this is a little trick that I learned. Don't go through the company for health insurance. Instead have your employees sign up for a health insurance package (under their name) that both of you seem is fair, and then you just have the bill sent to you and its cheaper than going through the company.
My guys have their own insurance that I found for them on the internet, most of these companies will let you customize a insurance paln to fit your needs. My guys were more interested in doctor's office visits and perscription's, so they ask the insurance company to set the plan geared towards that. When the bill comes they show me and I pay 80% of the total. This works out great for all of us and so far no complaints on the service by employees. hope this helps.
We just went through the process with our company. I have never had health insurance via the company before. Always just had a personal policy. So I went through a long process in deciding which company, which plan, etc.
First off, it varies from state to state. The providers I have in my state may not be the same ones you have. Laws vary drastically on company healthcare from state to state as well. So it can be a whole different ballgame from one place to another.
I will say this, I disagree with tiedeman. It wasn't at all cheaper to have indivual policies. It's much cheaper to have a company plan. I compared prices for our family alone vs. our family on the company plan. And there was no comparison. We had horrible coverage, high deductibles, etc. with the previous, more expensive coverage than with the newer, less expensive coverage. And the new company policy has NO deductibles, covers everything, and is less expensive. I did the same comparison for my foreman and his wife. This was a little closer but the company policy was a little better in coverage and a LOT better in terms of dollars - no deductibles.
The great thing about company health insurance (depending on your state) is they can't exclude anyone or deny you because of a pre-existing condition. That is a HUGE bonus if you have any medical conditions, are overweight, have high blood pressure, have a history of any serious illness, etc. They can't "rate" you for any of this stuff with a company policy like they can on a personal policy.
My wife is pregnant. And we just got the new coverage Feb 1. She's due in 7 weeks. On the old policy, the doctor and hospital wanted $3000.00 from us THIS MONTH - before the baby was due - because that was our portion of the birth. Now, with the new policy, our total due is $400.00.
What I recommend is that you find someone who really specializes in health insurance for companies. Don't find a jack of all trades who sells all kinds of insurance. Find someone who REALLY knows the company health insurance laws and companies and plans for your state and sit down and talk with them. It may take 3 meetings before you finally hash through it all and understand it. But it's well worth it.