In the face of a doubling of employer contributions in healthcare costs for families since 2000, small business owners across the country are scrambling to seek ways to offer their employees healthcare that is affordable for workers and for the business.
In response to what is becoming a crisis for many small businesses, Huntington National Bank is unveiling Healthcare Tips for a Healthy Business. By lending its expertise to businesses and saving them time and money in their search for a healthcare plan.
“Small business owners are facing at least a 5.7 percent increase in healthcare premiums along with an economic downturn and rising energy bills,” said Huntington’s Business Banking Director Jeff Rosen. “We have developed five tips for them to follow that we believe will help them find affordable healthcare for themselves and their employees so that they can remain competitive. The vibrancy of these companies is important for all of us because small businesses are the backbone of the American economy, providing 75 percent of new jobs.”
Huntington's Healthcare Tips for a Healthy Business include:
You are not alone: Talk to your neighbors, friends, other business owners, attorney, banker and accountant. Ask them what plans they may recommend or obtain recommendations for an insurance broker. You can save a lot of time by learning from the experiences of others.
Safety in numbers: Do you belong to a trade group that helps to provide healthcare to members? If not, do some research online and see if your industry has such a group. If so, it would be worth joining them as many offer the option for better rates. Also, many cities have organizations dedicated to supporting small businesses by offering them bulk-buying rates on everything from insurance coverage to printer supplies to energy.
Think outside the box: Consider a health savings account. The use of these accounts is expected to grow threefold by 2010. HSAs are accounts to which employees and employers can make contributions. In turn, employers offer a high-deductible healthcare plan. This combination can result in a solid employee benefit and savings for employers.
Inquire about long-term rates: If a healthcare provider is offering you a rate that is too good to be true, it just may be. Often a company obtains a great rate on insurance for the first year and is not prepared for a huge increase the second year. Ask any company you sign up with about their track record on raising rates. Also ask their clients what their experience with the healthcare provider has been.
Visit the Website of your state's department of insurance: These sites include a variety of information including the financial solvency of insurance agencies, authorized insurance companies and agents, as well as helpful consumer news.For more information about healthcare options, visit http://www.huntington.com.