Much like the trials and tribulations faced by families, small businesses are finding it difficult to compare corporate health insurance. There's a great benefit to Australia's competitive health insurance landscape: there are plenty of providers trying to offer the best products for the most affordable price.
However, with so many voices screaming out at the same time, businesses are not finding it easy to take out a policy that suits them and their employees down to the ground. Choose the wrong one and the benefits of corporate health insurance could be limited. Employees might not get the cover they need most, and the business may end up paying more than they should for the luxury.
A small business owner is likely to be a master of their trade, and will often be too time precious to build a complete understanding of corporate health cover.
This is a particularly noticeable worry for small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs); they are usually more cash-strapped then larger companies, and therefore require more bang for their buck.
Vero looked into the matter and identified three ways insurance can work for businesses around Australia in its 2016 SME report, and it seems that health insurance brokers are key to making an improvement.
1) Improve understanding
Health insurance can be complex – from getting your head around lifetime health cover to understanding Medicare levy exemptions. A small business owner is likely to be a master of their trade, and will often be too time precious to build a complete understanding of corporate health cover.
It's a recurring problem in Australia, with oral advice remaining the most common health insurance headache, according to recent reports from the Commonwealth Ombudsman.
A health insurance broker can clear up the jargon that surrounds the industry and lead an SME to a level of cover that fits – and one that their employees find truly valuable.
2) Build engagement
Health insurance is not just a transaction, it's an ongoing relationship for providing the most effective types of cover for emerging and ongoing medical risks. Clients may need advice over the lifetime of their cover, which is where a broker can help.
However, SMEs need to know that they can turn to their broker for this service. Vero found that the most common business risk advice channel among SMEs buying insurance directly was their accountant or bookkeeper. The insurance provider was fourth in the list, below colleagues, family members and friends.
For those SMEs that use a broker, it was their second-most common avenue of advice – though again, this was below accountants. When it comes to corporate health insurance, SMEs can engage the knowledge and services of their health insurance broker throughout the process of implementing cover, and well into the future.
It can help them trim costs, reduce risks and (most importantly) increase the quality of their health insurance offering.
3) Be a crucial point of contact
Millennials say they prefer to interact twice as often with their insurance provider or broker.
Overall, satisfaction among all business insurance brokers is fairly high. Vero found that 68 per cent of SMEs that use a broker's services rate them highly. However, there's still work to do, and improving will require better communication. Younger SME owners in particular are calling out for an increase in contact from their brokers.
The 2016 World Insurance Report by Capgemini shows that only 33.9 per cent of millennial insurance customers have had "a positive experience" with their insurer. On top of that, millennials say they prefer to interact twice as often with their insurance provider or broker as other generations.
It makes sense, then, to have a clear line of communication – it helps with the first two points of building better understanding and engagement with health insurance. A broker is able to do this, and help clients refine and build their cover as time progresses, making it stronger in the long term.
Do you want to make the most of your SME health insurance? Give HICA a call on 1300 44 22 01 and speak to a professional – someone that's on your side.