Offer health insurance to support employees - Albuquerque Journal

Offer health insurance to support employees

Dr. Mark Epstein

Open Enrollment for individual, family and small business health insurance coverage begins Monday, Nov. 1, and runs through Jan. 15, 2022.

This is the time that thousands of New Mexicans will be signing up for health coverage for 2022. If people don’t enroll during this time, it could mean losing coverage or not being able to make changes to current coverage until late in 2022.

As an employer, you will see many benefits for offering health insurance coverage to your employees, including:

Employee retention: Offering health insurance attracts and retains valuable workers. That means cost-savings on recruiting and training, not to mention opportunity costs for your business.

Reduce absenteeism: Employees with insurance are more likely to take advantage of preventive care and screenings. These actions keep employees healthy and on the job.

Boost morale: Providing health insurance shows your commitment to the health and well-being of employees and their families. In return, employees may feel a greater sense of security and loyalty.

Tax advantages: Employers can take a tax deduction for the cost of health insurance premiums paid on behalf of employees.

Today, the world we live in has so many confusing messages, questionable news sources and information overload. Fortunately, New Mexicans are lucky to have multiple, reliable sources to get accurate and important information on health insurance options. The first resource is beWellnm (bewellnm.com), which is a consumer portal to health insurance plans being offered for 2022. Other options for information that you can trust can be obtained from the New Mexico Office of the Superintendent of Insurance (OSI.state.nm.us), health insurance brokers, health plans and even your medical professionals.

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us the importance of having health insurance. Good health care coverage continues to be needed now more than ever as the coronavirus continues to cause harm from both health and economic perspectives. Just as getting vaccinated and wearing masks reduces risk for individuals and communities, having reliable health insurance coverage provides additional protection to reduce the risk of additional financial hardship in the midst of our pandemic challenge.

Comparing health insurance plans can be challenging and sometimes anxiety-producing or even sleep-inducing. The first thing an individual, family or business should consider is what health services are most important. While cost can often be a determining factor, opting for a plan that saves you a few dollars a month can be costly in the long run if the health services being covered are inadequate in number or difficult to access or if you or your employees have large out-of-pocket costs when you seek those services. This is where a health insurance broker is worth their weight in gold. Find one you trust and look at the options and what will work best for your particular situation.

The biggest takeaway is to start planning now for 2022. Unfortunately, the likelihood of the pandemic rolling into the new year is high. So, get with an insurance professional now or the folks at beWellnm and start planning so that you can secure quality coverage and healthy outcomes for you, your family and your employees.

 

Dr. Mark Epstein is a former emergency room doctor and holds an MBA. The executive’s desk is a guest column providing advice, commentary or information about resources available to the business community in New Mexico. To submit a column for consideration, email gporter@abqjournal.com.

 


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