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Among other things, Bates & Associates specializes in helping employers save money on their group health insurance. “How do we do that,” you may ask? I am going to briefly explain that and how it may be a money saving opportunity for you.

Oftentimes during my conversations with the business community, I hear employers indicate that they are not interested in marketing their health insurance because they reviewed options five, six or maybe even more years ago. They don’t seem to be interested in going through the process. We find this somewhat perplexing because the average company should be reviewing cost options every 2 to 3 years. Between plan design alternatives and current health underwriting or fresh underwriting, we have been able to save companies up to thirty thousand dollars in annual premium. You might ask, “what do you mean by fresh health underwriting and plan design?”

Fresh underwriting is simply the process where an insurance company or HMO can assess the current health status of your entire company through the completion of health applications. Have you ever received an increase in your health premiums due to a complicated illness. That situation may no longer be with your company., and one would think therefore that your existing insurance company or HMO would adjust your rates accordingly. Most likely they will not, even if you point that fact out to them. With an up to date report on your company’s health status, another insurance company or HMO will base your future pricing on that report, not on past health issues. Thus you save health dollars.

The most overlooked reason for taking your company to the market is because your insurance company or HM O might not have the lowest “filed rates”. For employers with 50 or less employees, filed rates are those rates filed with the State of Minnesota which then can be increased or decreased a maximum of 25%. This means that if you are rated at the very top because of health issues with one particular HMO, it does not mean that another HMO’s highest rates are the same. If you are cost conscience, then it may be important to search for the HMO with the lowest filed rates. Your current HMO might have been the most competitive company three years ago, but a lot can change in those three years.

Always remember that as a Bates & Associates client, these money saving measures are free for the asking. Please contact me for further clarification or any other questions you may have.

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