HR professionals spend countless hours sifting through emails, filling in paperwork, and sitting through long hours of presentations on group health insurance. Whether it is their first time doing it or they are being given an option to make changes to it, the process is usually quite painful. However, it is unavoidable. Most people usually end up choosing the same health insurance plans they have had for years. If it is their first-time enrolling, they end up choosing a plan similar to one they had with their previous employer.
Very little time and thought are given to the process of reviewing group health insurance. However, it doesn’t need to be a mad rush to mediocrity – with the right tools and a good evaluation plan, the process can be enlightening, beneficial, and, dare I say it, quite entertaining.
Research your network
Typically, a decent policy should have a large and popular network of hospitals and facilities. This is what you want to see. It might seem cost effective to go for a policy that doesn’t include well situated hospitals or clinics, but in the long-run it will start costing more.
If your employees start running to hospitals that are not in their network, the claims will start adding up, and insurers will begin to lose money. If you want to reinsure with them the following year, you’ll find that most insurers will adjust their premiums to balance out the additional costs your employees are putting on them.
If you’re worried, speak to a broker
There’s over 150 brokers in Dubai alone, and for many companies, they are worth the cost. A good broker will do all the research and compare the options on offer from different insurers. That way, the HR is only left with picking from a list of options provided to them. In general, it has been found that companies, which go through brokers, get better rates than others do. Besides that, a broker has experience on how to ensure the application process is concluded without a hitch.
Have an idea of what benefits and items you want your insurance to have
It is impossible to get a policy that has everything a company requires. Thus, it is important to narrow down the list of priorities to a few that are essential for the company. For instance, for a company that operates globally, having global coverage is important; are most of your employees female and therefore are looking for plans with good maternity? Considering your in-network is not the only core feature you need to look at when picking a policy; it’s vital that you consider the demographic and needs of your group before forging ahead with one insurer or plan. The best way of going about it is writing down what’s needed, what would be nice to have, and what’s not important.
You’re with them for a year. Make sure their customer support is strong
People forget this now, but a great customer experience is vital. Think about it – this is your insurance for a year. Whether you pick a broker or get a policy direct, having a team you can rely on is vital – and covers pivotal things such as the ease of access to services and timely replies. One way an insurance company can ensure the customer experience is great is by embracing technology. Look for a company that has a good online platform that makes it easy to access its services. After all, if the employees are not happy, there is no use contracting the services of that insurance company.
Price should not be the main consideration
Sure, if you’re a start-up or an SME, juggling your finances is crucial, and you can’t always shell out on a comprehensive plan – that’s why basic ones are available. However, keep in mind the long game. If you pick a plan with insufficient coverage, your employees will start racking up the bill, visiting hospitals outside their network and the like. When it comes to reinsure, your premiums will be much higher, and you’ll have to shell out more in the end rather than reaping the benefits of more rewards at a lower cost.
If there are still unclear issues about a policy, it is important to ask specific questions. Most insurers have consultants that provide answers during the enrolment period. Take advantage of their in-depth understanding of policies to put to rest all issues. Sometimes, it may even be worth talking to independent agents. Use the enrolment period to conduct as much research as possible. Take time to understand whether the insurance policy meets all of the companies need.
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