As a small dental practice, it's imperative that your employees have the best healthcare and dental care possible. But what does that actually mean? Insurance can be complicated and even frustrating. Let's break down some of the major aspects of health insurance.
Group Health Insurance
Group health insurance is a benefit that allows employees to have healthcare coverage as a team. There are three major types of plans: HMOs, PPOs, and POS.
- HMOs. An HMO plan is a type of group health insurance that requires employees to use specific healthcare providers in order to be covered. If an employee uses a provider outside of the HMO network, they will not be covered.
- PPOs. A PPO plan is a type of group health insurance that allows employees to use any healthcare provider, but there may be higher costs associated with using out-of-network providers.
- POS Plans. A POS plan is a type of group health insurance that is a mix between an HMO and a PPO. Employees are allowed to use any healthcare provider, but there may be higher costs associated with out-of-network providers.
As with all things insurance, there are trade-offs to each choice.
Co-Pays, Premiums, and Coverage Limits
In addition to understanding the different types of group health insurance plans, it's important to understand the different costs associated with them. Co-pays are a fixed amount that you pay for a service, premiums are monthly payments for healthcare coverage, and coverage limits are the maximum amount an insurance company will pay for a service.
These interact with each other. A premium goes up and co-pays go down; co-pays go up and premiums go down.
HSAs and FSAs
Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) are two types of accounts that can be used to pay for medical expenses. They are often used to augment cheaper plans, bronze-level plans, or "catastrophic coverage" plans.
An HSA is an account that is funded with pre-tax dollars. This means that employees can save money on their taxes by contributing to an HSA. The money in the HSA can be used to pay for medical expenses, including dental care. FSAs are very similar, but HSAs can be used at any time, and FSAs have to be used within a certain timeframe. HSAs also have higher contribution limits than FSAs.
Dental Insurance and Vision Insurance
Obviously, another important benefit for small dental practices is dental insurance. Dental insurance is a rider that is added to a plan. It's not included in regular insurance and many companies pass the cost on to the employee—but that might not be a good look for a dental clinic.
Vision insurance is also an optional benefit. Because the costs are so low, a small clinic may want to consider absorbing the cost of vision insurance for its employees as a type of soft benefit.
What Insurance Should You Offer Your Employees?
Obviously, a dental practice wants to provide its employees with the care that they require to be healthy. It's almost non-optional for a dental practice to provide dental insurance and vision insurance. Apart from this, engage your employees in dialog and determine what's most important to them. Would they rather have lower co-pays or a higher premium?
For more insurance benefits breakdown information, contact a company like Transcare Technology.