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Commercial Health Insurance Trends in 2021

You'd think that with the coronavirus pandemonium, health insurance benefits would be the last thing any small business would have the time or money to offer. However, the small business health coverage market has been very stable despite initial concerns.

Why are so many businesses still opting to offer health insurance benefits? And what other health insurance trends are small businesses welcoming?

  1. Small employers are more concerned about their employees' welfare. The one silver lining of COVID-19 is that it brought people closer together in terms of humanity and consideration for others. Small businesses have always fostered a family-type of atmosphere, encouraging closer connections between employers and individual employees. At the very least, small businesses are more personally involved in their employees' lives than would be possible with larger corporations. So naturally, most small employers prefer not to deny coverage to their employees during times of actual need (like the pandemic).

  2. Cancel benefits, lose talent. Many businesses have needed to cut back on labor costs. While some chose to lay off extra staff, others decided to reduce or cancel their health benefits offerings altogether. A few bucks may have been saved, but many small businesses lost their highly skilled employees to big corporations because of the benefits. Offering health benefits is a key attraction and retention tool in the recruiting landscape. With a good health benefits package, your small business can compete for great talent with even big box stores and online giants. Letting go of these benefits means you're risking letting go of excellent workers to your bigger rivals - so think twice.

  3. Self-funded plans are proving to be more expensive. Cutting health benefits isn't the only way to reduce costs. Self-funding provides employers with more budget flexibility than traditional fully insured plans and generally reduces their premium costs. 2021 saw small employers choosing the self-funded route, especially those who employ just two or three workers. However, even on a good day, self-funding can expose employers to significant risks if they need to reimburse more claims than expected. Due to the pandemic, employers are also facing the threat of skyrocketing healthcare costs, driving insurers to refuse the higher risks and drop employers' coverage the following year.

These are just a handful of the commercial health insurance trends that have surfaced in 2021. For more expert advice on what health benefits your small business should offer and how to go about doing that, visit NY Small Health. You'll get just the facts, minus the sales pressure.

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