As a business owner, supporting your employees and offering an affordable health insurance plan is paramount. You care about your employees, and you want what’s best for them. However, offering the most expensive coverage isn’t the only way to show your team that you care.
If you’re looking for health insurance options for your team, a health insurance broker can help you find the right plans for your business. Health insurance brokers work with business owners to identify the best plan options for your needs. Working with a broker can save you a ton of time choosing plans and enrolling your workers.
Health Insurance Broker
Hiring a broker can be an excellent investment, but only if you hire the right one at the right time. If you think you might need new health insurance plans, it’s probably time to start looking for a good broker. But how do you know which one to choose?
Don’t get stuck with health insurance that doesn’t work for your business. Read on to learn exactly when you should hire a health insurance broker and what you should look for.
Do I Need a Broker Now?
If the renewal deadline for your crummy health insurance group plan is looming, you’re likely thinking now is the time to invest in a health insurance broker. However, changing your company’s insurance benefits is a big step, so it’s important to review your options before signing a contract with a new broker.
First, take a look at your current plan and identify why you’d like to change. Having a list ready to discuss with a broker can help them narrow down the most appropriate plans for your business.
This is a great time to survey your employees and ask what could be better about your existing health insurance plan. Choosing the right group plan involves understanding what your employees want.
Clarify what matters most to your team. You may find you only need two plan options instead of three, or local in-network doctors instead of a national plan. While you may think your employees want a plan covering every possible service, your employees may actually prioritize lower deductibles or copays.
Choosing the right health insurance plan can help you retain talent and attract new employees. Before hiring a broker, check with HR to get some unique insight. Your HR team may have heard from former employees or job candidates that your health insurance benefits were lacking.
Think About Your Budget
Once you know what you’re looking for in a plan, the next step is to speak with your accounting team. Understanding what you’re currently spending on health insurance costs can help set parameters while working with a health insurance broker.
If there’s room in the budget to spend on improving your health insurance, you may consider either covering more of your employees’ premiums or splurging on a higher quality plan. Once you know how much you’re comfortable spending, a health insurance broker can present you with different options to make the best use of your budget.
If you are looking to cut expenses and save money on health insurance plans, it’s important to know your options to lower your bills and offer similar coverage.
Having a number in mind before you call a broker can ensure you don’t end up with a group plan that will break the bank.
When Should I Hire a Health Insurance Broker?
When you’re considering switching health insurance plans, you should hire a health insurance broker 90 to 120 days before your plan renewal. This may be around the time you receive a renewal notice from your current healthcare provider.
That said, the primary benefit of hiring a broker is to save you and your team time. Doing the necessary legwork to understand your company’s current insurance needs and priorities will ultimately save you time going back and forth with your broker.
It’s best to start looking for a health insurance broker about a month before you need to hire one to get the best broker for your needs. When you’re hiring a broker, think about gaining a trusted member of your leadership team rather than just a consultant. Ideally, you’ll want to form a long-term relationship with this person to provide the best benefits for your company.
Since health insurance plan details can change every year, it may benefit you to wait until after the new year to hire an insurance broker. That way, you can know you’re reviewing the most up-to-date plans available.
What Happens When I Hire a Broker?
Once you find the right broker, they will ask you about your insurance priorities and budget to get you the best plan options. Then, they will get to work searching for the best plans across multiple insurance companies to fit your needs.
Part of the broker’s job is to get a clear understanding of the pros and cons of each plan. They may help you decide whether you want to offer an HSA or an FSA, or they could find you an affordable way to provide a large selection of plan types. After doing their research, the broker presents insurance options and benefits strategies that will work best for you.
Typically, your broker’s contract renews at the same time as your new health insurance plan. You can work with them each year to review your healthcare options and review updated policies.
Save Money and Time With a Health Insurance Broker
As a business owner, you probably don’t want to spend your free time reviewing health insurance plans. Working with a health insurance broker can save you a ton of time and money, but only if you prepare before hiring them.
Do your homework and take your time to hire the right insurance broker for your needs. You’ll be glad you did!
If you’re looking for more ways to save money in your business, don’t forget to check out our other blog posts.