Managing Health Care Premiums
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7 Ways to Manage Your Health Care Premium Costs

Cost is often the main reason why many small business owners don’t offer health insurance to their employees. With the new reforms being implemented with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, businesses need to take advantage of cost saving options that can help them stay in business while being in compliance with the new regulations.

Here are some suggestions: 

1. Take advantage of the Small Business Health Care Credit
Designed to help you provide health insurance coverage to your employees, the credit can be up to 35% of your share of your employees' health insurance premiums. Determine your tax credit eligibility using the Taxpayer Advocate Service at the IRS.1

2. Work with an independent insurance broker
Meet with a professional broker to discuss what you can afford to pay as well as the options you want to offer in a policy. They will discuss which types of policies will fit your business’ needs the best, then search to find you the best policies and price.

3. Review new plans and insurers each year
It is a good idea to review your company’s plan every year to make sure you are getting the best coverage and cost. Explore new companies and different types of plans. 

4. Look at supplemental benefits
Starting with a good primary care plan, offer supplemental programs such as vision and dental care to help keep your employees healthier and costs down. It helps to safeguard against potential coverage gaps in workplace health care benefits.

5. Introduce a health and wellness program
Health promotion programs show the employee that the business is investing in their health and well-being. Healthy employees have fewer absences and claims, which may lead to reduced health care costs and a healthier workforce.

6. Implement a health savings accounts (HSA) and health plan
Employers can pair a HSA with a health insurance plan that offers a high deductible and lower premium.  It gives employees control over their pre-taxed savings to use on needed medical expenses, which helps keeps costs down and allows unused money to roll over at the end of the year. 

7. Include your employees
You may not be able to ask your employees specific health questions, but you can find out what they want from their insurance plan. Set up an online survey to ask them in-depth questions about the types of coverage they want and varying cost details. With those results, you can discover the coverage your employees prefer.

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