If you’re a business owner, you know that shopping for group health insurance is an entirely different ballpark than shopping for individual coverage or even workers’ comp. A lot of questions pop up that you may have never considered. What kinds of group health insurance can I offer my employees? What will group health insurance cost for my business? What kind of group health insurance fits my business and my employees?
It seems like there are too many types of coverage out there and not enough time in your busy schedule to go through them all. So, we’re here to walk you through some of the basics of group health insurance.
What is Group Health Insurance?
Like the name implies, group health insurance is a single health insurance policy issued to a group of people. (And it makes sense that individuals can’t purchase this kind of plan. Only, well, groups can get them.) These policies usually allow individuals to get health insurance at a reduced rate because the risks are spread out to multiple people. Basically, the insurer gets to distribute the risk they’re taking on across a group of people rather than just one person. (And most group health insurance plans are benefit plans offered by employers – the company purchases a plan and then offers coverage to its employees. The group members can then choose whether they want to take it or decline it.)
Group plans don’t require the participants to have a physical exam to qualify; it just requires that a person enrolls within the assigned eligibility period. It can also give you more bang for your buck.
What Are the Types of Group Health Insurance?
When most people think group insurance, they usually think of big-shot companies who are able to pay the full premium amounts for each and every employee. However, there are other, more flexible options for group healthcare plans that will fit your business. Our insurance agents are experts in every type of group health insurance plan and can walk you through the perfect coverage that will work well for your business and your employees. Call 770.497.1200 now or fill out our online form to compare quotes on the best group health insurance plans.
Until then, here is a basic rundown of a couple options.
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Health Maintenance Organization (HMOs)
You may have heard of HMOs before. All this means is that your policy is part of a group plan that selects or lets the individual select a network of doctors and medical facilities.
For example, let’s say that you, as a business owner, choose a network of general practitioners for your employees to choose from. Employee A would then look at a list of primary care doctors from that list and choose one. If Employee A then needed to see a specialist, the primary care doctor would then refer Employee A to an in-network specialist for that HMO plan. If Employee A wanted to see any other out-of-network specialists or primary care doctors, the insurance would not pay for the visits – the employee would simply pay the full cost out of pocket.
This is because the monthly premium pays for certain health services in advance. HMOs are then cheaper than other types of healthcare plans but are more limited in which doctors you can go to.
Preferred Provider Organization (PPOs)
PPO plans were made to offer more choice to employees than HMO plans. PPOs also have preferred medical provider lists, but they allow enrollees to choose doctors and facilities outside of the list without having to pay the entire cost out of pocket.
PPOs premiums are different because the contracts formed with in-network healthcare providers have been negotiated so that they perform services at a negotiated rate, not at a pre-paid amount. PPOs also have more associated administration costs, which will raise the monthly premiums.
PPO plans also tend to be more expensive for your employees in the long run, though they do offer more flexibility for which doctor the employee can see.
Group healthcare can be a tricky subject and finding the right plan that will fit your business’s budget and your employees’ needs can be even more frustrating. That’s why our insurance experts are here to make shopping for these options quick and easy. We’re dedicated to learning your business so that we can give you multiple, free quotes on group health insurance plans that are tailored to what you and your employees need.
Call 770.497.1200 today to speak with an insurance expert about your group health insurance options, or fill out our online form to start your best group health insurance experience.