If you’re a business looking for the best health insurance in Columbus, you’ve come to the right place. Columbus has a diverse local individual health insurance market. Both the competitive individual health insurance market and innovative carrier lineup in Columbus mean there are more health insurance options available for employees. Because there’s such a vast health insurance market in Columbus, the city is at the forefront of the benefits trend that brings flexibility and control to employers and employees… And this benefits model is a Health Reimbursement Arrangement– or HRA.
Health insurance options for Columbus, OH businesses
HRAs offer employers ease with the distribution of health insurance coverage. And employees love it because they get to choose which health insurance in Columbus works best for them.
Businesses in Columbus are set up to win with HRAs because of the ideal local health insurance market.
What Is an HRA?
With an HRA, employees get to shop for health insurance plans that work best for them.
Offering an HRA to your business is simple, and only requires a few steps. In a nutshell…
- Employers create their HRA plans
- Then they set their maximum allowable reimbursement limits
- Employees choose and pay for their own health insurance premiums and associated medical bills
- Then they’re reimbursed by their HRA administrator after providing proof of expenses
HRAs give employers flexibility, eliminate risk, and allow employees to feel empowered with their health coverage options.
There are two main types of HRAs that your company in Colombus can offer to your employees, and choosing between them depends on the size and scale of your business.
Individual Coverage HRA (ICHRA)
ICHRAs allow businesses to offer tax-free dollars to employees for reimbursement of health care premiums that the employee gets to choose themselves.
This gives the employee autonomy in the choice to find a plan that works best for them and their family, rather than being locked into one offered plan from the employer.
With ICHRAs, you set maximum allowable reimbursement rates, and your cost can never be greater than this amount. Plus, if employees decide not to buy insurance or they don’t use all of their allowed money in the HRA, the employer keeps the money.
ICHRAs can be offered to any size business with any amount of employees.
Plus, ICHRAs can still be offered with a traditional group health insurance plan, so if you’re a business looking to offer health insurance in Columbus, an ICHRA is a great place to start.
Qualified Small Employer HRAs (QSEHRA)
QSEHRAs work similarly to ICHRAs in Columbus as they too provide employees with tax-free reimbursement dollars for health insurance coverage and qualified medical expenses.
However, QSEHRAs are designed for companies with 50 employees or less. They also do not allow for group plans in addition to the HRA.
With a QSEHRA, employers reimburse employees without having to pay payroll taxes, all while employees don’t have to recognize income tax.
QSEHRAs are a great option for your small business in Columbus because they offer:
- Budget control
- Employee satisfaction
Still not sure which HRA option is best for your company? Take our quick quiz to see which HRA model is best for your business in Columbus.
Exploring Health Reimbursement Arrangements in Columbus
Ohio — especially Columbus — has a strong and competitive market for health insurance. This makes it an ideal place to offer your employees Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs).
More employers in Columbus are realizing that their dollars stretch further when offering an HRA, rather than a traditional group plan.
Plus, with an HRA:
- The health risks and health decision-making are transferred from the employer
- The employer has greater budget control than with a traditional group plan
- There are simpler plan design options, leading to more flexibility
- There are no participation requirements for employees
- The employee gets the choice and personalization of their health insurance plan
HRAs are the most successful when they are offered in cities with a great individual health insurance market– like Columbus.
And Ohio has 344 health plans for individuals to choose from!
Here are the top choices for carriers in Ohio:
- AultCare Insurance
- CareSource Just4Me
- Medical Mutual
- Paramount Insurance
- Summa Care
With all these options, health insurance in Columbus is widely available. And allowing your employees to choose which one works best for them is a key advantage of offering an HRA over traditional group health insurance.
Let’s dive into more advantages of HRAs, and how HRAs are one of the most successful ways to offer health benefits in Columbus.
The Top Advantages of HRAs
Companies are finding more and more advantages to offering HRAs for health insurance in Columbus. And with the vast health insurance market here, HRAs are ideal for you and your employees.
Some of the top advantages of HRAs include:
- Cost Control: employers set their annual contribution limits for HRAs, so they know their cost will not go above this set limit each year
- Tax Advantages: HRAs are TAX-FREE, which makes them an ideal health insurance offering because both employee reimbursements and employer contributions are not taxed
- Customization: HRAs are fully customizable, allowing for greater flexibility for the employee and the employer
- Employee Retention: Since HRAs allow employees to choose which health care coverage works best for them, employee satisfaction is shown to be greater, because they are not just put into a one size fits all plan
- Rollover Funds: Unused money from HRA accounts can roll over each year, otherwise, the unused funds can stay with the employer
Comparing HRAs vs. Traditional Group Health Insurance in Columbus
With so many choices for individual health insurance in Columbus, employees who have HRAs can take advantage of comparing the various plans.
The most popular health insurance carriers in Ohio based on our clients’ employees are:
- CareSource Just4Me
Traditional employer-sponsored group insurance plans usually only cover about 70% of health insurance premiums, leaving the other 30% for employees to pay.
However, with HRAs– depending on your reimbursement limits– well over the cost of health insurance premiums can be covered for your employees.
- Traditional group health insurance may be more widely recognized, so employers and employees may not feel as knowledgeable yet about HRAs
- However, especially in a city with such a large health insurance market, this new benefits model is becoming more commonplace for health insurance in Columbus
- With an HRA, funds have to stay with the employer if the employee leaves the business
- But the employee does get to KEEP their insurance plan, making it a portable health insurance option unlike employer-sponsored group plans
- It’s not always possible to combine your HRA with a traditional group plan, so sometimes companies are hesitant to give up their current group plan
- But ICHRAs DO allow employers to also offer group insurance, making the transition to an HRA an easier one
- There may be contribution limits to your HRA, which can keep an employer from being as generous with their monetary contributions
Despite a few common objections to HRAs, the overall view is that in a large city with such a great insurance market, HRAs are one of the best methods of offering health benefits in Columbus.
As an employee, you’ll have more autonomy and flexibility with your insurance coverage. And as an employer, your dollars will go further offering an HRA instead of a traditional group plan.
What to Consider When Choosing Health Insurance for Columbus Businesses
Deciding on health insurance for your Columbus company is a big decision.
Insurance coverage is one of the largest expenses for a business.
So it’s crucial to weigh all options when deciding on what offering is best for your business.
Because Columbus has an abundance of health insurance plan options, companies are set up for success when offering HRAs.
And to recap, HRAs allow you to
- Offer generous health benefits to your employees with fixed costs and no surprises
- Avoid wasting time and energy managing your employee healthcare spending
- Provide your employees with ANY choice of health insurance plan that works for them
- Customize your health insurance offering to fit the needs of your business
- Not worry about participation requirements with your employees
More and more companies are experiencing how HRAs can offer the best health benefits in Columbus, and we can’t wait for you and your business to experience the same!
Getting Started with an HRA for Your Columbus Company
Visit Take Command to get started with an HRA for your Columbus business!
Our HRA platform at Take Command makes the HRA process simple for you and your employees.
We assist you through every step of getting your health reimbursement arrangement ready to implement, plus we guide your employees through their health insurance options with their new HRA.
The Take Command HRA administrator benefits the employer by
- Managing the legal side of administering health insurance coverage to your employees
- Handling tax season with your HRA and all the paperwork that comes with it
- Keeping you compliant with privacy policies between employer and employee
- Offering an easy-to-navigate platform to save you time and energy
The Take Command HRA administrator also benefits your employees because
- They help in the search for the best-individualized health insurance plan
- They check for in-network doctors and other coverage information
- They aid in the search for prices and options for prescriptions with HRAs
With the abundance of health insurance options for employees to choose between in Columbus, businesses and employees are set up to win when using a Health Reimbursement Arrangement.
Ready to jump in with offering an HRA for your business in Columbus?
Connect with one of our HRA administrator experts today to get started!
Or read through our detailed HRA guide here for even more guidance.