The Affordable Care Act, often known as “Obamacare,” is in full swing and millions of people are benefiting from the reform. Young people under 26 still have coverage thanks to their parent’s plans. Those with pre-existing conditions know they will always have coverage. Millions of previously uninsured Americans are able to afford health insurance with the help of competitive rates and subsidies from the federal government.
As an employer or business owner, you may be feeling left out and wondering where the benefit is for you. Consider a private health care exchange for your company and reap many benefits of participation.
UNDERSTANDING THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT
Without going into every detail of a 1000-plus page document, the issue you need to understand is that this was not health care reform. Instead, it was health insurance reform. Health insurance and how people purchase it have been changed, but the ability to control costs has not. Controlling costs and changing health care would involve dealing with the costs of pharmaceuticals, tort reform, and hospital charges. The Affordable Care Act reformed insurance, and for employers, this is a good thing. From 1999 to 2012, an employer’s cost for individual coverage doubled and for family coverage, the cost tripled. Now, private health care exchanges can help you control and lower those costs.
WHAT IS A PRIVATE HEALTH CARE EXCHANGE?
A private health care exchange is similar to the public exchange that you find at Healthcare.gov. It uses the technology and administrative work of a typical exchange to give applicants – in this case, your employees – access to different plans based on specific criteria. Private health care exchanges are used by employers to give employees flexibility, choice, and to take advantage of federal subsidies. Instead of working with you or your HR staff each year to choose a plan and update information, employees can work with our advisors to ensure that they have the coverage that they need.
WHY SHOULD YOU CHOOSE A PRIVATE EXCHANGE?
Let’s look at the bottom line first. Employers who used private exchanges saved 40 to 80 percent from their employee insurance bill in 2014. Costs may be the number one reason, but exchanges save you time as well. You have less administrative work and less hassle of managing your insurance and the selection process. Once the criteria is set, your employees choose what plan works best for them. This allows you to improve your employee benefits without additional cost.
You’re able to set fixed costs for each employee, so you know exactly what you’re paying. Your employees choose from group benefits like dental or vision, as well as individual options like accident plans, co-pay versus deductible plans, and more. Real life examples from companies we’ve worked with include a nine employee home health care agency who saved 47 percent, a 22 employee exterminating company who saved 24 percent, and an auto body shop with dozens of employees that stood to save between 40 and 53 percent. The savings are real, as are the benefits to your employees.
GETTING STARTED IS EASY
Charlotte Insurance is prepared and available to help you get started with our own private exchange as soon as possible. All we need is a copy of your last insurance bill, a copy of your current plan design, and a census listing of all your eligible employees.
Charlotte Insurance has been in business since 1992, working hard to provide affordable, quality insurance for individuals and businesses. As the Affordable Care Act has unfolded, we’ve stayed on top of it every step of the way, determined to understand it and continue to offer the best options available for our customers and clients. When you’re ready to discuss a private health care exchange option for your business, contact us. We can help.