Playground Business – Increasing medical insurance costs – NPCAI February

We all have lost loved ones in our lives, so as we ramp up our business for the spring season, please take time to hug your kids, your spouses, your parents and other loved ones. It is a great reminder to them and to yourselves on how important they are to our lives.

My reflection this month regarding human resources is on the rising cost of healthcare. I am sure it does not matter how big our small your business is you have noticed the significant increase in health insurance premiums over the past several years.

Some reasons given to me:

1) Medical costs in general have increased dramatically and so insurance costs have followed

2) Some insurance companies are hedging their bets against legislation that will hurt their profits

3) Some insurance companies are concerned about competing with a government run health program

4) The presumption that patient/doctor/insurance company, with no regard to fiscal considerations, are making medical decisions

5) I am sure there a few other arguments here, with these and others having a point and counter-point..too many to mention

As small business what can we do? I wish I had the answer, as this is the question ALL businesses are asking. How do we remain competitive and “in business” with the booming costs of healthcare.

Some options are:

1) Increasing employee sharing of rising medical costs, high deductible plans are increasing for small business

2) Changing percent coverage of in network and out of network coverage

3) Another option is to make changes or renegotiate the details of your health plan or soliciting quote from other providers

4) Increase employees monthly contribution to their premium – this is difficult to ask when trying to retain key employees but must be done

5) Joining a group like a local Chamber of Commerce that offers additional discount with health insurance providers

If you have any other suggestions for how to manage the ever increasing health care costs please send them my way.

Now that we are well into 2012, the NPCAI is improving our member benefits but is always looking for feedback from members. Please send any and all feedback to myself or other board members so that we may consider it. As always, we welcome anyone’s interest in joining our board in order to help our mission as playground contractors.

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