Having Your First Conversation About Small Employer Coverage

Having Your First Conversation About Small Employer Coverage
(Getty Images via Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield)

Lace up your shoes and run. Generally, sound advice when someone wants to talk about small employer health coverage. A person excited about PPOs and premiums is rarely the life of the party.

Here’s the thing — shopping for your company’s health benefits should be enjoyable. Choosing the right package is an opportunity to put your best foot forward with the talent pool of potential employees you’re trying to attract.

But having that first conversation can be intimidating. We’ve got some tips to help you prepare to talk about employer-sponsored health coverage for your small business or startup. 

Learn the Basic Language

Health insurance vernacular is a language unto itself, with acronyms for days. You don’t have to be fluent, but you want to be proficient. 

Premium is the amount paid for health insurance each month. Copay is a fixed amount paid out of pocket for a covered service. Deductible is the annual amount paid for covered services before the health plan starts to pay. Knowing the difference between products like PPOs and HMOs or definitions like full-time equivalents (FTE) versus average total number of employees (ATNE) helps too. 

Use Available Resources

Insurance coverage for small employers—defined as 2 to 50 full-time employees—isn’t complicated. It’s easily explained and doesn’t have the underwriting complexities facing large employers. In most markets, there’s a small army of resources to help you determine what’s best for your unique situation, including insurers, independent agent-brokers, local chambers of commerce and other nonprofits and accelerators.

Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield is one local resource that’s always available.

Grow and Change With It

Small employer health insurance is surprisingly fungible. It can be changed each year—even midyear in some instances—until you strike the right balance for your business. Remember, you have a range of options and you’re never stuck for more than a year. 

Be confident and remember, the end goal is to find the most competitive benefits for your company. 

4 Tips for Shopping Small Employer Health Insurance


1. Network
Your insurer establishes discounts with network providers so you pay less for in-network services. And a large network makes it easier to stay in-network and pay less. 

2. Flexibility
Not all startups look the same. Flexible plan design options give you the chance to choose the plan that’s right for your unique needs. 

3. Ease of doing business
You want your health insurance to work right. And if it doesn’t, you want a trusted partner who is engaged and available to help. 

4. Member tools
Your employees appreciate tools—mobile apps, electronic ID cards, cost estimators—that help them use their insurance wisely.

Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield is the largest health insurer in Arkansas and has been trusted by Arkansans for affordable, reliable insurance plans for more than 70 years. Arkansas Blue Cross and its family of affiliated companies have more than 3,000 employees.

Arkansas Blue Cross offers a full portfolio of health management tools and resources designed to improve the health of our members, no matter where they fall on the care continuum from healthy to chronic to acutely ill.

(501) 378-2000 | ArkansasBlueCross.com