Prove Your Value to Prospects and Clients with the Right Answers
One of the most important things you can do to prove your value to prospects and clients is be able to answer their questions about health insurance and employee benefits.
To help you, Word & Brown offers a variety of useful tools and resources, including Common Health Insurance Topics and Medical Terms and a series of Health Care Quick Flicks, which are available on YouTube.
To further assist you, let’s look at four of the most frequently asked employer questions and how you might answer them.
1. As a small business, am I required to offer health insurance to my employees?
Maybe. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires Applicable Large Employers (ALEs) – those with 50 or more full-time and full-time equivalent employees (FTEs) – to offer health insurance to employees and their children (up to age 26). If your business is an ALE and you do not offer coverage, you are subject to penalties. The penalty amount depends on your number of employees, whether coverage is considered “affordable” or not (as defined by the ACA), and whether any of your employees elects coverage from a public exchange (like Covered California or the Nevada Health Link).
2. How can I shop for health coverage for my employees?
There are many options for businesses looking for employee health insurance. You can search for coverage on your own, meeting and talking with representatives from each of the health plans you are considering. Or, you can work with a broker like me, who represents multiple insurers and health plans. Often, employers find it is advantageous to work with me, because my services do not cost you anything, and I may be able to help you save money by shopping more plans than you may have time to research and compare on your own.
3. What will it cost me to offer health insurance to my employees?
Your cost for coverage is influenced by a lot of factors. That includes how many employees you have, their ages, whether you want to include coverage for dependents, and the type of coverage offered – HMO, PPO, etc. I will work with you to ensure any quoted plans include the doctors and hospitals you and your employees want, and I will help you determine how much you want to contribute toward the cost of your employees’ coverage. Most health plans require an employer contribution of at least 50% of the cost, but it’s up to you whether you contribute that amount or more.
You may be interested in knowing that according to a 2018 survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation (a non-profit health care foundation not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente), more than half (56%) of small firms and 98% of large firms offer health benefits to at least some of their workers.
4. What type of health insurance can I offer to my employees?
There are many different kinds of health insurance plans available. Depending on the carrier you select, you may be able to choose from several types of coverage:
- Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plans
- Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plans
- Exclusive Provider Organization (EPO) plans
- Point of Service (POS) plans
- Health Care Service Plans (HSPs)
- High Deductible Health Plans (HDHPs) – including one or more in the types shown above – often used in combination with a Health Savings Account (HSA)
Note: Word & Brown’s Health Care Quick Flick series can be useful in helping you explain plan differences to your prospects and clients. Click on the link above find a listing of the videos available on YouTube. Alternatively, the ACA website operated by the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, a federal agency within the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, includes a written summary of first four plan types listed above. An explanation of HDHPs is available here, in a separate section of CMS site.
Talk with your Word & Brown representative about the other tools and resources available to help you answer your clients’ and prospects’ questions. We’re committed to providing you with everything you need to attract and retain more business.
Health Insurance Broker
2020 Salary Guide
For a sneak peek at what you can expect to earn as an insurance agent, get a copy of our “Insurance Broker Salary Guide.”