It wasn't that long ago that small companies in California were at a distinct disadvantage when securing business health benefits for their employees. That has changed significantly and for the better.
Small Companies now have a range of different options that they can take advantage of to offer richer benefits at less cost..and not a moment too soon.
Many small companies have thrown up their hands and cancelled business health coverage altogether but that puts them in a competitive disadvantage.
How does the current health benefit landscape offer small companies the ability to offer coverage without breaking the bank?
Let's first establish two main segments within the category. Officially, small business is 1 to 50 employees and it will soon be 1-100 employees (ACA health law change).
There may be different strategies for companies under about 15-20 employees and those over. Let's evaluate why.
For smaller companies below say 15 employees, it generally makes sense to have a full y insured plan. These are the traditional plans that most companies (and employees) are familiar with. There are still options within this segment (such as HSA or HRA) which allow a version of partial self-funding. Let's look at this smaller segment first.
Defined Contribution. First, the best approach for the core benefits (medical and dental) is Defined Contribution. This allows an employer to establish a budget and tie it to a baseline plan or fixed dollar amount.
The employee can then choose from any of the allowed plans (can mix/match HMO's, PPO's, HSA's, etc).
This allows the best outcome:
We really are able to offer large group "cafeteria" style benefits to small companies with downward rate pressure. The real strength of this approach for small business is employees are much less likely to complain or have negative reviews of their health benefits when they have a say in the plan and cost. Choice is everything and it may even same the company money (healthy employees may opt for lower cost options because they can save money on the premium share).
You can quickly receive your full quote across the carriers here.
It may not feel very small at all to manage but we have some great small business benefit options and external process tools to provide the best value in benefits and the simplest ease in managing employee onboarding, hr, benefits, and more.
We'll bread this up into two parts.
In addition to the "mini-Cafe" option we mentioned above for the smaller businesses, there is a significant option we can also quote and compare.
Large groups already take advantage of these options but we can now safely and reliably offer to smaller companies as well. There is a scaling factor at which point these work best and that's why we want a slightly larger employee base in which to implement these options. Let's get right into.
Consumer-Driven Health Care
This essentially involves offering the employee a higher deductible plan with some funding component built into. This is generally accomplished with an HSA or HRA account that the company funds (with premium savings versus richer plans). The employee then has a built-in incentive to better manage not only their health care but their health as well. The un-used funds in these accounts can become similar to retirement accounts that the employees build over time. Again, the goal is to contain the cost curve so that employers can continue to offer benefits 2, 5, 10 years out.
Partial Self-Funding for Small Companies
A similar but different take on this approach is through self-funding. In this
approach, the insurance carrier provides a stop gap insurance plan (think high
deductible for the larger bills). The employer then funds or pays for the
smaller bills according to a benefit design of their choosing. There can be
significant savings in doing this versus a traditional, fully-insured plan.
The reason a larger smaller business works best with self-funding is that we want to spread the risk among as many people as possible to get the most possible savings.
Cigna has come out with a great vehicle to use for self-funding that allows two different funding options. One provides more rate stability (less risk, less savings), while the other allows more potential savings but more rate movement during the year. The first (level self-funding) has been the most popular.
Finally, small business benefit management has entered the digital age. We are proud to offer a free service to companies that includes the following:
Small companies are already stretched with the owner or another employee
begrudgingly taking the hat of HR professional during off-hours. Our online
system (which is free to you) will make this process easy, online, and
transparent. We pay for it on our side for our companies so there is no cost
There is also no fee for services as licensed California business health insurance agents with 30 years combined experienced in the California group market.
How To Start the Process
We do all the heavy lifting. After a 10 minute completion of the Quote census below, we will put together a comprehensive quote of the plans available for Small Businesses including Tax Credits if available.
|Employee Count||Under 25|
|Average Salary||less than $50K|
"My sincere thanks for making a miracle happen- 2014 health insurance !! Many thanks for your expertise and advice yesterday !!"
"Thanks again for your help - I had absolutely no idea how to get this done when I got up this morning. You've made it remarkably easier than I expected. I hope you're not stuck at the office all night..."
"Anyway, I hope you got some time off this past week! Thank you again for your help and efforts on my behalf! I was very lucky to find you."
"I thank you very much for the time that you have invested in handling everything
"I truly appreciate the quick response and will think of you in the future if I need to make any changes to my insurance plans."
"You are awesome... takes a huge worry off my back, thank you for your kind. thanks for your time and kindness. !!"
"Wow, I can't thank you guys enough for your help...I couldn't imagine trying to tackle this on my own!"
"You are my new best friend. A HUGE thank you again.
20 years of experience in the California health insurance market has taught us one thing...Competent and experienced guidance is Invaluable
We can quickly (very important) size up your health insurance needs and clearly explain the options available to you. Our focus is finding the most coverage at the best cost to you.
We are licensed Covered Ca agents with in-depth knowledge of their plans, process, and tax credits.
Call us...you will be Pleasantly Surprised. 800-320-6269
We'll quickly see if you have the best priced plan available and if you qualify for a tax credit800-320-6269
This website is owned and operated by Goodacre Insurance Services, which is solely responsible for its content. This site is not maintained by or associated with Covered California, and Covered California bears no responsibility for its content. The email address and phone numbers that appear throughout the site belong to Goodacre Insurance Services, and cannot be used to contact Covered California.