How to choose an employer health plan

If you’re a business owner, providing your employees with a high-quality benefits package, including health insurance, can have a positive impact on your company’s culture, performance and its bottom line.


Quality benefits help attract and retain the best and brightest employees. Providing health benefits also qualifies you for certain tax advantages.

But how do you choose the best health plan for your company and your employees? We’ve designed a four-step process (below) to help you shop for and find the coverage best suited to your needs.

Step 1: Determine the needs of your business

Is cost your number one concern? What kind of coverage is most valuable to you and your employees? Consider the following questions and discuss some of them with your employees to help you gauge your overall needs.

Answer the following questions:

Who will be covered under this plan?

  • You and your family?
  • Your employees’ spouses and/or dependents?

Key considerations:

The plan you choose will need to be affordable for all who participate. It should meet the medical and financial needs of those it will cover.

  • Are your employees interested in joining your group plan? Or are they already covered through a spouse or individual plan?

Step 2: How much cost-sharing can you afford as an employer?

Group health insurance is employer-sponsored coverage, but monthly premiums are typically paid for by both the employer and employees. In many states, employers are generally required to cover at least 50 percent of the monthly premium for their employees. Keep this in mind when considering quotes for health plans later in the shopping process.

Step 3: Would employees rather pay more up front and less when sick, or vice versa?

Oftentimes, plans with less expensive monthly premiums come with higher annual deductibles and plans with lower deductibles come with higher monthly premiums. It’s important to find a balance of monthly premium and deductible that works for as many people in your group as possible.

Step 4: What kinds of benefits are most important to you and your employees?

While federal privacy laws prevent you from asking your employees for information about their personal medical history, you may still ask them about which kinds of benefits they consider most valuable. Are they more interested in catastrophic coverage in case of serious illness or hospitalization, or in low deductibles or copayments? Understanding the benefits most valued by your employees can help you find a plan more likely to meet everyone’s needs.

If you are looking for individual or group health insurance, contact us at (888) 535-4831 to get in touch with an agent who can help you through the process, or request a quote at

Current Sanford Health Plan members can access their SBC and other plan information in their secure member portals at or by contacting customer service at the number listed on the back of your insurance member ID card.