If your small business has struggled to offer health insurance coverage to your employees, the Massachusetts Health Connector may be able to assist. Its new shopping platform for small companies with fewer than 50 employees makes it easier offer health insurance as well as to control costs and take advantage of flexibility.
The benefits for employers are numerous:
- Low time investment. Employers have the choice of working with a local broker to help manage a health plan for their company, or they can create a plan on their own. Comparing plans and picking one through the online system typically takes 30 minutes or less.
- Flexibility. By working with a broker, employers are able to select the plan that best meets the needs of their company. They may even be able to combine portions of several different plans for the best fit.
- Affordable, predictable costs. To forecast the monthly cost of providing health coverage to staff, employers can set a “reference” health plan, according to level or carrier. There are also a variety of plans to choose from, giving employers help in managing healthcare costs throughout the year.
- Discounts available. If employers sign up for the Health Connector’s Wellness Track program and promote a healthy lifestyle at the company, they can receive a 15 percent discount on what they contribute to their employees’ health coverage.
- Three ways to purchase. In November, employers can purchase health insurance by selecting one plan, one level, or one carrier. Under one plan, employers pick the plan and designate the level of company contribution, and all employees enroll in this plan. Under one level, employers designate the benefit level (and the plan and amount of company contribution within that level) and employees can select from a variety of carriers. Under one carrier, employers select the carrier and level of company contribution, and employees can pick from a range of plans under that carrier.
Coverage currently offered includes Boston Medical Center Health Plan, Fallon Community Health Plan, and Health New England, but a new slate of health and dental plans will be available in January 2018 from Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Neighborhood Health Plan, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Delta Dental, and Altus Dental.