How to shop for your health plan

When you manage a business, you face a lot of difficult decisions. Choosing a health plan, however, may be easier than you think. It helps when you know what to look for and where to find it.

What to look for in a plan

A good place to start is by browsing the wide range of UnitedHealthcare plans. There are many options designed to help your employees — and your bottom line — stay healthier. It may help to look for options that are easier to manage too. Simpler everyday administration means you can focus on other important things, like running your business.

Understand the total costs

When shopping for a health plan, keep in mind that plans with more benefits are likely to have higher costs. Generally, lower premiums mean that out-of-pocket costs are higher — these include deductibles, copays and coinsurance. When deciding if you want a lower or higher premium, consider the overall health needs and ages of your employees.

For instance, because health care usage often increases with age, you may want to choose a plan that has a higher premium but lower out-of-pocket costs if many of your employees are over 50.

Info graphic displaying the general principle that lower premiums have higher out-of-pocket costs and high premiums have lower out-of-pocket costs.

You won’t pay the entire cost yourself

As the employer, you may pay a large percent of your plan’s premium (called the employer contribution), but your employees will also pay a share. The benefits and other specifics of each plan determine these amounts.

Look for a large network of doctors

When a doctor is in your plan’s network, you typically pay a lower price for services than if you use an out-of-network provider. Making sure your plan has a large network helps ensure more choices and could increase the odds that favorite doctors are in it. With UnitedHealthcare, you’ll have one of the nation’s largest networks of providers, with a wide range of benefits and options.

Check on prescription drug coverage

Prescription drug coverage is one of the most widely used health care benefits, so it’s important to find out the details when you’re choosing a plan.

You can look at Prescription Drug Lists (PDL) to see which prescription drugs are covered and compare them to your employees’ needs to help you find a plan that works for your group.

Do you qualify for tax credits?

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) offers small businesses tax credits to help offset the costs of health insurance coverage. Credits vary, but you could receive up to 50 percent off your contributions toward employee premiums if you pay at least half their health care premiums and have fewer than 25 full-time employees who earn less than $50,000 per year, on average.

Take a look at vision and dental coverage

Because 2 out of 3 Americans are affected by vision problems, vision coverage is a benefit many employees are looking for.

There are a variety of dental coverage and pricing options designed to make you and your employees smile.

Want help finding a plan?

If you want help choosing a health plan, you can work with an insurance agent, who may represent a single health insurance company. You also can work with a health insurance broker, who may offer information about several health insurance companies.

Working with a broker

Find out more about how brokers work and how they may help you compare your options to help you find the best plan for your business and your employees.