The 3 Biggest Challenges for Small Businesses to Overcome When Purchasing Medical Insurance

By Sally Poblete

The decision to purchase medical insurance for your small business employees is a serious decision that impacts both your company and your employees’ lives. Despite the complexities presented with making these types of purchases, health insurance remains a crucial need for families across the country. Here are the three biggest challenges for small businesses to overcome when purchasing medical insurance for their employees:

Payroll

Most carriers require small businesses to have a payroll system in place to provide small group medical insurance to their employees. Payroll is a necessity for every small business owner that wants to purchase group insurance, and finding the right system or service to take care of payroll can sometimes delay their purchasing of small business medical insurance. Payroll providers can be essential in the healthcare purchasing journey for small business owners. If you do not have a payroll system in place, but you want to offer insurance to your employees, payroll is the first step in your journey. 

Budget

A limited budget can be an enormous barrier between a small business owner choosing to offer medical insurance and referring employees to healthcare.gov for individual coverage. For small businesses, health insurance rates are determined based on the age of your employees, the business’ location, the carrier, and the type of plan offered. The rates will not vary based on the health of your employees if you have under 50 full-time equivalent employees (based on the ACA regulations). 

We selected a few specific zip codes in common metropolitan areas and compared small business health insurance prices using Wellthie’s online small business health insurance marketplace: 

     – For the ZIP code 85001 (Phoenix, AZ), there are plans starting as low as $245.64* a month for the third quarter of 2019.

     – For the ZIP code 30302 (Atlanta, GA), there are plans starting as low as $273.82* a month for the third quarter of 2019.

     – For the ZIP code 11106 (New York City, NY), there are plans starting as low as $477.70* a month for the third quarter of 2019.

*employee only cost for a 35-year-old

Metallic designations (Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum) are something to consider as well when it comes to budgeting for small business medical health insurance plans. Platinum plans will cost significantly more in premiums for your employees but far lower costs at the doctor’s office. Bronze plans will tend to cost your employees less money on their premiums and more money when they need to use medical services.

Here are the Small Group medical insurance premium averages in New York state across all four metal levels (Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum) for early 2019:

    – Bronze: $544.37  

   – Silver: $673.35  

   – Gold: $789.19  

   – Platinum: $941.86

As a small business owner and health insurance decision maker, you are the only person who can determine what is affordable for your small business. Your best option is the plan you can afford that provides sufficient coverage for your employee population. 

Knowing Where to Start

For many small business owners, simply knowing where to start can be one of the biggest obstacles in moving through the medical insurance shopping and enrollment process for their employees. In this digital age, more and more industries are being disrupted by technological advancements, and small business medical insurance is no exception. Online small business health insurance marketplaces are making it far easier to for small business owners to navigate the medical health insurance shopping process than ever before.

Wellthie’s online small business health insurance marketplace is a tremendously useful tool for small business owners to shop and compare medical health plans and generate an unlimited number of quotes in just minutes. Even if you’ve never offered insurance before, you can begin your search by typing in your small business’ ZIP code and immediately see the number of plans available for your employees in your area as well as the lowest average monthly cost per employee (who is 35 years of age). Enter in your company name, industry, email address, and phone number, along with the number of employees in your company, and you’ll be able to see what carriers, products, and premiums are available, in an instant. You can run quotes side-by-side to compare and make the most educated choice on the plan or plans which best suit your team members. At any point in the process, you can be connected through the platform to a licensed health insurance broker through email, phone, or chat to answer any of your questions and to enroll you in the plan/s of your choice.