Clients Count On Your Lawyers, and Your Lawyers Are Counting On You To Select The Best Plan
Health insurance for law firms is even more critical than for other businesses and professions. Clients depend on their lawyers to protect their interests (and sometimes, their lives), employees rely on lawyers for their jobs, and law firms only thrive and grow if they attract and retain top legal talent. Providing health coverage to the attorneys and staff at your law firm is one of the best ways to keep your firm running on all cylinders. This, in turn, ensures that clients get the representation they need and that the people who work at your firm are productive, healthy, and happy.
If you are in charge of choosing health insurance for your law firm, chances are this is not the only task on your to-do list. And as busy as you are, you may not have the time to spend learning about the nuances of health insurance for law firms, reviewing the minute differences between policies, and determining which of those many plans are suitable for your firm. Even with all the benefits of providing group health insurance for your employees, if you don’t know what you need, what your lawyers and employees want, and what your firm can afford, making the right choice can be overwhelming.
Because of the minutia involved in selecting group health insurance plans, many Colorado law firms work with an experienced health insurance broker who understands these plans and law firms’ needs, concerns, and budgets.
While working with an independent broker will save you and your law firm time and effort and help you get the best deal on coverage, here are some factors to consider as you evaluate plans for your firm.
Enrolling in a group health plan is a substantial investment for any law firm. Since you will likely ask your attorneys and employees to contribute to the cost of coverage, there is a significant expense for them as well. You want to understand what your firm can afford and the size of the contributions you’ll be expecting from those who enroll in coverage. This will assist the broker you use in determining and narrowing down the potential plans that will best suit your firm’s needs.
Scope of Coverage
Under the Affordable Care Act, all group plans must provide certain baseline health care benefits and coverage. Beyond those requirements, however, policies may differ significantly in their scope of coverage and how much enrollees can expect to pay in copays, coinsurance, or for prescription drugs. Deductibles and coverage limits may vary as well.
As you go through the process of choosing health insurance for your law firm, you’ll want to find out from the attorneys and professional staff what matters to them the most and the kind of coverage they need. Choosing between plans and providers involves trade-offs: less coverage but lower costs, a broader physician network but higher deductibles, and so on. To determine which side of the spectrum your law firm falls on, you will want to discuss with your employees what they feel is essential in a health insurance plan.
Size of Physician Network
Another critical factor in choosing health insurance for law firms is the size of the plan’s physician network and the number of doctors “in-network.” When reviewing the plans available in your area, be sure to select a plan with the type of network your workforce needs. For example, you may need to decide if an HMO is suitable or if your employees need a PPO to access a more extensive network of physicians.
Purchasing Health Insurance For Law Firms
Here’s how buying health insurance works. Several different carriers offer group health insurance plans for Colorado law firms, including:
- Blue Shield of Colorado
- Kaiser Permanente
- Anthem Blue Cross of Colorado
- HealthNet of Colorado
After choosing a plan from one of the insurers listed above, your firm enrolls with the insurer and purchases coverage for the “group,” which are your lawyers, staff, and their dependents. While many firms either choose to or must cover full-time employees only, you can also offer coverage to your part-time employees.
Once your firm enrolls in a plan, you will typically pay the insurer the total premium for the policy. You will recover some of those premiums by making paycheck deductions from employees who sign up for coverage. The amount of those contributions may vary depending on whether an employee signs up for individual or family coverage.
Choosing Health Insurance For Law Firms Doesn’t Have To Be Hard
Your firm can purchase group health insurance coverage for your employees directly from an insurance company. However, an insurance company won’t provide you with all of the available coverage options; they’ll want you to select one of their plans, not a plan from one of their competitors.
This is where working with an independent group health insurance broker benefits your law firm the most. They will explore and evaluate all available plans from multiple carriers and help you select coverage best suited to your firm’s needs and budget, all at no cost to your firm.