How do I get health insurance that covers multiple states?
Our small business is starting to grow. We've set it up so that all our employees currently work from their homes, which allowed us to find the best talent nationally. We currently have four employees in 3 states and want to get health insurance coverage by the end of the year. How does one go about getting a small business group health insurance policy for a small group of people when we are so spread out? Currently we have one employee in AZ, one in TX and 2 in FL. The brokers I've contacted seem unwilling or unable to deal with such small numbers in each state. Any guidance would be appreciated.
There are really only a few carriers that write health care coverage in all of the states. The best thing to do is deal with a knowledgeable employee benefits broker who will gather the demographics data on your employees and provide you with all of the different programs that these specific carriers have available where your offices/operations are. Even with only a few carriers, there will be multiple options (PPO, POS, HMO) and a variety of deductibles, levels of coverage, and varying rates. However, be sure you are comparing apples to apples when you look at the rates quoted to you as these should not vary much for the same programs/same carriers. Interview a few different brokers or take the recommendation of someone you trust to find the best benefits broker.
Really compare the services that they provide such as handling the initial enrollments for you and the annual open enrollment process, responding to employee questions/problems promptly, and issuing benefits statements for your employees every year. Check references with other companies that have used the brokers you are considering for a number of years. Ask them for the best examples of the brokers services and the worst situation.
Penny is a seasoned human resources executive and consultant with over 25 years of diverse business experience in advising enterprise leaders on employment-related matters.