I have started to think about offering my employees health insurance. I have no idea how I go about this, who can I contact for quotes?
There are a few different options you can investigate. I do want to say upfront that I am not well versed in health care laws. These are just some of the things that I have learned while researching the issue for myself and my employees.
Your first option is to call one of your local chamber of commerce. I know the Greece Chamber and the Rochester Business Alliance offer health care plans.“The Rochester Business Alliance offers a variety of health and dental products from Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield and Guardian at group rates to verified employees of member firms. We can insure self-employed individuals as well as employer groups with up to 50 employees. There are specific documents, employee participation requirements and procedures required to enroll” (This came directly from the RBA website http://www.rochesterbusinessalliance.com/HealthInsurance.aspx).
Your payroll services may offer health care plans as well. I would suggest calling your payroll specialist directly to see what they offer.
Your second option is to look into Healthy NY. This is reduced-cost health insurance which is available under the Healthy NY program to eligible small businesses and their employees. When I checked their website (www.dfs.ny.gov/healthyny/index.html) I found the following criteria:
1. The business must be located within New York State.
2. The business must have 1-50 eligible employees.
3. At least 30% of the employees must earn $40,000 or less in annual wages.
4. The business must not have provided group health insurance coverage to its employees within the last 12 months.
You can call 1-866-HEALTHY NY (1-866-432-5849) for more details or questions.
Your third option is to contact what is known as a broker. They represent companies looking for more individual quotes. My good friend Marlo Wiktorski of Delta Benefits LLC (www.delta-benefits.com) gave me quite the education on the differences in plans and how they each affect your company. A broker’s responsibility is to you the end user; they will negotiate a rate that is the best for you and your company. They usually work with companies of 50 or more employees. They are well versed in the different plans and will be able to get you more options. When you go through the first two options, you may only be given one or two plans to choose from-these plans are already predetermined. Through a broker, they can help customize a plan that fits all your employee needs. If you have any questions or concerns, you can go directly to your broker and they fight on your behalf.
These are just a few of the options out there for you. Please remember I am not an insurance expert– just offering up some of the things that I learned. I have included a few websites for you to research which best suits you. Whomever you decide to go with, make sure you are comfortable with the plans being offered, that they fit your needs and your employees’ needs.
Have a question for Angella? Send it to Angella@wisdominatrafficjam.com or check out her business www.onestoprochester.com or www.wisdominatrafficjam.com.