When it's time to select a health care plan for your employees, you need to look at several small business health insurance providers in order to find the one with the best coverage and the best rate.
Some factors you want to consider when you are shopping for medical coverage include the type of insurance, the price, and the company's stability and service.
Type of Insurance
Small business health insurance plans offer group coverage, which is always going to be less expensive than individual coverage. In general, small business health insurance plans fall into one of these two types:
* Fee for Service. With this type of plan, employees receive a fixed reimbursements for medical costs and can choose any doctor or hospital. These are the most expensive type of health insurance.
* Managed Care, such as PPOs (Preferred Provider Organizations) and HMOs (health maintenance organizations). With PPOs and HMOs, employees must choose a doctor and hospital that's part of a health care network. HMOs usually offer fewer choices than PPOs and employees may need approval before they can visit a specialist.
The same type and amount of coverage can vary by thousands of dollars from one company to another. To ensure that you get the best rate, use an insurance comparison website to get quotes from at least three insurance providers. (See link below.)
Stability and Service
You want an insurance company that's going to be able to pay your claims and that will provide good customer service. You can check on the financial stability of insurance companies by checking rating services such as AM Best (ambest.com), and Standard & Poor's (standardandpoors.com).
A good place to check on a company's customer service record is to go to your state's Department of Insurance website or the Better Business Bureau. They will have records of complaints lodged against the company.