You have options.
Health insurance is an important benefit that many employees rely on to cover their medical expenses. However, for some, the cost of employer-provided health insurance can be a significant burden and may even seem unaffordable. If you are among those who find themselves struggling with the cost of health insurance provided by your employer, you are not alone.
Recently we were consulting with employees of a local company that provided health insurance to their employees. The problem? The employee’s portion was extremely expensive. In fact, two of the employees were paying approximately 25% of their salaries to cover the cost. It was clear that these employees were unaware of their options and the ways they could save money on their healthcare coverage.
In this blog post, we will discuss some of the reasons why employer-provided health insurance can be expensive, how employees can save money, and why it’s important to explore all options before deciding about healthcare coverage.
Why Employer-Provided Health Insurance Can Be Expensive?
According to a 2019 study by the Commonwealth Fund, more than 45% of working-age adults in the United States had health insurance through their employer, but more than one-third of them reported difficulty paying their premiums or out-of-pocket costs.
Employer-provided health insurance can be expensive for several reasons. First, healthcare costs in the United States are notoriously high, and these costs are passed on to employers and their employees in the form of higher premiums and out-of-pocket costs. Second, some employers offer a limited selection of plans, which may not be the most affordable or comprehensive options available. Finally, some employers may not fully subsidize the cost of health insurance, leaving employees to pay a larger portion of the premium.
How Can Employees Save Money on Healthcare Coverage?
An option you may have, is to explore cost-saving measures within your existing employer-provided plan. For example, if you have a high-deductible health plan, you may be eligible to contribute to a health savings account (HSA), which can allow you to save money on taxes and use those savings to pay for healthcare expenses. Additionally, some employers offer wellness programs that can incentivize healthy behavior and offer rewards for meeting certain goals, such as quitting smoking or achieving a healthy weight.
Do I have options to my Employers Health Insurance Plan?
If you’re unhappy with the cost of your employer-provided health insurance, there are several ways you can save money on your healthcare coverage. One possibility is to learn if your employer provided coverage is deemed “Affordable”. In 2023 a job-based health plan is considered “affordable” if your share of the monthly premium in the lowest cost plan offered by the employer is less than 9.12% of your household income, see important details here. If you qualify this will allow you to enroll in a marketplace plan which offers subsidies for lower income households. Other possibilities are to opt out of your employer-provided coverage and enroll in a different plan, such as a spouse’s plan. Employees may also be eligible for a special enrollment period if they experience a qualifying life event, which can allow them to enroll in different coverage outside of the Open Enrollment Period.
Many people may not realize they are able to opt out of this coverage outside of the Open Enrollment Period. Generally, the Open Enrollment Period is the time of year when employees can enroll in or change their health insurance coverage. However, there are certain situations that qualify for a special enrollment period, which allows employees to make changes to their coverage outside of the Open Enrollment Period.
If you’re considering opting out of your employer-provided health insurance, it’s important to carefully weigh the costs and benefits of doing so. While opting out may save you money in the short term, you may be forfeiting important coverage and benefits that could be costly in the long run.
It’s important for employees to understand their options when it comes to health insurance coverage, as opting out of employer-provided coverage may save them money and provide them with more flexibility. However, it’s important to carefully consider all factors before deciding.
In the scenario mentioned earlier, the employees were paying approximately 25% of their salaries to cover the cost of health insurance. Both thought they were locked in for another year. They were unaware of provisions that protect employees from this situation.
After consulting with the two employees, we were able to get one family a no charge premium and zero deductible and the other couple a premium for less than $35 per month. This amounted to a savings of almost $900 per month in one scenario and nearly over $700 per month in the other scenario.
If you’re struggling with the cost of your employer-provided health insurance, you’re not alone. It is important to explore all options before deciding what you should do. By carefully reviewing your plan’s benefits and limitations, exploring cost-saving measures, and considering different options, you can make an informed decision about your healthcare coverage that meets your needs and budget.
And that is where the experienced agents at The Insurance Hub can help. Want help discovering your options? Reach out today!