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What You May Not Know When Looking For A Small Business Health Insurance Plan

01.03.2017 | by Maria Fields

With the range of health insurance plans available to small businesses continuing to evolve, business owners need to stay informed about this market when choosing a small business health insurance plan. As a small business owner, if you know what the current trends are in the small group health insurance market, you are more likely to make better decisions for the long term.

Over the last fifteen to twenty years, the health insurance market has seen a huge shift from tradition indemnity, or fee-for-service, plans, into some form of managed care plan. In a recent survey (2006), America's Health Insurance Plans' (AHIP) Center for Policy and Research, the most popular health insurance option among small groups (50 or less employees) was the PPO at 57%. Second to PPO, are HMO and POS plans at 39%. Indemnity plans represented less than 0.5% of covered employees.

Roughly twenty years age, indemnity plans represented approximately 80% of the plans in use. This dramatic change has come about in response to the steep increases in health care in the U.S. over this time period and an effort to gain some control over costs. The latter choices use provider and health facility networks, where fees are negotiated and often prepaid, allowing insurers to reduce health related and administrative costs.

The survey also showed that only about 10% of small business owners offered more than two benefit choices. It's perhaps surprising that this number is so low, since small businesses can improve their hiring and employee retention by offering more health insurance choices. In many cases, more options can be provided at little marginal cost.

Business owners who qualify for small business group health insurance will need to stay up to date on the ever changing health insurance market. By staying informed, you, as a small business owner, will be able to offer more and better health care choices to you and your employees.