How Can I Keep My Small Group Health Insurance Costs In Control While Offering Great Benefit Package to my Employees?

As a small business owner considering offering health insurance in California, you probably have asked yourself, “How can I keep healthcare costs down while offering my employees the coverage they need? There are so many carriers and so many plans, how do I find the right plans for my employees? What options are available on a tight budget?” Finding the right group benefits can be a daunting task, especially for a restless entrepreneur like yourself. By answering these questions for you, we at Solid Health Insurance Services will help you to find a quality and affordable benefits package so that you can focus on your business and your employees. By offering group benefits, you are not only investing in your employees’ health and financial security, but you are also investing in the health of your business. Offering the right group benefits helps attract new talent and retain existing employees.

If you are planning to offer your employees benefits, there are a few things you should consider. The first question is: What is your budget and how much do you want to spend on each employee? Is it $100, $200 or $300 to each employee? We at Solid Health Insurance Service work with all the major insurance companies to find you the best plans for your budget and medical needs. You should also ask yourself: are you going to offer one or more than one insurance carrier? Do you want to offer PPO, HMO or EPO plans? If all of your staff are located in one region, you can lower your costs by choosing an HMO or EPO plan that only covers local, in-network providers. With a staff scattered across the state or even across the U.S., you should consider alongside of offering HMO health plans to also offer PPO plans that can utilize nationwide provider networks and can cover at least some out-of-network medical expenses. You should also consider offering more than one carrier and plan type. If you want to offer your employees more than one health insurance carrier, SHOP Covered California or California Choice are great options. If you want to keep the options as simple as possible, you may want to consider going directly to one carrier. Whatever you do, it is important to find plans that cover your key employee’s preferred providers.

One great and easy way to offer your employees choice in carriers and provider networks is by going through SHOP Covered California. We at Solid Health Insurance Services can offer your employees Blue Shield’s PPO and Trio HMO, Health Net’s PPO, Kaiser’s HMO, SHARP’s HMO (for San Diego) and CCHP’s HMO (for the NorCal Bay area) through SHOP Covered California. SHOP Covered California is a great and easy solution used by thousands of California small businesses. Just like how individuals and families use Covered California to qualify for premium tax credits, small businesses with fewer than 25 employees use SHOP Covered California to qualify for 2 consecutive years of tax credits. You must have fewer than 25 employees with an average salary of under $50,000 to qualify for these tax credits and it is only available for 2 consecutive years. You also are able to simplify your invoicing by receiving one simple invoice versus having invoices from multiple carriers. If you already offer group health insurance but you have never gone through SHOP Covered California, now may be the perfect time to take advantage of these tax credits. Let us at Solid Health Insurance Services help you navigate through the application process and plan selection. To receive a quote please fill out this census sheet. 

Furthermore, you can also offer more than one insurance carrier by going through California Choice. CalChoice does not offer federal tax credits to small businesses but does offer a substantial level of choice for your employees with carriers such as Anthem, United Healthcare, Health Net, Kaiser, SHARP and Sutter Health with HMO, PPO and EPO options. CalChoice is a great option to give your employees even more choice than SHOP Covered California. On the other hand, you should first see if you qualify for tax credits through SHOP before deciding on proceeding with CalChoice.

If you are also looking to offer ancillary benefits, ChoiceBuilder offers carriers such as Delta Dental, Anthem, Ameritas and MetLife for dental, EyeMed and VSP for vision, Landmark for chiropractic insurance and Assurity Life insurance. ChoiceBuilder’s underwriting process is easy for small businesses of any size and is a perfect tool to offer your employees great ancillary benefits, for a quote please contact us at SHOP Covered California allows you to offer voluntary dental but not vision, chiropractic, or life insurance. We can also help you enroll directly to each ancillary insurance provider if desired.

Some small businesses prefer to use just a single insurance carrier. Anthem offers a very rich provider network for their PPO plans while Blue Shield of California currently offers the most competitive PPO small business rates alongside their highly competitive Trio HMO plans. Kaiser Permanente’s HMO plans are very affordable and many people like it for being a one-stop shop healthcare manager. Some small businesses offer only one carrier because they think they are offering only the best health insurance carrier or even the most affordable. Whatever the reason may be, offering only one insurance carrier is still a valid choice. As we mentioned earlier, you should always speak with your key employees to figure out which providers they absolutely need to make sure you offer the right plans that cover their preferred providers.

Once you have decided on which carriers to choose from, you must then decide on the metal tiers. You can offer your employees either one or more than one metal tier from the bronze, silver, gold, and platinum metal tiers. This really comes down to your budget and the medical needs of your employees. By offering more than one metal tier, you will be addressing more of the medical needs and budgetary constraints of your employees. Once you have decided on the metal tiers and plans offered, you must also decide on the employer contribution to the employees’ plans. You can contribute either a percentage or a fixed amount to their premiums. Please note that each carrier has their own contribution guidelines as well as minimum employee participation rates.

Growing your small business can be a hectic time. Let us help you navigate through your insurance options to find the right carriers and plans to fit your budget and medical needs so you can focus on your business. We work with businesses in all shapes and sizes. As independent insurance agents, our services are completely free of charge as the insurance carriers compensate us directly for servicing our clients. We are here to give you a peace of mind and simplify the entire enrollment process for you. Not only will we help you enroll but we also help you with new hires, employee changes, and your annual renewal. We are here to help you throughout the entire process. Please do not hesitate to contact us at Solid Health Insurance Service by calling us at 310-909-6135 or via email at or fill out census sheet.