How to choose the right health care plan for employees Published April 14, 2016 | By Achim Neumann, President Of all the benefits that businesses offer, none are as highly valued as a comprehensive health plan. With health care costs in this country being burdensome to many, having a policy that fits the needs of its employees is an attractive recruiting tool for the best talent out there. When choosing a health plan, take note of the following in order to choose the package that is right for the team, as well as the company’s financial health. What are the business’ needs? Before searching for a health insurance plan, executives should draw up a list of priorities that they are seeking from the best possible policy. Overall cost to the company and employees is an obvious consideration, as a top of the line health insurance plan will do a company and its people no good if it is out of range of the company’s budget, or if the burden that would have to be shouldered by the employee represents an unreasonable amount of their take-home pay. Coverage is another aspect that should be paid attention to, as some policies mask their low overall cost with ridiculously inadequate coverage when it comes to things such as pre-existing conditions or catastrophic health events. Once these issues have been addressed, evaluate the specific types of coverage that are desired by employees of the company. This can include things like dental, maternity leave, and mental health services, all of which are typically supplementary when it comes to most health plans. Insurance brokers: to use or not to use? While securing health insurance for the company is an important task, the process of seeking out bids from providers can be a time-consuming process. An insurance broker can help solve these problems, as these professionals take the legwork out of the equation by offering a suite of insurance plans, with prices and offerings laid out in an easy-to-understand manner. However, businesses should take care to research their broker’s reputation, as some will charge significantly more for premiums than if the company were to seek out insurance providers on their own. Properly vet a potential insurer before signing any deal While there are many names in the insurance industry that are well known, some are more obscure, and hundreds of these companies have gone under in the past decade for their less than stellar business practices. As such, any insurance firm that the company is thinking of partnering with should be thoroughly investigated. Start by looking up their evaluation in the top ratings books, which are maintained by agencies such as Standard & Poor’s; if they check out, still pay rapt attention to every line of legalese that you find in an insurance agreement before signing on behalf of the business. Read the fine print carefully, as provisions that restricts coverage for something as little as crossing state lines exist in many agreements. If you uncover inconsistencies, work with the insurer to have them struck down; if they resist, seek out a different provider for the company’s insurance needs.