To make health care work for both groups, consultants are dividing up your health insurance into two categories, with full coverage for the core group and limited coverage for the seasonal group.
Limited coverage premiums can be in the $150 to $200 a month range for a single person. In many cases, employees have the right to "buy in" to a more comprehensive plan if they so desire. There is no doubt this could work for many of you who find it impossible to offer a standard plan for all employees.
Even with limited benefits, there are now very affordable drug card options that take the sting out of co-pay provisions. Many of the chain stores offer programs for generic drugs at $4 per refill or a 90-day supply for $10. I'm not sure if this applies to all drugs, but they need to be generic at a minimum.
From a preventive standpoint, many insurers are placing attractive incentive programs in front of employees to get and keep them healthier. Programs that start "at the top" have shown progress in reducing claims. Smoking, high blood pressure and weight are some of the targets of these incentives.
There is no doubt the insurance industry is making progress toward making health care available to more Americans. Now is the time for companies to review their health insurance program to see if it should be more consumer driven or part of a larger group. In short, during a time when you need to reduce expenses, there is no reason you can't reduce your health care costs. ?
Garry Bartecki is director of dealer/distributor services at BDO Seidman, LLP of Chicago, as well as a consultant to the AED. He has also worked as an independent CPA and consultant to equipment dealers. He can be reached at (312) 616-4677 or firstname.lastname@example.org.