How to Lower Health Insurance Costs

Linda Jenkins, January 10 2015

cartoon about health insurance costs by Andertoons

 

Health insurance costs just keep going up. To survive, small business owners must be savvy about how to get the most from providers, spend the least, and still protect their employees. Here are a few quick tips: 


1. Get a High Deductible Policy with HSA
To make the biggest impact in reducing health insurance costs, consider a high-deductible policy. This will dramatically reduce your premiums - up to 50% in many cases. To shield employees from the new deductibles and pharmacy costs, set up a Healthcare Savings Account through a provider such as HSAResources.com. To have the maximum effect, both employees and employers should contribute to the plan on a quarterly basis, and each employee should receive a debit card to be able to pay for costs as they occur.

2. Challenge Your Current Provider
Has your company experienced annual increases to premiums? If so, you must challenge your provider. Let them know that you noticed and are not a happy camper. Review coverages on an annual basis. Threaten to switch providers, if necessary. This simple act alone can often reduce your premiums by up to 15%.

3. Invest in Employee Wellness Programs
Encourage your employees to live a healthy lifestyle and lead by example. The easiest and often most cost effective way to do this is through offering discounts on memberships to fitness clubs. For maximum effect, look for clubs that offer affordable personal training and nutrition classes.

4. Use a Health Insurance Agent or Broker
Health insurance agents and brokers can help you navigate the confusing world of healthcare insurance, and can help negotiate premiums and renewals. To find one near you, visit www.nahu.org and use the "Find an Agent" widget.

5. Compare Group Policies
Use an insurance comparison site to compare the price of multiple policies and group features at once. Read our blog post on finding affordable small business health insurance to learn how to do this.