Who needs a good laugh today? Need Health Insurance

For those of you that are small business owners there comes that day each year when it’s time to renew your companies Health Insurance.  Today was that day. It’s gotten to the point that I, along with my partner and brother, know that what we are going to hear from our insurance sales representative is not going to be good news but rather how bad is going to be this time.   Well today we were quite surprised.

Obviously your thinking, WOW! did the rates go down and your company is saving bucket loads of money?   Not exactly.  Usually it’s how much more is it going to cost us this year to get less.?    This year it was not much different.  It is definitely going to cost us much more to get much less.   So why is this something to laugh about?   (well almost laugh) What is wrong with this picture?

If you have been following health care in this country, you certainly understand the giant mess we have created. Over 70% of the country wants the new (Obama) health care policy repealed that took literally decades to create.  The law is so confusing I don’t think there is a soul that really understands the whole package. The doctors certainly don’t like it, and many are abandoning ship by either retiring early or joining private health care groups that don’t accept insurance.   Hard to believe that a typical driver on a Coca Cola route without a college education can actually make more than a qualified physician today. Who is the smart one here?

Just trying to understand how health care is going to work can make you sick.   What have we done and what is going to be the end game?   The bottom line is small businesses like ours will be paying through the nose and this will continue to keep our economy stagnate with little growth.  Is there a solution that will work?   When will we be able to have affordable health care for small businesses?   We believe there are ways to do this, but we are going in the wrong direction.  Let’s put the politics aside and come up with a plan that is small business friendly and that the typical business can grasp and offer to current and new employees at a favorable rate.

Today’s meeting with our insurance representative was not so much of a meeting but as a good dose of reality.   It only took a few moments while thumbing through the numbers and the various plans available that we really aren’t buying insurance anymore, we’re  just buying a premium.   No matter which plan you look at they all have greater co-pays, less coverage, more out of network cost, extremely high hospital coverage  and generally more rules and regulations. So basically as a small business the choice is very obvious. There is no choice.  The only option is to take the plan that is affordable.    Any other choice will simple put you out of business and then there would be no reason to have health insurance.

In a way you have to say this is almost comical.  Imagine if you’re the insurance sales rep and your job is to come in and explain this situation:  “OK Steve and Stuart,  here is your choice.  You can spent 200% more this year and get 300% less coverage or you can spend 100% more  for this year and get 200% less coverage.  Which one will it be?  Hmmm let’s think about this.   Bottom line is there is no choice but the one that will keep you in business until at least until next year’s meeting.  Insurance is now a matter of shopping for PRICE not for services.  Our rep did a great job in helping us see the picture and believe it or not we actually felt pretty good coming out of the meeting.  It would of been nice saving those bucket loads of money but coming out with a clear understanding of what health insurance is about today was a great reward.  Although it’s going to cost us significantly more and we will be getting less, we are still providing our employees health insurance.

As American’s we have come to accept that change is inevitable in our political system and along with it will come mandates that will impact us all.  Health care regulation is  the “Genie out of the bottle” and if we don’t do something to get it back in,  it just might make small business disappear.



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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Steve,
    Unfortunately this is the world we are now in due to Obamacare. I don’t know the complete makeup of your group but it is probably made up of quite a few young single people that won’t use the insurance and some families that will use the insurance. I hope your broker did his due diligence, thought outside the box, and you aren’t just flushing the premium down the drain.

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