without a corresponding increase in their expenses. How? Employees often pay the full cost of voluntary benefits, but enjoy the advantage of group rates for the benefits when offered through their workplace.

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