How David Beat Goliath (And Kept His Healthcare Costs Down!)

James Stovall

If you are an administrator at a school with under 100 employees, you surely know by now that reducing your healthcare spending, or even keeping it relatively flat, takes some deft maneuvering and perhaps more than a few deep breaths.  Every time you go to renew your annual contract it’s a bit like entering the lion’s den; there you are, just you and your small group of the most talented people around, trying to figure out how to stay alive.
The numbers really are scary. The average annual premium for family health insurance coverage is now $16,834, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation/Health Research & Educational Trust (HRET) 2014 Employer Health Benefits Survey.   For individual plans, premiums average $6,025.

W6805Equally frustrating for you, (and your stress level), is trying to keep up with the constantly changing healthcare regulations. Changes that could make your healthcare rates skyrocket right along with your heart rate. In New York, for example, the definition of “small group” is now 1-100 employees as of January 1, 2016. This is a pretty significant change (it used to be 1-50), and it means schools and other organizations over 50 employees may see rates increase as much as 30-40% in 2016!

So how can you protect yourself from the big bad world of rising rates? Shop around! Don’t just take your broker’s rate and renew it for another 12 months, or worse, pass on those increases straight to employees.

David’s Favorite Weapon: The PEO

To prevent rising costs, look for a Professional Employer Organization (or PEO). Why? Because PEOs are specifically designed to help you – even if you are on the, umm, smaller side. They pack a big punch and can take on some monumental jobs, like managing compliance, human resources, payroll, benefits, and other operational functions, so that you can focus on managing your school. And the best news is they can really save you money.

It’s no secret that larger companies have more bargaining power when it comes to negotiating comprehensive healthcare plans, and since a PEO pools the workers from several organizations onto a single benefits plan, it has far more power than any single client would command on its own. A PEO can save an organization up to 30 percent on healthcare, which is very good news. It’ll bring those rates way down, and help you keep your chin way up. And who knows, you may just become the stuff of legends!

Finding innovative ways to save you money is just one way Little Bird can help. As the first employee benefits and HR software platform purpose-built for K-12 schools, we get your struggles, and know how to make your life easier.  Learn more here.

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