Jacksonville, Florida 3/4/2010 10:05:17 AM
News / Business

Group Health Insurance

How Can You Reduce Health Insurance Costs?

Nearly two thirds of Americans with health insurance in the United States obtain coverage through an employer based group health insurance plan.  The health insurance coverage provided by these employers is one of the primary reasons that many of their employees remain with the company.  Across the United States, employer based group health insurance plans make up the larger portion of revenue for health insurance companies.


Increases in the cost of medical care and prescription drugs has caused a significant increase in health care insurance premiums across the country, causing employers to cut back on the health insurance benefits they can offer.  In many cases, employers do not contribute toward the premium and the employee is burdened with the full share.  Fully paid health insurance plans are becoming outdated, as group health insurance premiums simply become too large a burden on employers.


For employees seeking to save money on insurance through an employer, group insurance can provide significant savings.  Pre-existing health conditions are often a factor that will cause an insurance company to deny coverage to an applicant.  Those obtaining insurance through a group plan however are exempt from this problem, as all members of the group can obtain coverage regardless of pre-existing conditions.  No pre-screening of individual applicants is required under a group health insurance plan.


Group health insurance plans benefit employers as well as employees.  Employers that offer long-term health benefits will be able to attract and maintain the best employees available.  Additionally, those employees will tend to remain with the company longer and will ultimately prove to be more motivated and devoted team members.  Maintaining a quality group health insurance plan is an excellent way for an employer to retain good people and reduce the rate of employee turnover.


Employers do not need to be large to qualify for group health insurance rates.  In fact, a company only needs to have two or more employees in many cases in order to qualify for very competitive rates.  There are some application requirements however, and a small business will have to provide verification of an established business in order to qualify for benefits.


The number of employees a company has will have an affect on premiums.  Companies with fewer than 50 employees are considered a small company.  These companies will be held to a small business plan and they will not qualify for the reduced rates available to larger corporations.  Very large companies with thousands of employees will obtain very customized plans from health insurance companies.  These customized plans are usually very similar to the plans available to smaller companies, but with a few added benefits and possibly, reduced premiums.  This is achieved by the large amount of premium dollars that are collected from a large corporation with a much larger number of health insurance customers.


Some very large corporations are able to avoid health insurance companies altogether, and opt for the self-insurance option.  In this situation, the corporation sets up a program whereby they simply pay for employees’ health care within certain predetermined guidelines.  Plans such as this are operated under strict regulation, similar to those regulations that are imposed upon health insurance companies.