Group health insurance renewals are an important part of employee benefits planning and management. Even though nobody wants to deal with a new set of premiums, deductibles, copays, and providers every year, with a little knowledge and some help, this can be a great opportunity to improve your employee benefits and save some money.
Even if you’re familiar with the health insurance renewal process, an employee benefits advisor such as Resourcing Edge can help you assess your new policy, choose different coverage, and negotiate better rates.
What are health insurance renewals?
Health insurance renewals are when insurance carriers adjust their prices and offerings based on various factors, such as your group’s risk factor and claim history. They invite plan members to renew coverage under the new terms and conditions. Everybody is involved in the health insurance renewal process — insurance carriers, employers, employees, and benefits advisors if used.
Employers can switch carriers or health plans, change contribution levels, and more. Employees can reevaluate their needs and select a different plan, or sign up for the first time if they aren’t renewing.
When are health insurance renewals?
Health insurance renewals typically occur every year during Open Enrollment, usually starting in October. In most cases, plans renew on November 1. This is when you will sign up for a new plan or renew the plan from the previous year.
Usually, plans will renew with new rates and details based on inflation, risk, networks, and more. In many cases, your plan is set to auto-renew, so make sure you compare the details of the prior year’s plan with the new plan before it’s too late. It’s a good idea to begin working with a benefits advisor starting in August so you can make the best decision for your business and employees.
Why are there health insurance renewals every year?
Health insurance renews every year to stay up-to-date with rules and regulations, and gives employers the opportunity to add a dependent, adjust company contribution levels, change eligibility rules, switch plans or carriers, or opt out entirely. It also allows insurance carriers to update their plan options and pricing, and reassess the estimated risk of your group.
Health insurance plans typically increase in cost every year based on the risk and claims of your group, expert forecasts, and inflation in the healthcare industry. Luckily, there is a negotiation process that allows employers to renegotiate pricing for the upcoming year.
You can expect changes in your health insurance plan at renewal, such as price of monthly payments, deductible amounts, doctor networks, and prescription coverage. You don’t have to change carriers or plans, but it’s worth it to try to get the best deal you can. This is a lot easier when working with a Professional Employer Organization like Resourcing Edge.
What does the health insurance renewal process look like?
Typically, insurance carriers will increase rates, initiating the start of negotiations. If you are working with an experienced benefits advisor, they will assess the renewal and rate, challenging anything that could achieve better value for your business and employees.
For example, if the insurance carrier raises rates based on past claims, you may be able to show how those claims are unlikely to occur again. While some reasons for rate adjustments cannot be argued against, such as workforce size and company location, there are many other components that merit close examination.
Cost is just one aspect of the health insurance renewal process. Here’s a basic rundown of the renewal process:
- Insurance carrier reassessment: Insurance companies will reassess your plans and pricing for the upcoming year. Cost increases are based on inflation, doctor’s fees, group size, claims history, location, healthcare technology, and more.
- Presentation of available plans: After the insurance carrier updates plans and pricing, they will present the employer with options for renewal.
- Selection stage: The employer now has the chance to select from the plans available and choose a different contribution amount if needed. This is when you should work with a benefits expert such as Resourcing Edge to try and get you a better deal.
- Open enrollment for employees: Once selections have been made, plan options are presented to employees. This gives them the opportunity to switch plans to something that makes more sense for them.
- Finalizing the process: Once employees have selected their plans, the coverage is effective for as long as the insurance carrier or PEO states.
With Resourcing Edge, health insurance renewals are a simple, online process. We’ll go over your coverage and pricing and help you decide whether to renew or select a new plan.
Why You Should Work With an Experienced Employee Benefits Advisor
If you are renewing your employee health insurance plan or just offering it for the first time, it’s a good idea to consult with an employee benefits consultant, such as Resourcing Edge. As a Professional Employer Organization, we are able to pool our resources and buying power to negotiate better health insurance plans and rates for your business.
We get you affordable Fortune 500-level benefits, including:
- Major Medical Insurance
- Dental and Vision Insurance
- Wellness Programs
- Life Insurance
- Disability Insurance
- 401(k) Retirement Plans
- Health Savings Accounts
- Flexible Spending Accounts
- Employee Assistance Programs
Keep in mind that the Affordable Care Act mandates businesses with 50 or more full-time employees to offer access to health insurance. Still, if you have under 50 employees, great benefits are well within reach when utilizing the power of a PEO.
One of the main reasons you should work with a benefits broker is to get someone who can negotiate on your behalf from a position of power and experience. For instance, your employee benefits advisor can assess the new plans and come to an agreement with the insurance carrier for better annual renewals.
Additionally, a PEO like Resourcing Edge will work with you all year to actively manage your costs, including:
- Workplace wellness programs
- Chronic condition identification and management
- Claims intervention
- Financial oversight
- Insurance carrier reconciliations
- Overall benefits management and communication
It’s a good idea to keep track of how your insurance group changes throughout the year, including size, claim history, and demographics. If your benefits advisor isn’t working with you throughout the year, consider switching to Resourcing Edge.
Resourcing Edge is a Professional Employer Organization
As a PEO, Resourcing Edge acts as a co-employer, which allows us to pool together all of our customers to increase the group’s buying power with the insurance companies.
We are one of a select few PEOs that has partnered with UnitedHealthcare to offer a wide assortment of fully insured, ACA-compliant, national medical insurance plans. We also partner with MetLife to provide high-quality national dental, vision, disability, and life insurance plans.
Contact Resourcing Edge today to learn how you can improve your health insurance benefits, save money, automate payroll, and much more. We have an amazing online portal that simplifies the health insurance renewal process for employers and employees alike.
It’s time to start planning for health insurance renewals! Contact Resourcing Edge today at (877) 703-8010.