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Open enrollment in Texas

Open Enrollment Is Almost Here—How to Prepare as a Business or Employee

The Affordable Care Act transformed many aspects of our health care system, not the least of which is the open enrollment period.

As we move closer to the general health care enrollment period there is no better time to review how to prepare as an employee or an employer.

In Houston, Texas, our enrollment period for 2017 starts on November 1 and goes to December 15. That’s about 45 days shorter than previous years. It’s also important to note that most health insurance premiums have increased by 20 percent this year. And despite promises made by Washington, taxpayers can still expect penalties if they fail to purchase health insurance.

If you’re employee or employer, here’s what else you need to know about health insurance for 2018.

Quick Overview to Open Enrollment

Open enrollment officially starts on November first, but many businesses have open enrollment periods throughout the year. Of course, any employee who has just been hired for a new position can sign up for their employer’s health insurance open onboarding.

This period allows employees to elect or change their benefit options as well. This includes health, dental and life insurance plans they may hold through their employer. Open enrollment takes place a few months before the new year to prepare for enrollment forms that must be submitted by January 1.

Interestingly, employers do not have to meet a standard for the length of their open enrollment. Most open enrollment cycles last at a minimum of two weeks and maximum of four weeks.

Employers are responsible for submitting information about their employee’s health care plans, and employees are responsible for deciding which plan option is right for them if they choose an employer-sponsored plan. Preparation, therefore, is required on both sides.

How Businesses Can Prepare for Open Enrollment

Open enrollment is a hectic time for HR team members. Analyzing health care updates, sorting through multiple plan options, and determining what, if any, new budget has been imposed is overwhelming. To keep your calm and prepare, here are a few important tips to keep in mind.

Plan Ahead

Don’t wait until the last moment to plan for open enrollment. Employees want to know what changes are being made to their benefits packages in advance. Your company wants to stay competitive and your benefits package plays an important role in doing so. Give yourself at least two weeks to plan and organize upcoming health plans for your employees.

Ask Employees Questions

A great way to get a feel for what your employees expect from their benefits package is to simply ask them. Run a survey companywide that covers the basics of your plan options and see which ones resonate most with your team. Then move forward organizing your plan based on their response.

Be Transparent about High Deductible Plans

If you’re thinking about a major plan change, like switching to a High Deductible Plan option, be very clear with employees about what that involves. Explain their plan options so they know exactly what to expect.

Pursue Compliance

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is far from simple. Implementing compliant plans can be even trickier. Make sure you are fully aware of deadlines for communicating enrollment options. Make sure you have all information about compliance ready to go before you start informing your team about enrollment. Compliance isn’t something you want to wait to get together.

Highlight the Value of Your Plan Options

Employees often don’t have time to sort through their options. Most want to know a) what the plan costs them b) what’s covered under the plan, and c) when and how to use it. It’s your job to highlight those answers so employees aren’t left out to dry.

What to Keep in Mind

  • Make your benefits package competitive. Competitive benefits packages play an important role in capturing talented employees.
  • Either learn how to or find someone who can explain benefits to employees who aren’t concerned about them.
  • Give employees the support they need to sort through the confusion of open enrollment season. If open enrollment is confusing to you, it certainly will be for employees. Set up training programs or conference meetings where you can go over the benefit options so everyone is on the same page.

How Employees Can Prepare for Open Enrollment

As an employee, open enrollment might seem more like another thing you have to do, rather than something to be excited about. The good news is that open enrollment is the best time of year to switch up your plan options and get what you want from your health care. Before you sign up for the plan, however, get prepared.

Analyze your family needs.

Is dental important? Do you plan on having a child in the next 12 months? What about dental and vision coverage, is that needed? Figure out what you might need before you start browsing your company’s plans.

Educate yourself about what type of plans provide the coverage you need.

For example, if there are high deductibles, what alternatives are available if and when you need expensive medical care? Do you need a plan option that offers maternity or select care? Isolate what plan would be best suited for your needs.

Determine your budget for healthcare.

Your employer will pay most of your insurance premiums, but you may be expected to pay out-of-pocket for certain coverage. It’s a good idea to sit down and determine an appropriate budget for both your premiums and any extra expenses you may have to cover.

Prepare questions to ask your company’s HR department up front.

If you’re unsure of any aspect of your company’s health care plan, write your questions down and present them to your HR department. You have a right to know your options.

What to Keep in Mind

  • Check with your employer to make sure your plan from last year is still available. If it’s not, then you need to focus on what your plan options are now.
  • Your employer can renew your plan automatically if you don’t inform them of any changes you’d like to make. Be proactive to get a plan that best suits your needs.
  • If your employer sticks with a once a year enrollment period keep your ear to the ground and read any emails about health care changes.

Get the Help You Need

If you need assistance as an employer or employee, we can help. We know how confusing open enrollment can be, but we have over twenty years of experience helping small to medium-sized businesses prepare their company’s insurance plan and we can help you too. Feel free to contact our team for more information about how to get started this open enrollment period.

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HRA and High Deductible Health Plans

How to Integrate an HRA With Your High Deductible Health Plan

Could an HRA tied to a High Deductible Plan cut costs for your business?

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, employee benefits make up nearly 32 percent of employer costs per employee. Those benefits, naturally, include health care costs. As a result, options like high deductible health plans are becoming increasingly popular with employers.

A bonus is the Health Reimbursement Account (HRA). When combined, employers can offset skyrocketing health insurance costs while maintaining a happy, healthy workforce.

But how does an HRA work? What are the benefits of offering an HRA with your high deductible plan? Should you really reduce your premiums to lower costs? How do employees feel about making the switch from full coverage to having to pay out of pockets?

Let’s take a look at those questions by turning our attention to how an HRA works with your high deductible Plan.

How an HRA Works

 

A Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) is a government-approved way for employers to fund a tax-advantaged health plan that reimburses employees for any out-of-pocket expenses, aside from health plan premiums.

When employers opt for health insurance plans that come with high deductibles, they often choose an HRA to offset costs for employees. It works as a simple account system that allows employers to contribute to employee’s insurance accounts should they be eligible for added expenses.

HRA plans are highly sought-after by employers because it gives employee’s greater flexibility in choosing providers and healthcare services that are right for their needs. Many of these aren’t covered by their insurance, but the HRA contributions give them a cushion to make those decisions if they so desire.

However, HRA funds aren’t disbursed unless and until the payments have already been made. Employees still pay out of pocket for the medical expenses they want, but they receive an agreed-upon reimbursement based on their plan. The medical expense must be covered under the HRA as well.

Best of all, HRA’s are 100% deductible for employers and always tax-free for the employee. Employers also have total control over what expenses are eligible for HRA funds. Thanks to their flexibility, HRAs can offer added benefits to both the employee and the employer. Additionally, they are one of the more straightforward health plan options and offer clear-cut direction for both employees and employers.

Finally, employees tend to take a strategic and careful approach to their healthcare with an HRA and high deductible plan. As more conscious consumers, they reduce health care costs for employers who would traditionally pay higher premiums for healthcare coverage their employees weren’t using.

Expectations for Employers

 

Setting up a high deductible health plan with your HRA is relatively simple. As the employer, you’ll need to set aside a pre-tax dollar amount for employees to cover health care costs each year. Developing this number can be tricky, but we can help with that process.

The two most important requirements you must meet are, 1) fully fund your plan and never reduce your employee’s salary based on the plan, and 2) you can only offer benefits through this plan for substantiated medical expenses.

Depending on the plan design, your HRA can help lower costs significantly.

 

Why Pair it With a High Deductible Health Plan?

 

High Deductible Plans are a no-brainer for most employers. Saving money on health care costs while still meeting Affordable Healthcare Act compliance isn’t a tough decision to make for most. However, a lack of coverage for employees could cause key talent to look elsewhere for employment.

To bridge the gap between what could be a very expensive health care plan for employers and greater coverage for employees, many businesses integrate an HRA.

Your HRA will serve as a savings account for your employees. While most of them are likely to never even dip into the fund, some will. If your basic insurance plan doesn’t cover your employee’s healthcare costs in a given year, the HRA will make up the difference.

There are multiple plan options for HRAs including:

  • Co-pay, Co-Insurance, and Deductibles. (Eligible medical expenses, co-payments, and co-insurance payments are reimbursable based on the agreement. Employees must provide an Explanation of Benefits (EOB) statement to be reimbursed for theirs or their family’s medical costs.)
  • All Uninsured Medical Expenses. This plan covers all of your employee’s out-of-pocket expenses. This includes all of the aforementioned plan’s coverage in addition to dental and vision care costs.
  • Select expenses. This is a more limited version of the HRA where employers offset costs associated with dental care or some other very specific service via a savings account.

If you want to keep your cost per employee for healthcare at a manageable level, particularly if you are a small business, one of the best options is an HRA integrated with a high-deductible health plan.

 

Benefits of High Deductible Health Plans

 

For employers, High Deductible Health plans are the perfect solution when paired with an HRA. They offer flexibility that few other compliant plans provide. As an employer, you have total control over the plan’s structure and reap a host of benefits along the way. Some of these benefits include the following.

Lowered Premiums

Because you’re pairing your HRA with a high deductible plan, your premium per employee is far lower. Many employees save hundreds per employee by switching to this plan design.

Plenty of Network Options

Employees don’t have to worry about added fees when they shop out of network for health care coverage. This is an added benefit that’s similar to an HMO plan.

Ideal for Healthy Groups

The healthier your group is, the better this option is. Employees who aren’t on expensive medications can benefit from the plan option without worrying about higher monthly bills.

Flexibility Allows You to Offer More Benefits

Instead of paying high premiums per employee, you can advertise multiple benefit options without the high costs. High Deductible Plans provide employees and employers with the flexibility they need to stay covered.

Negotiated Out-of-Pocket Expenses

When paying out of pocket employees can negotiate with their provider and get reduced costs for their healthcare needs. Insurance often is set to pay at a default rate, but paying cash for health care can dramatically reduce the costs to employees and employers via the HRA plan.

The greatest benefit of HRA’s and High Deductible Health Plans to employers is the flexibility and control they offer over costs.

How to Set it Up

 

Setting up your HRA to offset costs of a High Deductible Health Plan is a straightforward process. However, there are several factors to keep in mind before you make your switch.

Our team of healthcare consultants can set up your HRA to reduce your company’s health care costs. Contact our team to learn more about this process and how we can get started today.

 

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How a Health Insurance Agent Can Save Your Business Money

How A Health Insurance Agent Can Lower Your Company’s Costs

You want fully insured plan options for your organization. As your health insurance agent, so do we.

Cutting costs, reducing your time investment, and keeping your employees healthy and happy are goals we share with you.

The trouble is, you might be nervous to work with a health insurance agent.

Are they really all they’re cracked up to be? What can they do to save you money that you couldn’t do on our own in the market? What kind of cost savings can you expect from using one?

We understand your apprehension. Change is difficult, even if it is for the best. We’d like to take a stab at these questions and more in today’s post.

What we’ll cover in this article:

  • How we help you save on employee benefits.
  • Why experience makes a difference when shopping for plans.
  • How and why we sometimes suggest bundling coverage.
  • How HR support can save you money.

A Health Insurance Agent Does Comparison Shopping

Are you spending more for your employee health plans than needed? Many companies are.

Busy schedules, overworked HR departments, and a confusing health care market make comparison shopping all the more complicated.

Our job as your health insurance agent is to cut through that noise. We get to the heart of where your plan might be taking a hit. Our team does the heavy lifting for you by comparison shopping the market.

We ask the big questions about pharmaceutical costs, wellness incentives, and government health care refunds. Our team leaves no stone unturned to guarantee your company has a plan that saves you money and benefits your employees.

Everyone knows that comparing costs is the best way to find the right service. However, actively navigating the marketplace can be whole other task you simply don’t have time for. Don’t lose out on the benefits of comparison shopping simply because your team doesn’t have the bandwidth to do it. Work with a health insurance agent who knows how to quickly find and compare the best plans for your organization.

Bundled Coverage Produces Better Prices

In the vast majority of plans bundling coverage can save your business and employees money on health care costs.

We use a strategic approach to find your organization bundled discounts on basic health care coverage. Lower prescription costs, deductibles, and more is often a result of offering bundled plans to your employees.

However, we don’t blindly recommend bundled plans just because they sound good. We use our experience and industry insight to cut a clear path to finding an insurance plan that works.

Typically, your organization simply won’t have the time or resources to determine the best-bundled rates. Our team does and will do this for you.

We Negotiate Rates on Your Behalf

As your health insurance agent, we have the legal ability and industry knowledge to negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf.

A great example is how we negotiate to lower your group rate. We dig deep into your employee workforce (if you have fewer than 50 employees) and find out their demographics, what coverage they’ll likely need and what coverage they won’t.

Armed with this information we negotiate for lower ratings on your company’s behalf. That’s a benefit you aren’t likely to have without a health insurance agent in your corner. We also hone in on competitive data that makes insurance companies want to insure your group.

Check out the blog post we dedicated to the many ways we can negotiate with companies on your behalf.

We Have a More Comprehensive Understanding of Policies Offered By Specific Insurance Providers

Our team has over twenty years of experience working with Texas insurance providers and knows exactly what each company offers. As a result, we can easily pinpoint the exact fully insured plan that’s best for you and your team.

We understand group ratings, HRA plans, HR compliance, and Medicare and use that knowledge to find a plan that’s best for you.

How many people on your team can provide that same insight?

To navigate the complexities of the modern healthcare industry you need an expert on your side to cut costs and keep your business fully in line with healthcare updates. Our team can do that.

We Know Which Benefits to Cut

Did you know that some 69% of employees report being dissatisfied with the employee benefits their company offers? Are your employees among them? If so, you could be overspending for your benefits packages.

Other research shows that over 75% of employees stay with their current employer if they are satisfied with their benefits program.

It’s worth noting that more benefits aren’t necessarily better. You need to tune into what employees want.

A health insurance agent should be asking employees questions about their health care needs. They should also be able to tailor employee benefits plans that fit the needs of your company’s demographics.

Instead of overpaying for your benefits plan, get one that your employees actually want to use, and eliminate the ones they don’t.

We Increase the Efficiency of Your HR Team

Your HR team is no doubt amazing, but what could make it even stronger is the added support of compliance geniuses who know precisely how to handle your group plans. That’s what we do as your health insurance agent.

We stay on top of the latest compliance updates to ensure your company is always meeting the necessary standards.

Our team also handles aspects such as:

  • Recruiting
  • Employee onboarding tools
  • FSA and COBRA Administration
  • Eligibility Management
  • And much more

We Help You Avoid Group Health Mistakes

Sometimes the costliest part of your employee health plan is the mistakes you make. For example, many companies make mistakes like these and don’t even know it:

-Listing themselves as the wrong group size or not updating the size of their business as it grows/declines.

-Offering multiple plans instead of one comprehensive plan that employees can adjust individually.

-Auto-renewing without even giving it a second thought.

-Not staying on top of your administration.

Our job is to help your company avoid these mistakes, thus saving you money in the present and into the future.

We Offer Free Services

The best part is, our services come at no cost to your business if you have fewer than 50 employees. We know how important it is to you that you get the best service and maintain the lowest costs possible. As a health insurance agent for multiple companies in the Houston, Texas area, we take our role seriously.

Give us a call to see if we can help your business cut costs on your group health insurance plan.

 

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Professional Employer Organization

What is a PEO and Are They Always Cheaper?

Small businesses look for any possible outlet to stay competitive with larger companies. One option they look at is Professional Employer Organizations (PEO). PEOs help companies provide greater benefits and handle their administrative tasks.

As a team of health consultants, we help small and medium-sized organizations select the best possible options for their company. A growing trend is the adoption of PEO services. In fact, there are now more than 700 PEOs in the United States helping companies of various sizes.

But what is a PEO and how can they affect your group health rating, if at all?

What Is a PEO?

 

A Professional Employer Organization handles virtually all of your HR needs. Their role includes work with payroll and administration, workers’ compensation insurance, employee health and benefits, and compliance with state and federal laws.

Small companies who are overworked and need to strengthen their staff turn to PEOs to cut down on tedious, yet important, tasks. HR departments have much on their plate. If you can find a way to make their jobs easier, you can improve employee morale and reduce overtime.

PEOs have the bandwidth to manage thousands of employees for you. They can handle and purchase insurance benefit plans. If they’re skilled at their job, they might even be able to provide higher-quality plans that increase your skilled workforce. Essentially, they are experts in all things employee-related and are trained to provide the best options for your business.

Instead of spending hours trying to figure out how to onboard a 401 (k) plan for your team, you can task your PEO to tackle the job for you. They can also manage your flexible spending account.

PEOs also support your employees by providing HR manuals that outline the guidelines and procedures required by law regarding your benefits packages. They keep up to date with frequent changes to the world of insurance and employment legislation so you never miss a beat.

Speaking of compliance, PEOs aid with regulatory compliance including the OSHA, EEOC, ADA and so much more. This can, in turn, save your business on costs and penalties that could creep up if you’re not careful. Management of payroll, employee benefits, and sick-time accruals are also benefits of hiring a Professional Employer Organization.

Now that you know the good, let’s take a look at the negatives of using a PEO directory for your business.

What You Need to Know about PEOs

 

At HCI Consultants, we work with PEOs on a fairly consistent basis. Our experience gives us eye-witness accounts of how Professional Employer Organizations work.

First, we often hear our clients talk about the costs, or more directly, the savings offered by PEOs. However, what’s often overlooked is that PEOs can very easily transfer the savings they offer to other aspects of your coverage. For example, they can roll the savings they achieve for medical services over to payroll or workers comp. Sometimes it’s even transferred to an administration fee.

Failure to recognize these fees can cause you to overpay for basic services for years. While this isn’t the case across the board, it is an important facet to be aware of.

PEOs also make it a bit of a struggle to leave because they do not release claims data after you renew. If they by chance happen to release that claims data, they provide the least amount possible so that other carriers reject it for underwriting. The result is higher priced coverage for your company at no fault of your own.

Our recommendation is to separate your coverage as best as possible so that you enjoy greater savings. Another benefit of this is that it’s easier to get underwriting for various plans moving forward, giving you more freedom to choose what is best for your company, not what’s best for the organization you’re employing.

While promises may be high, it isn’t uncommon for PEOs to fail to properly evaluate the company they are working for. This can lead to serious price hikes for your business. The whole point of using a PEO is to cut costs and to improve your employee services. Unfortunately, things could go in the opposite direction if you’re not careful.

For most businesses, though, they feel that the cost savings of using a PEO directory are worth the risk. But that might not be the case…

The Truth About PEO Costs

 

In most situations, the savings you enjoy from group health and benefit plans outweigh the cost of using a PEO. However, that might not always be a reality. Your PEO should be financially responsible enough to carry your company and get the savings you need, after all, what would be the point of hiring them if they aren’t providing those savings?

Unfortunately, there is much misinformation out there about how PEOs actually work. Many companies mistakenly believe they are the only route to cutting costs via your HR department. That isn’t the case.

At Healthcare Consultants Inc., we provide tools and resources that support your HR department. Offloading some of the most pressing components of your employee benefits services might be all you need, and as your healthcare consultant team, we can do that.

Additionally, the costs of hiring a PEO might be much higher than you think.

Conservative estimates for PEO costs range between $500 and $1,500 per employee each year. Small companies could see lower, flat rates instead. Those costs add up quickly when your workforce grows. Even 10 to 15 employees might rack up enough costs to send you to the accountant.

 

How to Know if a PEO Is Right For Your Organization

 

Any decision you make for your company can have a serious impact. Hiring a Professional Employer Organization requires that you do your part to research the effect it could have. If you are going to use one, be sure to check that they are accredited by the Employer Services Assurance Corporation. It’s also a good idea to investigate references to see what previous customers have to say about their services.

At the end of the day, your HR costs will make the decision for you. If you feel there is room for an investment in alternate services, a PEO could be a good fit. It’s tempting to hire a firm to manage your paperwork and employee benefits plans, but that could be an extra charge you really don’t need.

Remember, HCI can provide the long-term support your company needs to tackle much of your extra HR tasks. However, if you need additional guidance on whether or not a PEO is right for your company, we’d be happy to answer your questions. Contact us today for more information.

 

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Employee Benefits Specialists Texas healthcare

What Should Your Employee Benefits Specialist Do?

Companies with more than 50 employees need an employee benefits specialist. If your company isn’t using one to manage your company’s Texas health care benefits, you could be leaving money on the table.

How much money could you be losing?

If you have a benefits specialist on your team, are they really doing all they should to keep costs low and employees satisfied?

Let’s take a look at what your specialists should do and what your employees need from their services.

Why Are Employee Benefits Important?

In a recent survey, Factl asked 2,000 employees which employee benefits were most important to them when weighing low and high paying jobs. Of those respondents, 88 percent said that health care coverage was the most important benefit.

Rising healthcare costs are driving demand for greater employer coverage. In addition, wellness programs and greater work flexibility/paid vacation time are also important, but healthcare remains a primary concern.

Employees who are offered the same job with the same pay will nearly always choose to work for the company with the greatest benefits. Failing to offer these benefits makes companies less competitive.

To retain key talent, companies must have a solid employee benefits plan, and that begins by hiring the right employee benefits specialists.

In a recent data review study by Glassdoor, employees revealed that health insurance had the greatest impact on their job satisfaction out of all their benefits. However, employees also noted that the quality of care offered by their employer-provided health plan was critical to their satisfaction.

It is abundantly clear that healthcare is the number one employee benefits companies can offer. In a time when benefits seemingly increase in costs each year, it pays to know which ones matter most. These two surveys reveal the importance of creating a powerful healthcare based benefits package.

Of course, even the best healthcare benefits package is worthless if your employees don’t know about it.

Employees Need to Know About Their Benefits

Your HR department is constantly putting out fires and managing the day-to-day for employees. Asking them to handle your company’s employee benefits is a mistake. That’s where employee benefits specialists can help.

For example, if your company is paying thousands every year for wellness programs like gym memberships etc., and only 20% of your employees are using them, there could be a problem.

One theme we see as employee benefits specialist dealing with Texas health care is a lack of awareness around benefits. This is especially true of preventive service benefits.

Employees may not take advantage of preventative screenings because they’re unaware they have coverage for them. In some cases, this could lead to undiagnosed deadly illnesses.

Employee benefits specialists communicate with employees what their benefits are to prevent tragic results. They strategically notify employees of worthwhile benefits. The outcome is better engagement with your benefits plans and less money left on the table.

Reducing confusion is another area specialists can help. Complicated jargon can overwhelm employees. Simplifying this language, and reaching out to employees who might be confused, helps them use available benefits. It’s up to employers to make sure the benefits they are paying for are being used properly.

So how can you know if your employee benefits specialist is doing their job correctly? Is there a benchmark for success? What are some requirements they should meet?

Basic Requirements for Employee Benefits Specialists

Employee Benefits Specialists require extensive training to enter the industry. A few basic tasks that specialists should handle include:

Cost Comparison

Employee benefits specialists should primarily be focused on providing their company with a great deal on the most attractive benefits package. This involves research and lots of it. Reduced corporate spending with the best coverage is the end goal. They repeat this process for each benefit until they can find the lowest price without sacrificing important benefits. They also look at contract lengths to add flexibility to your package.

Share those benefits with employees

Back to our previous point, once they create a killer benefits package, benefits specialists should share it with your employees. This might involve holding webinars, in-person meetings, or simply sending out email blasts on a regular basis.

Help brand benefits and communication

Employees need to know the information they’re receiving is, in fact, coming from their employer. Benefits specialist should know how to properly brand their communication to guarantee it reaches their audience. They do this by using company logos and consistently reaching out to employees via company channels.

Ask for feedback

Feedback from employees ensures the benefits packages are satisfying their needs. It might also involve asking employees if they’re aware of some of the many benefits your company offers. The goal is to make sure they are.

Key Characteristics of Employee Benefits Specialists

Finding the right employee benefits specialists involves more than hiring someone with a degree. There is a personal element to the job that can make or break employee satisfaction along with your company budget. Key characteristics of the best benefits specialists include:

  • Analytically minded. This position requires a person or team that doesn’t mind pouring through page after page of data. An analytical mind makes the process easier and more thorough.
  • Technically inclined. Modern HR technology is evolving. Apps, AI, data, and algorithms are changing the way insurance companies function. You need someone who is adaptable in an ever-changing environment.
  • Industry Experience. Understanding the past can help you grow in the future. Experienced benefits specialists give you a leg up on the competition.

If your employee benefits specialist doesn’t have these characteristics you could be leaving money on the table.

Their Role in Health Care

Your team’s health is important. Benefits specialists can help keep them healthy by doing their job.

First, their job begins with determining the best benefits for your current team. They do this by analyzing data about your employees.

Next, they put together a healthcare package that includes coverage for what employees most need. This might be dental, vision, and preventive screenings, for example.

They will then make employees aware of these benefits. Specialists will also look to push wellness programs to reduce healthcare costs for your company.

Once they’ve put together a high-quality benefits package they’ll keep track of what’s working and what’s not. Metric tracking helps them see where employees are taking action on available benefits, and where they might need a nudge in the right direction.

Is your current employee benefits specialists meeting these standards? If not, it could be time to branch out.

At Healthcare Consultants Inc., we offer experienced benefits services that your employees want while saving you money. Give us a call today to learn more about our employee benefits services and how we can help.

 

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Health insurance agent

How To Know It’s Time To Break-Up With Your Health Insurance Agent

Is it time to hire a new health insurance agent?

About 157 million Americans have insurance coverage through their employer. Of those employers, some 63 percent of them use a health insurance agent. The value of using a health insurance agent is undisputed. In Houston, Texas, our team helps hundreds of businesses achieve cost savings on their group plans by serving as their insurance agent.

But what if your current agent isn’t saving you as much as they could? Is it possible that you are paying out more per employee than you have to?

Unfortunately, a hectic schedule, day-to-day office demands, and business operations can reign in any investigation of your company’s health care options.

If your company is one of the third of companies who use health insurance agents, and you’ve stayed with the same team for years, it could be time to take a closer look at what you’re getting. Compare your broker with the following points to see how they stack up. It could be time to break-up for good.

Questions to Ask Yourself About Your Health Insurance Agent

To determine if your health insurance agent is doing their best for your company, start by asking questions. All good investigations start with the right questions. Play journalist for the day and analyze the answers you come up with to the following questions.

Does your agent keep you up to date?

If you are unaware of how many are employees are currently enrolled in your group health plan, your broker might not be doing his job. Their job is to keep you in the know about employee enrollment, benefits use, how to cater to a new market of employees and more. This information guides your plan and improves your employees experience with your company.

-Are you being presented with multiple options each enrollment period?

Every year, the enrollment period should have your broker working overtime. They should prepare options for your plan, research if adjustments are needed, and present you with comprehensive plan changes. The more options available the better your savings could be.

-Do they handle anything beyond your insurance plans?

Health insurance agents should provide more than just health plan services. After all, you could do that yourself if you had the time. Instead, brokers should dig deep and manage benefits packages, give your HR department a bit of a break, keep up with employee health insurance needs and more.

-Are they available for compliance updates?

Compliance is a delicate process. Without it, your company could come under fire and be penalized. Experienced health insurance agents keep your company up-to-date with federal and local Houston, Texas compliance standards to protect your business.

-How responsive are they to your employee’s concerns?

As an extension of your HR department, your broker should quickly answer any questions your employees may have regarding their health plan. If you find your team answering their questions or contacting the broker for them, you could be getting the short end of the stick.

Are they available to resolve billing issues?

Claims issues can arise, and when they do your health insurance agent should be there to help. From adjusting billing statements to scrutinizing preferred providers, a professional broker will always be there to resolve billing issues.

-Can they compile documentation to assist with resolving claims?

Further still, documentation is necessary to resolve claims. Instead of adding another task to your already overworked HR department, a broker should tackle this for your team.

After answering those questions, how do you feel about the broker you currently use? Does he live up to these standards?

Health Insurance Agents Should Be an Extension of Your HR Department

Your broker should also be a member of your HR team. They serve as your personal benefits expert and know precisely how to comply with state and federal regulations. This frees up your HR team to do what they do best. Ultimately, health insurance agents are responsible for personalizing health benefits.

Your benefits team (aka your broker) should also evaluate the HR technology process to leverage what’s available and help your company outpace the competition. They should suggest solutions to improve where your company is today.

Health insurance agents that aren’t seen as the friendliest might not be giving you their all.

At Healthcare Consultants Inc., we offer our clients recruiting tools, employee onboarding tools, performance appraisal tools, a diverse HR legislation and compliance library, payroll processing and more for HR departments. Our concierge services are some of our most popular, with countless Houston, Texas companies using them to maintain superior HR teams.

We do our best to provide the required support to see you through daily demands placed on your team. For more information about our HR specific services, please visit this page.

Employees Aren’t Contacting Them

Your health insurance agent should double as a point of contact for your employees. You shouldn’t spend time answering questions they can handle.

If you find your employees refusing to contact your agent for any reason, it could be a sign that either:

A). They aren’t answering employee’s requests, or,

B). They aren’t the friendliest when they do.

Your team should feel 100% comfortable sharing their concerns with your agent. As professionals, they should know how to make your team feel comfortable with sensitive topics like private medical concerns. Finding a broker who is not only well versed with the available options but also one who is compassionate and kind, is essential.

Painful or even awkward phone calls can become a thing of the past if you hire a health insurance agent who carefully listens to your employees. With less time spent talking to employees about their benefits services, your team can stay focused on the task at hand, thereby increasing productivity.

There is a Lack of Opportunities Because Your Agent is Captive

Is your agent a captive agent? If so, your health insurance options are limited. Captive agents only offer plans from certain providers. Plan changes take much longer than with independent agents as well.

Independent agents have access to various carriers and even workers’ compensation insurance for multiple industries.

To get the most of your plan options, ask if your current agent is captive and then consider making a move to an agent who can offer better cost savings for your company.

Why Switch Agents?

Change can be hard. However, the benefits of switching health insurance agents could outweigh the costs. Those benefits include:

  • To get lower cost insurance for your company
  • Enjoy better support
  • To stay on top of industry changes
  • For more services beyond just insurance plan design (HR compliance, Payroll, Employee Benefits Services etc.)

Don’t let emotions blind you to the facts. If it’s time to hire a new health insurance agent make the change. Your company’s budget and employees will thank you.

For more information about hiring a health insurance agent consider the government’s own recommendations at Healthcare.gov.

If you find it’s time to make the switch we would love to talk to you. Our family-owned healthcare consultants team is ready to answer your questions and maximize your budget. Give us a call today.

 

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Employee Health Benefits

How to Construct the Perfect Employee Health Benefits Plan

One could argue that building an employee health benefits plan is like constructing a house. It requires a design, vision, and appropriate budget.

Since some 60% of employees report that benefits are a major factor when deciding whether or not to accept a job offer, it’s good practice to build a stellar employee benefits package. A competitive job market makes benefits all the more important.

If you think about employee health benefits like you would building a home, you can piece together a plan of action that puts you in the line of sight for well-qualified employees. And that’s precisely what we did.

Here’s How to Think About Your Employee Health Benefits Plan for Better Results

Planning the Design & Blueprints (Financial Planning)

Designers work with property owners to develop a strategic blueprint for the building. This design process starts with one discussion—the budget.

Your financial situation can change from year to year, so opting for high-end employee health packages can come back to bite you if there is a downturn in your market.

The best route to go is to analyze what your business can comfortably handle in terms of benefits. Meet with your HR department to ensure your numbers match what you’d like to do.

Determine an estimate of how many employees the package will be applicable to. Analyze the cost to benefit ratio of your benefits package as well. Who will benefit from your package? What value do they offer your company?

Just like when building a home you have to plan your budget far into the future and with unexpected challenges in mind, you must do the same with your employee’s health benefits package.

Laying the Foundation (Doing Research)

Before you can frame a home you must first lay down a solid foundation. The same is true of an employee benefits package. To lay that foundation you have to do research.

For example, when asked what benefits they valued the most, 88% of job seekers remarked that better health, vision, and dental insurance were of greater importance than vacation time and work-from-home opportunities.

Another important factor is to consider the cost to value ratio of offering said benefits. The cost of health insurance premiums rise every year, with some outpacing others. Having a defined contribution plan goes a long way towards keeping costs manageable, however.

Of course, demographics play an important role in laying the right foundation as well.

In our home-building analogy, an expert builder would be fully aware of the ground on which she builds. Slopped landscapes aren’t a good place to build a mansion, for example.

A lack of understanding of your target demographic is equally unstable footing from which to build an employee health benefit plan.

Get inside the minds of your employees. For example, millennials are looking for health benefits and wellness packages more than previous generations. Understanding the details of what they want gives you an opportunity to build your employee health benefit plans according to the market.

Some current trends in employee health benefit plans include:

  • Customized health insurance plans. Employees aren’t fond of the “one size fits all” insurance benefits plans. Communication between you and your employees makes a big difference in determining the right benefits to offer.
  • Digital Health Care. Access to health information on the go is important for many Americans and becoming increasingly so. This benefits your business as employees get well sooner, increasing productivity in the process.
  • Consumer-based health care. Preventive care, prescription drugs, and wellness coverage are all critical to 21st-century

Zoning (Padding Your Plan)

Now that you know what the expectations are for your demographic employees, the next step is to start to fill in your frame and foundation.

This process starts with deciding how you’ll offer the benefits you have now secured. Another component is figuring out how to align your new employee benefits package with what is legal.

Most employers are fully aware of the 10 minimum essential benefits they have to offer but less aware of some of the other health care reforms that have been made to the system. These include:

How do the health care exchanges dictate the availability of plans through employers? First, small businesses will be able to shop for group health insurance plans on the exchange network. In so doing they’ll receive a subsidiary to compensate them. Alternatively, they can be reimbursed for the nonsubsidized part of the plan through their defined contribution allowance.

What are the requirements if I have more than 50 employees? The requirements are simple, you have to offer the minimum essential coverage we mentioned in addition to making sure that coverage is affordable for all employees. Failure to do so results in a penalty. However, by providing your employees with quality health insurance benefits you can not only win them over but also reduce penalties associated with the ACA.

Adhering to these regulations is non-negotiable. Understanding how to do so isn’t that easy, which leads us to our next point.

Put On the Finishing Touches (Meeting with a Health Care Consultant)

No builder does it all alone. They need assistance and support from individuals who have years of experience in the construction business to make the most of their benefits packages.

Similarly, when it comes to designing your own employee health benefits plan, it’s critical you consult with a professional. The finer details of employee health plans can come back to bite you if you’re unaware of their costs.

Factors that can greatly impact the outcome of your plan include:

  • An uncertain future for your company.
  • Frustration for employees who may not enjoy the same perks because you’re changing your plan for newcomers.
  • A lack of competence in administering new benefits.
  • Failure to realize how many employees will actually use the new benefits package.
  • A lack of available funding for many of the benefits of the plan.

You don’t want to face these issues alone. Having a Healthcare consultant on your side can minimize the risks of signing up for a new employee health benefits plan.

Another important consideration you can make before securing a new plan is to simply speak with your employees. Conduct a survey to see what it is they want to see from their new benefits plan. What are some benefits they want? What are some benefits they could do without?

A simple in-house survey can work wonders towards saving you money on unnecessary benefits.

You can also take a look at what your competitors are offering their employees, after all, they’re the ones who could steal your employees if you’re not careful.

Summing It Up

Building an employee health benefits plan is a challenge, just like building a home. It requires forethought, proper planning, the right tools and the right support.

Our team at Healthcare Consultants Inc. wants to help you. We’ve helped thousands of businesses in Houston, Texas secure high-quality employee benefits plans and save them money. Contact our team today for the help you need.

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A Complete Guide to Qualifying Life Events

The Affordable Health Care Act requires Americans to carry an insurance plan that adheres to the 10 minimum essential benefits. Employers are also required to adhere to the ACA. However, qualifying life events can muddy the waters for open enrollment. Understanding what qualifying life events are applicable for a special enrollment period can help you ensure your employees always have health insurance in Houston.

For a better understanding of this process, and the qualifications it requires, please continue reading.

COBRA Compliance

All employers with more than 20 employees are typically required to provide COBRA coverage and to let their employees know they offer such coverage. Most private-sector employers are required to offer it, including those in Texas.

When group plans are subject to COBRA compliance, there is one small exception to this rule. If an employer has employed over 20 employees during the previous year there is no requirement for compliance. The purpose of COBRA is to offer continued group health care coverage even when that plan has been eliminated.

COBRA was enacted by Congress in 1986 to protect individuals under group health plans. The provision it offers extend to retirees, previous employees, dependent children, and former spouses of recipients. However, COBRA coverage is only applicable when plan members suffer a qualifying life event. These qualifying life events dictate whether or not a person associated with the plan can receive benefits.

In most cases, COBRA compliant plans are more expensive for non-employees and more affordable under a group employer plan for individuals. The greatest advantage to this law is the guarantee of health care coverage during unforeseen life changes. Let’s take a look at what these qualifying life events are and what you need to know about them.

Qualifying Life Events

Qualifying events require employers to continue their health insurance coverage when a group health plan ends because of them. COBRA compliance outlines seven specific life events that qualify for this emergency coverage. They are the following.

  1. Reduced working hours for employees. If an employee has had their hours reduced they qualify for a change to their plan.
  2. Termination of employment. Employees that are covered by a COBRA compliant group health care plan qualify for COBRA coverage if and when they are fired. The only exception to this rule is gross misconduct.
  3. Divorce or legal separation from a covered employee. When a spouse is covered by one of these plans they qualify for changes and a special enrollment period if they are legally separated or divorced.
  4. An employee passes away. The death of an employee covered by this plan is considered a qualifying life event.
  5. A dependent child ceases to qualify as one under the plan terms. Typically, children can stay on their parent’s plan until age 26.
  6. The employee’s entitlement to Medicare begins.
  7. Employer files for bankruptcy.

Should an employee lose access to their group health plan for any reason that is not considered a COBRA qualifying event the employer is not required to provide them COBRA coverage. Understanding these qualifying events is crucial for employers to avoid offering coverage unnecessarily. Additionally, if a life event doesn’t result in the loss of coverage, employers don’t have to provide coverage.

Alternative qualifying life events include:

  • Having or adopting a child.
  • Getting married
  • Moving to the USA within 28 days of employment

How it Works for Beneficiaries

Once a plan member hits a qualifying event it triggers a process that requires employers to adhere to COBRA requirements. This includes offering coverage to beneficiaries of the employee. Qualified beneficiaries have a right to elect COBRA if they so choose.

Who are Qualified Beneficiaries?

  • Individuals who are covered under a plan at least 1 day prior to a qualifying life event
  • Employee
  • Spouse of an employee
  • Child or dependent of an employee
  • Any child who is born or placed for adoption with an employee during COBRA continuation coverage.

A good example of this would be if an employee and her spouse were covered by a health plan before a qualifying life event. The spouse could potentially elect COBRA regardless if the employee denied coverage. This means they choose to use COBRA as an emergency safety net for their health care coverage. The time that a beneficiary or employee opts to have COBRA coverage is also known as the “maximum coverage period.”

The maximum time allotted for COBRA coverage varies from plan to plan, but in general, for group health plans it stays at 30 to 60 days total. Depending on the qualifying life event, it can be extended for up to 36 months, but that’s only under certain stipulations.

Of course, not all loss of health care coverage is due to a qualifying life event. This means that beneficiaries and employees might not be eligible for coverage.

What It Means to Lose Coverage

There are a couple of instances that may result in a loss health insurance in Houston but don’t necessarily qualify individuals for COBRA coverage.

The first is a failure to pay premiums. If employees are failing to pay their side of health care premiums they are not eligible for emergency coverage. Employers are not required to enact COBRA for employees in this situation.

The second is cancellation of coverage. If an employee was accidentally enrolled in a health plan but the plan is canceled that doesn’t count as a qualifying life event for COBRA.

Even partial loss of coverage can actually trigger COBRA rights for employees. An uptick in employee premiums or contributions because of a qualifying event. We’ve covered the basis of what these events are, but it’s important to pay attention to even minor changes in lifestyle as it could result in COBRA enactment without employer knowledge.

Additional Qualifying Life Events

Besides COBRA requirements, health care plans can be changed by other qualifying life events under HIPPA special enrollments events, FMLA Leaves of Absence, Medicare or Medicaid entitlement, significant changes to the employer’s plan. Improvement to your benefits package or a serious change in coverage can also be enough to qualify employees to alter their group health plan.

Ultimately, it is the responsibility of the employer to inform employees that they qualify for the special enrollment period, but it’s important to note any changes to their coverage can be complicated and change the costs of the overall plan.

It’s best to consult with experts before making any changes to your plan or advising your employees to do so.

At Healthcare Consultants Inc., that’s what we do best. For more information about your plan, how to handle qualifying life events, or manage your health insurance in Houston, we’d love to be of assistance. Please reach out to us with any questions you may have about this or other health insurance related requirements.

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Claims data and Healthcare Costs

How To Use HB2015 Claims Data to Reduce Healthcare Costs

 

Growing concern over rising employer healthcare costs has caused many to turn their attention to claims data. Claims data provides greater transparency for employers selecting plans. Texas is one of the only states in the nation that has a law on the books that requires transparency of health plan claims data by insurance carriers. Known as HB2015, the bill was enacted in 2007 before the ACA and was designed to reduce healthcare costs.

The question is, how can you as an employer use this law to reduce healthcare costs and ensure that you’re getting the best coverage for the best rate. Before we do that, let’s explore what HB2015 is and how it works.

What is HB2015?

House Bill 2015 (HB2015) changes the Insurance Code to demand that health insurance issuers who receive a written request for a report from a group health plan must provide a claims report.

Inside this report, claims data must be included. However, certain restrictions apply. The requester must prove they have a right to access the information contained. Once the requestor receives the report, they can follow up for additional information if needed. Once a request is submitted, issuers must respond within 30 days.

Issuers who refuse to release this information to approved of individuals can be subject to administrative penalties. They cannot, however, be held liable for civil damages.

There are many laws that protect individuals from having their health history used against them. HB2015 is focused on gaining accurate information to make a health plan decision without violating individual privacy.

The claims data that the plan’s sponsor has requested must include this information:

  • Total dollar amount of pendent claims
  • Total monthly premiums
  • Paid claims data per month
  • Census data for employees

These reports are captured in either Tier 1 or Tier 2. Tier 1 includes large claims and tier 2 is large claims exceeding $15,000. If an individual claims report has paid claims worth more than $15,000 within 12 months, they must provide a separate sheet and description of those claims. Each claim over $15,000 must have a unique identifying number for the person who received them, the date of service, the amount paid, and procedure and diagnosis codes.

Armed with this information, employers can take steps to reduce healthcare costs and ensure their employees are well taken care of. Of course, it’s a bit more complicated than that. Here’s how claims data makes a huge difference in your costs.

Claims Data Makes a Difference

When health insurance broker’s like our team are looking to lower costs for employers, we try to avoid community rating proposals. One way we’re able to do this is through claims data. We maximize the data to help underwriters determine the appropriate risk for the group and pricing. Pricing that’s based on accurate claims information is a powerful way to keep costs under control.

Large claims data is equally important. Some groups may run over 100% in their previous year because of a one-off cost like a high-cost surgery. We call this a “shock claim.” These “shock claims” do not require follow up treatment and therefore shouldn’t be included in the underwriting process. By having cold hard data that shows how the group used their insurance in the previous year is the easiest way to determine what future costs will be. However, if you don’t have access to claims data you can’t argue to lower costs based on this alone.

The good news is, a carrier typically has 12-24 months of continuous claims data available to rate a group. You simply need to know to access it or work with someone who does. Failing to request a report could cost you big.

Claims data with additional information from other sources can provide a solid basis for developing lower-cost group plans. Another component is the cost and use of prescription medications. The first part of the process is using the drug utilization report.

What About the Drug Utilization Report?

Each year, states are required to record their state’s prescribing habits and cost savings generated from the Drug Utilization Review (DUR) programs. Employers and health plan providers use DUR programs and reports to increase the efficiency of health care resources.

Drug utilization reports enable the managed care pharmacist to identify group prescription trends for patients with conditions like high blood pressure, asthma, and diabetes. This, in turn, provides better care for the individuals in the group and reduces unnecessary costs for the employer.

The ultimate purpose of DURs is to improve patient care. And the better care individuals receive, the less likely they are to file claims, and the less likely they are to have high pharmaceutical expenditures.  Reduced claims lead to lower costs for the holder.

Auditing claims data can seem inconsequential but the reality is it can greatly bring back your investment and then some. By improving the healthcare of the individuals on a group plan, you can increase their benefits by default.

The Healthcare Consultants Inc. team is determined to use tools like the drug utilization report to maintain affordable prices and higher quality care for sponsors and their beneficiaries.

How Your Business Can Benefit

For every service you receive as a business you know exactly what you’re getting. You sign contracts that clearly outline the services you’re getting or giving. It is not a guessing game. You know precisely what to expect—especially if you’re paying thousands of dollars. Why should healthcare be any different?

As a business, you likely pay out thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars, in health insurance. It’s only logical that you’d want to know what the insurance company is paying out, for what, and to whom. Saving money on your plan and turning the cost curve downwards begins and ends with educating yourself about insurance payouts.

A simple critique of your company’s insurance costs can go a long way towards improving your health insurance costs. And thanks to state laws, companies in Houston, Texas can use HB2015 to request insurance records and claims data to make smarter decisions.

Once you have this information the next step is to use it for underwriting your proposal. That’s where we can help. The Healthcare Consultants Inc., team knows how to use often overlooked tools like claims data to reduce your healthcare costs.

For more information about claims data or HB2015 and how it might affect your business, please reach out to us. We can walk you through the process of gathering this information and can let you know how it translates into greater costs savings.

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Health insurance Broker

Do All Health Insurance Brokers Really Have the Same Price?

Searching for a health insurance broker in Houston, Texas? The complexities of employer-based health insurance require the assistance of a professional, but did you know that no two brokers offer the same service?

Brokers vary in the services they offer, the experience they have, and the negotiation power they can wield. Reducing costs and keeping employees satisfied with benefits packages is a tough balance to strike. The right broker, however, does this and so much more.

But should pricing differ that much? What is it you really get with the plan your broker is offering?

Understanding Health Insurance Broker Compensation

Health insurance brokers are trained to understand the health insurance market and how to negotiate with carriers to get the best possible rates for their clients. Clients may be experienced employers with hundreds of employees or individuals who simply want a better rate and coverage for their needs.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) has had a dramatic impact on the health insurance landscape. Brokers are now a critical part of helping individuals and businesses navigate this complex world. Broker compensation, however, has largely remained the same.

Most broker compensation is based on several factors including:

  • Experience
  • Services offered
  • Market Knowledge
  • Strategic Plan Design
  • Market Power
  • Negotiating Ability

The more adept the broker is at these abilities or services, the greater their value to the person using them. Just as with any other position, compensation should be based on value and skill. Unfortunately, many consumers find it difficult to distinguish between brokers. While some may claim to offer the lowest rates, what does that really mean for you?

First, brokers are not paid by the client. They are paid by commission based on the plans they secure for the folks that use them. For example, if a company with a group size of 50 employees comes to a broker looking for guidance, the broker will not receive compensation from that group if he secures a plan for them. Instead, the broker receives compensation from the insurer.

Broker’s compensation fees are built into every plan, so consumers pay for them whether or not they use a broker. However, by using brokers, employers and individuals can benefit from a wide range of services they may not know they needed. What are not included are broker’s fees.

Broker’s Fees

Broker’s fees are another area to consider. While broker compensation is typically in the commission or in the core price paid for your coverage many brokers attempt to incur fees via added services. These services might include:

  • COBRA Assistance
  • Compliance
  • Online Enrollment
  • HR Support
  • Claims Support
  • Consultation
  • Employee Handbooks

Fees are most often billed separately, but this where most brokers differ. Some opt to charge their clients high fees for the services they need, while others choose to include those in the premium costs. So while you may be paying the same rate, what you aren’t getting is the same level of service.

Clients often realize this when their broker doesn’t seem overly concerned with negotiating their rates. This can also come out when a client needs assistance with claims or could use the added help of a qualified lawyer. Many brokers only provide those services for an additional fee even though they are already getting a percentage of the total premium.

A health insurance broker who is only concerned with broker compensation won’t focus on making your rates more affordable or your coverage better.

Brokers Role in Health Insurance Coverage

Brokers are responsible for representing buyers. Their job is to seek out agreements that are in your best interest. They do this by first gathering information about you or your company, what requirements you may have, and your budget. A broker can always find a better plan than standard offers because of their ability to understand the market place. The right broker will not only understand the market place but also consider your personal needs. What they charge, however, can vary greatly.

Many brokers charge up to 8% or 9% for the services they provide. Commissions based services come with a down side—they incentivize the broker to offer higher priced plans. The higher the premium you pay, the more they earn in commission.

The trouble is, many of these brokers aren’t providing the valuable services needed to justify the ROI. For example, your broker should aggressively negotiate better rates on your company’s behalf or shop the market to find a competitive rate. They should also handle adds or terms and hold enrollment meetings for employers. All of that is factored into the ongoing commission they make on each plan they negotiate.

Another area to be aware of is partially self-funded, level-funded, self-insured plans. These plan rates are often set by brokers. Brokers negotiate on behalf of the buyer with the TPA or reinsurance carrier. In many cases, the fee schedule (the rate paid to doctors or providers) is far from transparent. Unfortunately, some brokers take advantage of this and add in the aggregate or specific premium they want to increase their commission. The result? A higher premium for the buyer.

To get the most out of your insurance coverage, you need a broker in your corner who is always transparent. You need a team that is on the lookout for the best rate possible without sacrificing on the quality of the coverage you deserve.

Healthcare Consultants Inc. Brokers You Can Trust

At Healthcare Consultants Inc., our first priority is actively negotiating better rates for our clients. At the end of the day, we are only as valuable as the services we offer and the premiums we can negotiate. That’s why with every commission we earn we offer assistance with COBRA, HR, Compliance, Claims assistance, Enrollment Meetings, and even provide Employee handbooks at no extra fee. We also provide a transparent rate structure so you know exactly what you’re paying for.

Our goal is to make our percentage rating as low as possible and offer the greatest level of service. Our 20 plus years of industry experience, market knowledge, and negotiating ability has earned us countless loyal long-term clients.

We fully appreciate that your company or family deserves the best in health insurance coverage. That’s why we deliver the best possible broker services at the best possible rates. We take a hands-on approach to the negotiation process, and as a small business ourselves, we try to find the best coverage options. While other brokers are charging 8% because they can, we believe you should get a significant ROI, which is why we always offer the services mentioned above in our broker’s fees.

If you’re looking for a health insurance broker in Houston, Texas, or the surrounding areas, we’d love to help. For fast, friendly, and efficient service please reach out to us today.

 

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