If you are a typical small business chances are your insurance broker presented you with a bag of coal for Christmas.
The news has been filled lately with health insurance rate increases, some upwards of 30%. These are simply unaffordable for many businesses, large or small. How can you keep employees happy by providing insurance and yet keep the lights turned on in the office? A challenge, but think outside the box.
Here are a couple of outside the box ideas.
Idea number one: Increase your employee deductible (dramatically) and we’re talking about taking it to $5,000 or even $10,000 per year. This will decrease your per employee premium. Depending on your employee mix and your geographic location, your premium could be reduced by 30% to 50%. You might then decide to take some of that savings and give it back to the employee in the form of a contribution to a Flexible Spending Account. In most cases, you would ease your burden and mitigate the cost shifting to the employee. See your local agent or benefits consultant and get details.
Idea number two: A real “out of the box”. Enroll you employees in a Concierge Medical plan with a local doctor and then dramatically increase the deductible on the plan. This approach essentially locks in the employee’s routine medical care for the year at a fixed price, and allows you to reduce your cost by increasing the deductible and still have funds to pay for or contribute to the concierge charges. The employee would still have necessary coverage for any hospitalization or other significant illness.
Better yet, a new, up and coming player in the field of concierge medicine taking this “out of the box” thinking to the cutting edge is the Direct Care Group. While many doctors begin taking concierge patients without outside help, some small consulting firms and a handful of healthcare service companies aide in the transition. Direct Care Group is taking a much more hands-on approach to all aspects of a concierge medical practice as partners – from infrastructure to marketing to billing. Importantly for us, they have a special focus on small business health care solutions and will stand by their doctors to ensure a consistent experience and quality care.
The bottom line…you have to be inventive. Challenge your insurance broker or agent to deliver something other than another rate increase. There are some solutions, you need to find them.
Redux Group is a small business consulting firm. Contact us for help. Our specialty is a Corporate Tune up to diagnose problems and offer affordable solutions. www.ReduxGroup.com