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Choosing the Right Health Plan for your Business

When attempting to choose the right business health coverage plan for your business, you must have a good grasp of your employees healthcare needs. Check to see if they require frequent medical care or not. See if they are more concerned with preventive checkups or emergency coverage. Also see if require prescription or maternity benefits. This is important because you need to purchase a plan that offers medical benefits that suit your employees without overstepping and buying extra coverage your employees will not use.

Don't limit yourself to those options offered through one company, instead, comparison shop. Find a licensed agent to help you call the insurers in your area. The agent can evaluate the pluses and minuses of the various insurance companies and plans in your area, provide price quotes for each, and offer advice for your groups needs. Check to make sure that any agent you have work for you is licensed in your state.

There are noteworthy tax benefits for employers who offer health insurance to their employees. Look into Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). A Health Savings Account is an alternative to traditional health insurance; it is a savings product that offers a different way for consumers to pay for their health care. HSAs enable you to pay for current health expenses and save for future qualified medical and retiree health expenses on a tax-free basis. You must be covered by a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) to be able to take advantage of HSAs. An HDHP generally costs less than what traditional health care coverage costs, so the money that you save on insurance can therefore be put into the Health Savings Account.

You must have an HDHP if you want to open an HSA. Sometimes referred to as a “catastrophic” health insurance plan, an HDHP is an inexpensive health insurance plan that generally doesn’t pay for the first several thousand dollars of health care expenses (i.e., your “deductible”) but will generally cover you after that . Of course, your HSA is available to help you pay for the expenses your plan does not cover. For 2005, in order to qualify to open an HSA, your HDHP minimum deductible must be at least $1,000 (self-only coverage) or $2,000 (family coverage). For 2006, the amounts increase to $1,050 and $2,100, respectively. The annual out-of-pocket (including deductibles and co-pays) for 2005 cannot exceed $5,100 (self-only coverage) or $10,200 (family coverage). For 2006, these amounts increase to $5,250 and $10,500, respectively. HDHPs can have first dollar coverage (no deductible) for preventive care and apply higher out-of-pocket limits (and co pays & coinsurance) for non-network services.

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