How to set up health insurance for your start up

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Date: 19 October 2021

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When starting your business, one of the things you will have to consider is health insurance for you and your employees. Most employees today expect the companies they work for to offer a range of perks including medical, dental and optical cover in addition to generous pension contributions. Different companies will offer various different plans with varied costs, so do your research before committing to any plan or benefits package.

The first think you need to consider is which provider to go through. You can arrange cover through an insurance agent or broker. They can offer advice on the level of cover you need, and it can be a convenient way to arrange cover. You can search for an agent or broker online. Make a list of the ones that seem to meet your needs. Once you have done that, call or email each of them and discuss what you need. Make sure you carefully check the costs of each clause.

When choosing an agent, ask yourself how easy it is to get hold of them? How willing are they to discuss matters with you when you contact them? If they are not transparent and easy to talk to, it's likely you will experience issues down the line when you need to get hold of them.

How easy are they to work with? It should be easy and convenient to work with your agent. When dealing with an agent, make sure your policy payments connect with your payroll system. This means monthly payments can be taken straight from employees' pay cheques. This simplifies things for both you and any employees who decide to take out a policy. They do not need to worry about paying the policy provider if it is automated. Automatic payments for Private Health Insurance also help ensure there are no unintentional breaks in the policy cover.

When selecting a plan there are several key considerations. Where are you and your employees based? Some policies only cover employees in a specific region, or area. Make sure the agent understands your requirements and specific business circumstances, so they only offer plans that work for you.

The total cost of plan (and your company contribution towards it) is likely to be a major consideration. How much will you and your employees be required to pay? What will the additional costs be for any dependents, spouses, or domestic partners? Compare all the costs, including any yearly caps and co-pay fees (fixed amounts payable towards certain services such as doctors' appointments), offered by different agents.

The lowest cost to you, and your employees, may not always be the best option. Much depends on the policy details and the level of cover provided. All aspects of the policy need to be compared and an educated decision needs to be made. For instance, if a company offers you extremely low rates, but has extortionate co-pay fees, you should look for another broker.

Arranging business health insurance for your start up can seem like a daunting task but it's not the case. It can be straightforward providing you do your research and find an agent that is willing to work with you.

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