Regardless your political views on health care reform, if you are a small business owner, costs and compliance are probably your primary concerns. On the compliance front, word on the street is that only nine of the proposed 1,700 regulations have been written . . . so we’ll just have to wait-and-see how the final regulations shake-out. What about costs? Well, (sorry to answer a question with a question but) when was the last time they went down? Small Business Daily recently offered five tips for managing health care costs in the future:
1. Shift higher premium costs to less healthy workers.
It’s not yet set in stone, but it’s expected that new rules will allow employers to penalize unhealthy workers (smokers, especially) by charging them a larger percentage of premiums. Healthier employees can benefit from lower premiums.
2. Collect your own data
Small business owners will want to get their company’s medical data – what’s available by law – to see how their work force stacks up against others in their community. When you understand what’s at stake you can more appropriately choose insurance and wellness plans.
3. Raise deductibles but offer other compensation.
One way to strategically lower costs (without prompting a mass exodus of your key employees) is to raise deductibles while also offering some a form of medical reimbursement account. This helps make employees steward of their own health care, giving them more control over how their health care dollars are spent.
4. Create a wellness plan, educate employees, and receive grants
If you are a small business of not more than 100 employees, then you are eligible for assistance from The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to set up a wellness program for your employees. By offering initiatives and educating employees, you can receive grants to pay for the process.
5. Review your health plan.
First and foremost, the best step is also the most obvious: review your healthcare plans since things are still changing.