Want More Coverage Than Your Employer’s Plan Provides? EZ Can Help!

For many people, one of the biggest perks of their job is the health benefits. Being offered group health insurance can take a huge weight off of your shoulders. But what if you don’t have enough coverage, are paying too much, or are just not happy with your plan? You can opt for an individual health insurance plan. In fact, an individual plan might be cheaper than an employer-based health plan, and you could end up with more coverage for less money if you use EZ.Insure. 

When You Can Change Plans

Most Americans get their health insurance through their employer, but these plans can be limited in their coverage or too expensive. If you want to look elsewhere for your insurance, individual health plans are available through the Marketplace or through private insurance companies. But before switching from your employer’s plan to an individual plan that you should know that:

a clock with a black calendar next to it with an orange background

  • You can only enroll in a private plan during the Open Enrollment Period from November 1- December 15, unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. You qualify for a SEP if you experience a qualifying life event, such as getting married, adding a family member, getting divorced, or losing employer-based insurance. 
  • Some companies require you to stay on their plan if you agreed to take part; if this is the case, then you are stuck with the plan for the year until your workplace’s Open Enrollment.
  • If your employer offers coverage that meets “minimum value” standards set by the Affordable Care Act and is deemed “affordable,” you will not qualify for a government subsidy on coverage purchased through your state exchange.

Your Plan Choices

If your employer does not help pay your premiums, or if they do not contribute enough, then it is definitely worth finding your own plan. In addition, if you choose to purchase individual insurance, you will no longer be limited in your choice of plans. If you are unsure which plan might be right for you, EZ.Insure can help you sift through all the available options in your area at no cost to you.

There are a number of different individual plans to choose from; for example, the ACA Marketplace  divides its plans into 4 metal tiers. The metal tiers do not indicate the quality of care, but the percentage of care that each plan covers. The more the plan pays, the higher your premium will be.3 medals with medicine pills in the center, one gold, one silver and one bronze

  • Bronze – Plan pays 60% of your health care costs, you pay 40%.
  • Silver – Plan pays 70% of your health care costs, you pay 30%.
  • Gold – Plan pays 80% of your health care costs, you pay 20%.
  • Platinum – Plan pays 90% of your health care costs, you pay 10%.

There are also a variety of plan designs to consider:

  • HMOs– Health maintenance organization plans have restricted provider networks and require referrals to see a specialist.
  • EPOs– Exclusive provider organization plans require that you stay in-network, but you do not need a referral to see a specialist.
  • PPOs– Preferred provider organization plans are more flexible and allow you to see doctors in and out of your network, with no referrals required. 

EZ.Insure will help you understand all the different types of plans and, because we understand that keeping your doctor is important, we will make sure your doctor is included in your plan’s network. 

illustration of a male doctor
One of the advantages is the ability to choose a plan that covers your doctor and hospital.

What Individual Plans Cover & Their Advantages

Just like employer-based plans, individual plans cover the 10 essential health benefits, and they cannot charge you more for, or deny you coverage because of, pre-existing conditions. The advantages to an individual plan include:

  • You can choose the best insurance company and plan to meet your needs.
  • Your health insurance isn’t tied to your job, so you can change jobs without losing coverage.
  • You can choose a plan that includes your preferred doctors and hospital.
  • If eligible, you can get a subsidy from the government.

How EZ Can Help

You do not have to settle for your employer’s health insurance plan if it is limited or too expensive. EZ.Insure wants to make sure that you and your family are completely covered, and we also want to put money back in your wallet! With us you won’t have to worry about spending time searching for a plan that meets all of your needs – we will do all the heavy lifting for you. We will compare all available plans and present them to you, and will help guide you through the process of finding the right one for your needs and budget. We will even help you sign up for a plan at no cost to you. To get instant quotes, simply enter your zip code in the bar above, or to speak to an agent, call 888-350-1890.

How To Insure Your Employees During Tough Times

All businesses go through rough patches, whether it be when they first start up, or when they are faced with unforeseen circumstances. If your business falls on hard times, you might end up feeling stressed out and overwhelmed. It’s important, though, not to forget what it is that keeps your business running: your employees. You need to be there for your employees through tough times because they are your most important asset. One of the best things you can do for them is to look out for their physical and mental health by offering (or continuing to offer) them health insurance. woman with her head in her hands in front of a laptop

Offering a healthcare plan might seem out-of-reach during hard times, but showing your employees you care enough to provide them health insurance will help with employee retention and will ultimately boost your business’s growth and productivity. If you are unsure how to keep a group health plan going at this time, we have some tips – and we have agents who can talk you through all of your options. 

Healthcare On A Budget

Keeping your employees insured will help your business in the long run, as it will relieve some stress and support your employees’ well-being. Stressed and unhealthy employees are less productive, less present, and less likely to stay in their jobs. Here are some things to consider when shopping for a group insurance plan on a tight budget:

  • Ask what they need- Ask your employees what kind of insurance they need by giving them an anonymous health insurance survey. By taking the time to ask some simple questions, you will have a good idea of where to start when looking for a plan to cover your employees. You might find that most of your employees would be happy with a high deductible health plan, which would cut down on your premium contributions.
  • employees sitting around with one woman standing in front of a whiteboard pointing at it
    Help your employees understand their options and learn about the benefits available to them, so they can take advantage of everything being offered. 

    Update or offer wellness programs– Wellness programs not only offer your employees ways to get happier and healthier, they can also help you save money in the long run. They can lower your overall healthcare costs over time by encouraging employees to adopt a healthier lifestyle. Even making simple changes like setting up a space for meditation or relaxation in your workspace can do wonders to relieve stress.

  • Provide resources– Help your employees understand their options and learn about the benefits available to them, so they can take advantage of everything being offered. 
  • Find a carrier that offers the right mix of benefits– Working with many carriers for different benefits is more of a headache than it’s worth. Find a carrier that can provide all the benefits you want for your employees. 
  • Consult an EZ agent- One of the best ways to insure that you can offer your employees good health insurance is to compare plans and see if there are ways to save some extra money. We will find a carrier that meets all your needs and within the best price.

Contact Your Current Health Insurer

If you’ve already got a group health plan that you’re happy with, but are worried about keeping up with the costs, there are a couple of things you can do before canceling it. You can contact your current group health insurance company and request an extended grace period for premium payments on your group plan. If you cannot get one, then consider shopping for a new group insurance plan. One of EZ’s agents can find you a plan that will keep a little more money in your pocket during these trying times.

Federal & State Resources

You can also look into The Payroll Protection Program, which is part of The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. This program was set up to help small businesses pay up to eight weeks of payroll cost including benefits. All small businesses as well as individuals who are self-employed, are eligible for the program if they meet the size standards. At least 60% of the loan must be used to fund payroll and employee benefit costs, and the remaining 40% can be spent on:

  • Mortgage interest payments
  •  Rent and lease payments
  •  Utilities

african american woman with a phone to her ear and a pen writing down in the other

If All Else Fails, Encourage Employees To Get Individual Insurance

If you do end up having to lay off employees or place them on temporary furlough, you can encourage them to get their own individual insurance.  Anyone who has lost their job or is furloughed qualifies for a Special Enrollment Period and can enroll in an individual plan. If the employee qualifies, they could be eligible for significant premium reductions, as long as they sign up for a plan within 60 days of losing their job. Send them to us: EZ will work with each employee and direct them to the best plan for their financial situation and health needs.

Your employees need health insurance during hard times, not only for their physical well-being, but to manage their mental health too. Insuring your employees can cost you a lot, which can seem like a burden during tough times, but there are ways to continue offering your employees the healthcare they need. EZ.Insure will help you keep your employees insured, whether through a group plan or with individual insurance. We work with all available carriers in your area, and can compare plans within minutes. We’ll make the process easy and pain-free. You will be provided with a highly trained agent who will compare all available plans and help you decide which plan is best for your business. To get free quotes, enter your zip code in the bar above, or to speak with an agent, call 888-998-2027.