Small Business Health Benefit Mistakes to Avoid
Having a great benefits package can often be the key to recruiting and retaining top talent.
When considering what goes into that benefits package, you’ll want to be sure to sidestep any small business health benefit mistakes.
How to Avoid Big Mistakes for Your Small Business
Before selecting health coverage and benefits for your employees, you need to know your options and determine what’s needed so you can offer the very best coverage.
1. Understand Eligibility Requirements
Simply selecting a group health plan for your company does not automatically mean that every one of your employees is eligible.
Certain factors such as the state you’re living in and the insurance company you are with can dictate the number of hours an employee must work to be eligible for coverage. In general, employees are expected to 30 hours each week and satisfy the waiting period before they reach eligibility.
2. Have the Right Documents
By law, all benefit plans (including group health plans) must have formal documents in place:
- Plan Documents (Section 125) are legal documents that define the benefit offerings and specify provisions behind the plan. Regardless of what type of coverage you offer, these documents are required.
- Summary of Plan Description (SPD), this is the main vehicle for communicating plan rights and obligations to participants and beneficiaries. It is a summary of material provisions of the plan document.
- Wrap Document, it wraps the required ERISA language around a carrier’s certificate of coverage and it combines or bundles many employer-sponsored plans into a single plan.
3. Speak Up About Plan Changes
Keeping employees informed is an important part of running any business, particularly when it comes to healthcare and benefits. If you make any changes to your plan offerings or eligibility criteria, let employees know.
For instance, all coverage participants must be provided with a Summary of Benefits and Coverage. The summary should be provided to employees:
- Before plan enrollment
- At the plan renewal
- Within 90 days of a special enrollment period
- Within 7 business days of a written request
Make sure your employees are in the loop. Familiarize yourself (and your team) with the types of notices required for plan participants so everyone can stay on the same page.
4. Keep Employee Information Safe
Some companies accidentally share employee information when researching price quotes for health plans. This is a violation of HIPPA Privacy Rules – so keep in mind that health providers only need basic information about your employees (such as age, gender, and family makeup) as you research your options.
To steer clear of this common mistake, avoid sharing any private employee information, such as social security numbers, names or addresses.
Final Tip: Don’t Wait to Seek Help
When you’re looking to build a health benefits package for your employees, don’t hesitate to seek out assistance. You should take some time to educate yourself on your options and what’s required to ensure your employees have the best benefits available. If you need a guide through it all, consider hiring a benefits specialist as the potential consequences of noncompliance can create a headache and could be very costly.
Partnering with a benefits specialist can save you the headache of ensuring your business is compliant and take mountains of paperwork off your hands. They can also help implement, and manage your chosen benefits plan.
Navigating the world of health insurance and employee benefits can be complicated. ShopBenefits.com is here to help. Simply tell us a little about your business and one of our dedicated agents will contact you to provide a complimentary quote.
If you’d like more information, feel free to call (404) 256-2171 and learn more about how we can assist you.