When an employer is looking to implement a group health insurance plan for their employees, they need to compare the costs and benefits. While it is simple to figure out the cost of group health insurance (simply the premium), the benefits are not as easy to quantify. We will try to answer those questions here with our list of the 9 benefits of Group Health Insurance.
Lower Cost – health insurance plans offered by an employer to their employees cost less than health insurance available in the individual marketplace. This is common sense, as when you can group many people together from different businesses and offer a plan where all employees will join, you lower the overall risk of a large claim amongst many individuals in the group.
Larger Networks – I will use Oxford Health as an example here. Oxford has one relatively small network in the individual marketplace. However, they have 3 much larger networks in the small group market. These networks (Oxford Freedom, Oxford Liberty, and Oxford Metro networks) are all larger than what is available in the individual marketplace. They offer more choice of doctors and hospitals.
Multiple Network Choices – To continue with the Oxford Health example above, a small business can offer plans using multiple networks. By offering small business health insurance plan with multiple networks, the Employer can help the employees by giving them the option to join a network that fits their individual needs.
Ability to offer different benefits to different classes of employees – A small group health plan can be set up to give different benefits to different classes of employees. As an example, a group could offer a fully paid GOLD level plan to management employees, and contribute 75% of premiums for a SILVER level plan to other full time hourly employees.
Tax Advantages – Group Health Insurance premiums are fully deductible as a business expense for the employer and are not included in income for the employees. This differs from individual health insurance premiums which are not usually deductible.
Employee wellness increases – With access to many wellness programs offered by a group health insurance plan, employees tend to be healthier because of this coverage. As an example, from the Oxford Health website- Oxford offers various wellness and disease management health programs that are geared toward preventive and condition-specific care.
Employees appreciate group health insurance benefits more than any other benefit – According to a recent study by Glassdoor, employees said health insurance is by far the most important benefit they receive from their employer.
Employees miss less time from work due to sickness – When an employee joins a group health insurance plan, they will tend to miss less time from work due to sickness. This is due not only to the ability to get quick access to care before an illness leads to something more complicated, but also to the fact that many group health insurance plans offer Telemedicine. Telemedicine allows employees to seek medical care for common illnesses without having to leave work to see a doctor.
Group Health Insurance helps to attract and retain quality employees – This might be one of the biggest benefits of group health insurance. In an extremely tight labor market as there is now, it is imperative for a business to stand out from their competitors. For all the reasons above, group health insurance will help you attract and retain more quality employees than by not offering it. Get a quote today.