In the face of never-ending increases to health care insurance premiums, small business owners may want to consider these alternative options to minimize costs:
1. Adjust plan options. For example, moving from a PPO to a high-deductible plan, in conjunction with a Health Savings Account program, is becoming more commonplace among small businesses. This option allows employees to set aside tax-deferred income for health care needs.
2. Consider a monthly allowance. With a high-deductible plan, employees have more choices—and more control—about how their benefits are allocated. Some may choose to spend those funds on a vision plan, while others might favor dental coverage.
3. Review administration costs. The cost of administering benefits can be just as expensive as the premiums themselves. Making good use of management technology is a critical best practice.
By putting employees in the driver’s seat when it comes to managing health care, employers will have a more satisfied and productive staff overall—an added benefit to any reduction in cost increases.
Burton M. Goldfield
President and CEO
San Leandro, Calif.