This year has highlighted the importance of healthcare benefits. Unfortunately for most businesses and individuals, shopping for health insurance benefits falls during the busiest time of the year: the fourth quarter.
If you’re reading this chances are you’re looking for ways to make shopping for benefits go smoothly as well as looking for tips that could save you some money. Here are a few things to consider:
1. You may be paying more than you need to
If you have renewed the same policy at 10% over the last five years your rates have increased by over 70%! Comparing the costs of a new plan may reveal savings you did not anticipate. Some businesses and individuals have saved as much as 50% just in taking a look at the market.
If you are not checking the market you may be leaving some crucial savings out of your pocket. Who doesn’t want an extra 10-15% more to put back in their business?
2. Shopping for coverage may give you a point of negotiation with your current carrier
One argument we hear from insurance decision-makers who have employees is that changing carriers is hard. While we agree it is more difficult than keeping everything the same by refusing to shop you give away the potential to negotiate your renewal to a lower rate.
Competitive quote data, in other words, cheaper rates from another carrier, may give you a place to start negotiating your health insurance rates. So even if you plan on renewing with the same carrier taking the time to see if there are competitive rates out there could save you some extra cash.
3. If your agent is not helping you through this process you are paying them for nothing
Let’s be honest, most agents are happy to just allow business to renew without having to do a lot of work, but a good agent will make sure they have exhausted your potential options for coverage and helped in finding a plan that best fits your needs? If your agent does not help you navigate through this process it may be time to find someone who will. Your health insurance agent gets paid whether you shop for new benefits or not so make them work for it.
Chrissy Myers, Director & CEO of AUI, a leading benefits agency providing insurance to solopreneurs, small and medium-sized businesses. She is AUI’s chief cheerleader and passionate about serving AUI’s clients and the community. Chrissy serves on the Summit County ADM Board of Directors, Jobs for Ohio Graduates, is a graduate of Goldman-Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses, and a member of Leadership Akron Class 36. Chrissy lives in Akron with husband, Steve, and kiddos, Maddy and Caleb.