January 18, 2019 Last updated January 17th, 2019 2,476 Reads share

A Small Business Owner’s Guide to the Best Health Insurance Options

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Building a successful business is hard work. Finding the affordable, quality health insurance you need doesn’t have to be. Whether you’re self-employed and working out of your garage or the owner of a small business with multiple employees, you face different challenges when it comes to finding and getting Mediclaim policy.

Moreover, Health insurance is expensive, complicated, and sensitive, but a must if you’re looking to grow. But small business health insurance is a must if you’re looking to grow. It can help attract and retain better employees, improve productivity by keeping everyone healthy, and might even save you some money with tax credits and deductions.

The biggest hurdle for small businesses in India is not about finding the right talent but retaining your most valued employees. One way to keep trained and experienced staff from leaving is to offer perks such as employee health insurance that they might lose if they quit. This is a perk that is at present barely offered by India’s SME sector to the over 60 million strong workforces. According to IBEF data, the country’s insurance sector premiums account for less than 1.5% of the total global premiums, but the size of the market is expected to quadruple from the current $60 billion over the next ten years. In the near future, every business in India, no matter how big or small, will likely be required to offer group health insurance for all employees. You can stay ahead of the curve by putting your employees’ health first right away.

The purpose of this buyer’s guide is to help answer your questions, evaluate your needs, and provide you with the right tools to find the best health insurance solution for you. Here are the steps you must follow while deciding your Mediclaim policy:-

Step I: Health Insurance means triple protection

  1. Health Insurance protects your finances– It entitles you to discounted rates for medical care. Insurance companies negotiate rates with health care providers. Without coverage, the fee charged for a regular office visit can be much higher, possibly twice as high in some cases. It shields you from unexpected medical costs. Even if your health plan requires you to pay certain costs out of pocket, being covered can help save you from bankruptcy in case of injury or hospitalization. It can help you avail tax benefits.
  2. Health insurance protects your health– It improves your access to quality health care. As a member of a health insurance plan, you have access to a network of quality health care providers. When you’re insured you have better access to care for medical emergencies and chronic conditions. It encourages a healthier lifestyle and you are more likely to take benefit of regular checkups and preventive care if you know it won’t cost you an arm and a leg.
  3. Health insurance can help protect your business too– It shields your business from personal medical costs. As a self-employed person or small business owner, unanticipated personal medical expenses can cripple your ability to run your business. By restraining your personal liability for medical costs, health insurance can help keep your business afloat. It helps you hire and retain the best workers as employer-sponsored group health insurance coverage is a valued incentive in a total compensation package.

Step II: Concepts and key terms

There are two main categories of health insurance for small business owners and self-employed persons to choose from: 1) Individual & Family or 2) Small Business/Group health insurance. Almost everyone can apply for Individual & Family Mediclaim policy, and depending on the number of employees you have and the regulations in your state, you may qualify for Small Business/Group insurance.
Individual & Family Plans: These are health insurance plans purchased by individuals to cover themselves or their families. Almost anyone can purchase an individual or family health insurance plan, and it’s no longer possible to be declined based on your medical history.
Small Business: Sometimes referred to as “small business plans” or “group health insurance,” this is employer-sponsored health coverage. Costs are normally shared between the employer and the employee, and coverage may also be drawn-out to dependents. There may be special tax incentives available to some businesses providing group coverage to employees.

Step III: Know the jargons

When shopping for a new plan, one of the main challenges people face is understanding health insurance terminology.

Premium– premium is the amount you pay to the health insurance company each month to maintain your coverage. When trying to understand the cost of a health insurance plan, the premium is the first thing to consider. But make sure to balance it against other costs, such as copayments, deductibles, and coinsurance.

Copayment– Copayment, or “copay,” is the specific amount you may be required to pay up front for a specific type of medical service.

Maximum out of pocket cost– The maximum out-of-pocket cost sets a limit to your annual financial liability. But, your monthly premium will not count toward your maximum out-of-pocket costs.

Deductibles– Your annual deductible is the amount you may be required to pay out of pocket before the insurance company will begin paying for your covered medical claims. Keep in mind, your monthly premiums and copayments will often not count toward your deductible.

Coinsurance– Coinsurance is the amount that you may be obliged to pay for covered medical services after you’ve satisfied any copayment or deductible required by your health insurance plan.

Step IV: The process

For small businesses and self-employed people, the bigger question is the process to get health insurance. From assessing your needs to finally buying health insurance is a journey, a lot depends on it for your business, the employees and you. Here are the steps to go follow while you choose your plan:

  1. Assess your needs – From what does your pocket allow to how many times you visited the hospital last year, you need to pin down each and every detail. Especially, if you’re a small business owner, you wouldn’t want to spend too much on the premium. So, it is imperative to understand your requirements.
  2. Compare your options – Once, you are aware of what you exactly want your health insurance to do, you must compare various plans online, also meet an advisor and see if you can get benefits for your employees. You must consider these five things while choosing the plan apart from the premium and coverage- health benefits, a physician network, brand and prescription drug coverage. You must get quotes from various insurers before you go ahead with one.
  3. Apply for coverage – Now, after everything has been evaluated you should go ahead and choose a plan that fits best for your business.
  4. Post-purchase – You’re not done yet, you must remember to get in touch with your advisor/insurer regularly to know if there are any changes in the company policy, what other benefits can be added to the existing plan and what should be done if the size of your business changes.

So, if you have a small business and have always pondered whether or not you should get health insurance for yourself and your employees, hold that thought and go ahead and get one now. Your and your employees’ health is important for your business.

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Abhyudaya Tripathi

Abhyudaya Tripathi

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