ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Business and Employment»
  • Small Businesses & Entrepreneurs

Health Insurance Tips for Small Business Owners

Updated on December 12, 2014
Compromises have to be made when it comes to what type of coverage to offer and what is affordable
Compromises have to be made when it comes to what type of coverage to offer and what is affordable | Source
Do not break the bank to have great health insurance for employees. There usually is an option for vision benefits. Delete these for a savings
Do not break the bank to have great health insurance for employees. There usually is an option for vision benefits. Delete these for a savings | Source

Amazon has the Obama Care Survival Guide with wonderful material on the subject.

Consider a large deductible for a lower rate

Insurance is compulsory for most folks. It is indispensable for others and some simply want it for a safety net. The small business owner is one vehicle used to provide it for countless working Americans. This means they discover they are an important vehicle in the process of connecting the worker with the coverage they desire. Getting the two parties linked with one another is a job worth doing, but most times proves extremely difficult. These are several tips and techniques to make the process a little simpler and easier for the owner working hard to get the job done.

All in all the formula for the best health care coverage is a combination of factors. Different aspects make up the perfect system. One of the largest is certainly the costs. Though, the supplier has advantages and disadvantages outside of pricing to consider as well.

Compare costs

One of the biggest mistakes made is looking into only one resource. Compare a variety of places and people able to meet the prerequisites and make the best choice for employees. This does not mean breaking the bank or leaving costs of the person in charge out of the equation. Use a formula which everyone is able to live with while still meeting the legal requirements as well.

Does the coverage fit the needs?

What does the workforce look like? Are the ranks full of folks close to retirement age where pharmacy coverage is a big consideration? Are you working with lots of women of childbearing age where immunizations for babies and young children are an enormous factor? Are they all men working construction where workers compensation comes into play more often than the average business? All of these are wonderful questions to commit to the calculation for health care coverage.

What do they offer?

There are several resources to investigate on the journey to discovering the right coverage for a labor force. Check out some of these along with some benefits and drawbacks to working with them to make an educated and informed decision. The workers depend on the boss to offer the best possible choice given the circumstances of being a small business versus a large one. Find out more about what all of these various insurance entities have to offer.

Insurance agents

Agents selling insurance are generally ideal for an individual person, but there are lots willing to work with the small business owner for the needs of a small work force of employees. They help find a variety of products, prices and other necessities for the owner tied to supplying health insurance coverage.

Do the homework or you

Agents at one time considered by many to have the inside scoop for rates and benefits. This is not always necessarily true. Most doing the homework necessary certainly meet the demands of their customers.

The payback to working with one is the legwork taken care of. They do the running, comparisons and offer the services of a personal assistant when it comes to getting the job done. It certainly doesn’t hurt working with one on the project.

Special treatment

Depending on the company working with the agent or even personal history he has with the company does make a difference in some instances. There is the possibility of being notified early any type of specials or unique reductions in costs. Still, for the most part they do not receive a complimentary rate for products they sell.


Most look into larger companies, smaller ones, independent sources and everything under the sun selling insurance to cover health. Healthcare policies vary widely with benefits and price. Having someone knowledgeable to personally answer any questions about them is nice.

A fee is charged

Agents will charge a fee for the service. Some have a flat cost while others a percentage. Find out the price of these services before investing in something possibly not useful.

Large insurance companies

The most recognized in the industry is the large insurance company. These are national companies organized and working within several states around the nation. One in particular is found in all 50 states and accepted around the world.


These have the most uses when it comes to variety in products. There are literally hundreds of products put together for customers.

Unique benefit

Smaller companies pay higher benefits because of the underwriting process. They consider the pool of people and calculate the chance of using the insurance and costs to the carrier. The smaller a group of workers the higher the cost, the better chance of paying out benefits faster than premiums come in. there is a uniqueness seen with large carriers which smaller ones generally cannot offer.

A group of smaller like companies come together and make a larger pool of people because of the similarities they have with one another. For instance, a couple of small companies which create parts for a tractor will pool together for a larger group. The workers making the tires, others painting the tractor and some building the seats separate pay an enormous rate. All together they pay one fourth of the same cost. This set up is capable with larger establishments.


The company names are well known and recognizable by loads of pharmacies, doctors, hospitals and other medical providers. This means the chances of prepayment for any service is reduced. Additionally, the network of providers grows substantially over a smaller lesser known business. A larger network for health care teams and members means more resources for treatment and healthcare.

Coordinate benefits like Work Comp

The bigger boys in the industry do the legwork for coordination of benefits which come up with other insurance companies for things like Workers Compensation. Having to deal with these as a worker is confusing and possibly in the end costs covered workers some benefits due to them.

Negotiated costs

An enormous benefit is the payment arrangements established within most professional networks. They have negotiated special or unique pricing with participating providers. This means regardless of their normal charges, they are unable to charge the companies patients no more than the negotiated fee. If this is less this is wonderful. A savings of thousands of dollars is possible for some care.

The negotiated pricing does come at a cost for most members. This means staying within the system of providers participating with the carrier. If a member’s regular physician is outside of the setup the benefits are not seen. A number of carriers will deny any payment at all.

Referrals needed

Another disadvantage to nonpayment for non-participants of the association is a requirement of a referral to see specialists. Anytime a patient wants the services of a specialist countless companies need to give permission before being seen in order to cover the visit.


The largest drawback is the charges or cost for products being sold. Cost for these enormous entities is enormous in various states or cities. This is the example used in national news for coverage advertising why most owners are unable to afford it.

The state or Medicaid

The federal law for medical insurance under President Obama has opened up doors for even more individuals to get health care benefits. Some of these find healthcare essentials covered by the state or federal plans put in place for this purpose.


Not everyone qualifies for this coverage. In order to find out, apply with the state. An application is processed and a reply is received rather quickly. All qualifications are based on income levels. Even if working, Medicaid is a consideration since federal laws were altered in recent years.

Variety of coverage

There is a variety of what is covered for healthcare for nearly all states. This means more than one insurance company is offered.

Professional network

Since insurance companies generally work with a professional network for services, a worker‘s doctor is capable of not being part of the group. Finding great coverage, affordable cost and then the letdown of a doctor missing from the association is maddening. Though, does the price overrule changing doctors?


This is the biggest advantage to Medicaid. The cost is usually free of charge. Services like dental and vision which are typically not covered are covered benefits under Medicaid. Pharmacy copays are exceptionally cheap. Most are no more than one dollar.

This structure is the opposite of most others discussed here. The pricing is relative to a person’s income. This means the smaller the income, the smaller the price. Variations are tied to how much a person makes. This means affordable plans in place.

Small Insurance Companies

There are more than few smaller insurance companies still around. Depending on the state or city a company is located in will dictate how many there are to work with. They fall in between the independent agent and the large company.

Small network of doctors

Smaller insurance companies have a smaller portion of the marketplace and generally do not have a dedicated provider network. This means providers for healthcare are less likely to accept their payment arrangement

Not accepted

Smaller companies are less known and the likelihood of being not accepted increases. This means a doctor or hospital will not wait for the payment. Most insist on the patient making the payment and being reimbursed by the healthcare carrier. If payment is made at time of services, why have insurance?

Less coverage

The charge is relative to the coverage in most cases. This means the employee is paying less, but they are getting less. For the most part they have higher deductibles, copays and other out of pocket fees. There are more services not covered along with missing out on dental and vision. Loads even fail to offer pharmacy benefits.

Most do not coordinate benefits with other health insurance carriers or workers compensation. If this is a particular sticking point, look elsewhere.


The charge for coverage is characteristically lower when compared with other larger or more recognized members in the industry. Although never as low as Medicaid, they are usually more affordable for the small business person.

In conclusion

Take a look at what the staff needs are, costs and any other factors which play into making the decision on which coverage to go with. Every need is not met no matter how hard an employer tries. Therefore, make an informed choice weighing all of the options for people under the company employment ranks.

This particular article does give lots of info both necessary and relative to insurance coverage and certainly helps in making the right selection. It is a difficult task, but not impossible with the right tools and know how.

Remember there is always a possibility of making changes. Depending on the length of contract signed determines how soon a change is viable.

Quick overview of getting costs down and the best benefits possible

Large insurance companies will have coverage options for the small business owner. Though, they are generally lousy with huge deductibles, horrible coverage and extremely high rates. You can still have your employees protected against health insurance costs. There are ways to make this happen which don’t leave you broke or firing workers to see them covered for any health catastrophes. These are several health insurance tips for small business owners.

a) Take the big deductible offered which will lower your rates. Many insurance companies will compromise for lower coverage costs with this arrangement. The larger the deductible for this type of contract the lower the rates. If you offer to pay something toward the large deductible for workers then your employees will have the coverage they need and more importantly you can afford it.

For an example, if you go with a deductible of $700 and you pay $200 or even $100 of this amount on their behalf, you will have satisfied workers. A deductible comparable to a car insurance contract is doable for many people. Generally getting it around $500 for the employee will work out well.

b) Join up with other small business groups to form a larger group. If you network with others in your same business genre, connect with them. Establish a larger group for your workers health insurance. The larger the group, the less expensive the coverage costs.

c) Shop around for the less pricey insurance companies. Although it is wonderful to go with a large brand name, these are generally the more expensive guys. Consider a lesser known company. They still deliver great coverage and service while keeping your pocket-book from breaking. Your state Attorney General’s Office will have verification of the companies rating for any insurance company doing business in your state. This includes the little guys.

d) Do not go for the big-ticket items. Although it is wonderful to have every health ailment and need covered, you are not able to meet the cost of these kinds of contracts. Make a compromise to remove some covered items to cut the price. This means dental and vision are off the table or even prescription meds. This lowers what you have to pay for insurance protection. Employees still have medical coverage when they need it for more costly things like hospital stays or basics like well-child exams.

There is a better health insurance plan for buying coverage for the small business owner

Health insurance has become a necessary evil. This is a commodity most of us have, few of us are able to afford and all of us need. The worst part about it is this is an assurance just in case something happens. If nothing occurs where it is needed, it is never used. Though, just like everything else when you do not have it is typically when it is most desirable.

Take a personal stake in the coverage. A boss not willing to take the same coverage as the employees ruins the lines of communication between the person in charge and workers. The superior could possibly have insurance through a spouse which is ten times better than what he is willing or able to pay for the workers. Even though the boss has the opportunity to have better, the labor force does not. Without the choice, is the boss willing to take what is offered to the workers? If the answer is no, do not give it to them. The results are typically disastrous. If there is a choice for a better plan, take it. A little more money at the time is usually a savings all around.

The boss receives the loyalty of personnel willing to move elsewhere simply for the benefit. Less turn over in staff is always an advantage. The workforce bad mouthing a business simply for these benefits being terrible does happen. A great company gets a bad rep because they chose to save a few pennies in the wrong place.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Onlinestrategies profile image

      Onlinestrategies 4 years ago

      Thanks for sharing this information. Comparing the offerings from different insurance companies can make a great difference in employee health insurance. It's also important to read between the lines to find out any hidden clauses.

    • tamron profile image

      tamron 4 years ago

      The last time I check prices on medical insurance for myself. I was shocked and it was not affordable. I had surgery at age 17 on a Kidney never been sick sense.

      They want a $2000 deductible and $400 a month that was 2 yrs. ago. If I was rich I wouldn't pay that! Great Hub