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Negotiating Your Way to a Better Health Insurance Rate

2020 will go down as one of the most challenging years for businesses since 1929. As supply chains shift gears and the economy shudders, there is a good chance your company is looking to cut costs (and benefits) moving forward. That is a normal and prudent move at this point. However, health insurance isn't a benefit you can stop offering. Your employees and their families depend on it. Right now, they depend on you to negotiate the best health insurance rates for your company. Whether your group health insurance plan expires next month or at the end of the year, the following suggestions will help ensure that you are ready to wheel, deal, and negotiate your way to the best rate possible.

Search for Discounted Premium Rates

Group health insurance providers often offer discounted premium rates for companies. Each insurance provider has a minimum threshold for these rates, so it is worth your time to shop around. Even if you don't opt to switch providers, you can use this information when negotiating a new rate with your current provider.

Read the Fine Print

Go through every line of your current contract and note critical details. You want to know when the contract expires and the date you are required to provide notice of non-renewal. You want to note whether there is an agreed-upon/automatic premium increase and whether there are any agreements to freeze the rate for a set period of time. 

Be Proactive

Reach out to your insurance provider and don't hesitate to ask them whether premiums are scheduled to rise at the next renewal. Ask about any changes to conditions and coverage options. Find out whether you will qualify for any discounts or special programs offered by the insurance provider. 

Examine Your Employee's Claims History

How many health insurance claims did your employees file? What types of claims were filed? Has your workforce grown, shrunk, or aged? Are you planning to expand in the coming year? It is a good idea to gather this data going back as far as you can with the provider. This way you can establish trends that can help you determine whether you are truly getting the most from your policy or paying a lot of money for services your employees don't need.

Go Insurance Shopping

Shopping is the most fun when you know you have to buy something, and you have an opportunity to get a great product at a great price. Shop around as much as possible. Reach out to as many group health insurance providers as possible and compare the costs, coverage, and contractual terms of each policy you review. Compare this data with your employee's claims data. This is vital because you don't want to switch providers if it means cutting services/coverage your employees regularly utilize.

Get Ready to Negotiate

Now that you have done all the legwork, it is time to negotiate a new premium rate with your insurance provider. The fact is that most companies stay with their group provider for long periods of time. And, there can be advantages to nurturing and maintaining established business relationships. With all the information you have gathered, you will be in a position to present that at the appropriate juncture and negotiate a better deal that can save you money without trimming your employee's health insurance coverage.  

If you need help managing your company's benefits, Greenlink Payroll's benefits management platform can help. Whether you want to negotiate a better rate or are looking for a new insurance provider, contact the experts at Greenlink Payroll at (480) 385-2525 for more information. 

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