actual, complete master policy for a group medical insurance plan
can run to the length of a turgid novel, and reading it equal to
a stupor-inducing drug. Consider that, depending on the options
& insurers utilized, the quotes can sprout into literally dozens
of different varieties.
by getting a fairly good sense of what you're after by finding out
your particular group's characteristics
DO THEY WANT?
your group likely to have little interest in choice of doctors?
What level of premium payment is affordable to them?
Are they interested in other benefits such as life insurance, dental,
disability income, etc.? Simply ask around, or prepare a short survey
form to get information. If you find your people have great similarities
in needs, you may be able to limit the number of quotes by looking
at fewer plans.
qualify, participation typically must be 70-75% of eligible members
(those working 30+ hours per week). If you find a lower level of
interest, obtaining a group product may not be possible. If you
also know in advance dependent numbers and the level of interest
for dependents, you may further simplify the task.
PERIOD & CONTRIBUTIONS
the waiting period for new employees. (Typically 30-90 days). Establish
the budget for covering your contribution. (Minimum employer contribution
is usually 50%.)
ever-more-burdensome requirement comes along with any plan you purchase,
and is important in the buying decision. Someone must administer
the plan, keep records, and comply with the minefield of legal regulations.
Failure to do so may mean this good deed you're doing will not go
unpunished. Find out if your general liability insurance covers
your liability for errors and omissions in administering your plan.
(In most cases, it probably does not.) Simply keeping abreast of
what rules apply to your group at any given time is now a near-daily
chore. You may find the cost of out-sourcing part or all of it worthwhile,
and this needs to be budgeted. Insurance carriers usually offer
assistance, some very substantial, others hardly any. The responsibility,
however, is entirely yours. The record-keeping & administrative
burden is further complicated by privacy regulations which now impose
complex and burdensome documentation requirements & rules.