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Four Things Every Small Business Should Know About Health Insurance Renewals

Four Things Every Small Business Should Know About Health Insurance Renewals
Before you shake hands on another year of health insurance coverage for your employees, here are tips for managing your renewal.

Renewing your health insurance plan is an important part of employee benefits planning and management. Even though nobody wants to deal with a new set of premiums, deductibles, and providers every year, with a little knowledge and some help, this can be a great opportunity to improve your employee benefits to increase employee satisfaction, help with recruiting, and even reduce absence and increase presenteeism.

When your health insurance renewal notice arrives in your inbox, it’s important to go through it carefully. Health insurance renewals are a time to learn key information about how your plan may be changing – or decide if you want to switch to a new health insurance plan. Here are four things you should consider at health insurance renewals.

1. Health insurance renewals are your plan’s annual checkup

Just like how you visit the doctor every year to review your health, your health insurance renewal is an opportunity to consider what’s working for you and your employees and anything that’s not. You’ll want to look back over the past year at:

  • Your benefit claims – Did your employees need any benefits you didn’t expect to need, like orthodontic coverage? Did they not use any benefits you thought they would, like paramedical claims or vision care? Do you think your employees might need different coverage next year, are there additions to their family or are they dealing with chronic health conditions?
  • Your costs – When your employees used their benefits, did your benefits cover enough of the cost? What about monthly premiums and deductibles? Did they seem high, low, or about right?
  • Your team — Have there been any significant changes to the demographics of your organization? Are you seeing a trend of a younger workforce as many of your older workers retire? Have you increased or decreased the size of your workforce substantially?

By taking a few minutes to give your health plan a checkup, you’ll be ready to dive into your renewal with a better sense of whether the plan’s still meeting your employees’ needs.

2. It’s important to look at the numbers in your health insurance renewal

Your renewal notice has information about how your plan will work for the upcoming year. In many respects, your plan may work the same. But there may also be places where it’s different than what you’re used to.

Take the time to read over and check everything so your employees are not surprised when they go to make a claim for healthcare costs including:

  • Monthly premiums – This is the amount paid each month for the health insurance plan. To keep up with health care costs, it’s not unusual for premiums to change from one plan year to the next. If your premium is changing, think about how it’ll fit into your budget. Time and inflation affect expenses of your life, including that of your health insurance premium. This may surprise you (or not) but the inflation in the healthcare industry is a lot higher than most other industries.
  • Deductibles, coinsurance, and maximums – These are amounts that contribute to what you employees have to pay before their health insurance starts helping with costs, and where it stops.

3. Your health insurance renewal might remind you about extra plan benefits

Renewal time is a good opportunity for a full, well-rounded review for not only the financial aspect, but the softer aspects, the less tangible aspects of whether the benefits plan is actually meeting your objectives and your team’s needs.

Most of the time, health insurance plans aren’t only medical, drug or dental coverage – they come with extra plan perks and benefits that can save additional money, from convenient prescription drug delivery to out of province emergency travel medical insurance.

People often forget to take advantage of these benefits, but they can really add up to mean more money in your employees’ pocket – and more peace of mind.

Choose

4. You can choose to renew your health insurance based on your benefits philosophy – or not

A benefits philosophy is your approach to benefits. It’s all about how you make decisions regarding your plan, why you make them, and the overarching goals and outcomes you’re trying to achieve. Your benefits philosophy should be closely tied to your values as a company and those of your employees.

For example, if you have a group of front-line workers struggling with mental health issues, you might heavily prioritize mental health support for staff through a benefits plan. Or if you have a group of older workers dealing with chronic conditions, including back pain, you may prioritize coverage for therapy and programs that reward exercise.

If you’ve reviewed all the information in your plan renewal and you’re satisfied with it, follow the instructions from your insurance company to renew.

On the other hand, if you want to switch health insurance plans or expand coverage, remember, you have a few options available with SBIS, including individual plans to supplement your group coverage.

SBIS can help with your health insurance renewal

Not sure whether you should renew your health insurance or look elsewhere? At SBIS we help business owners find the right plan with the right coverage on our convenient online portal. If you are renewing your employee health insurance plan or just offering it for the first time, it’s a good idea to give us a call to talk through your needs and discuss plan options – we’re ready to help. Just give us a call at 1-800-667-0429 Monday to Friday, 8:45 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. ET for your health insurance options today.

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