October 2014

Group Insurance Can Be a Competitive Advantage
by Steve Gooch
Avenue H Health Insurance Marketplace
As you know, the business world can be competitive, and any advantage can be the difference between winning and losing. Finding good help is no different, especially when companies are competing for the same talented potential employees. Group health insurance is a valuable tool for attracting great people to your business, and offering it can tilt the scales in your favor.
Avenue H helps small businesses get health insurance for their employees. It uses a unique “defined contribution” arrangement where employers contribute a flat dollar amount for employees to use for health care. The employees then take those funds shopping on Avenue H. They are able to choose from among 74 medical plans from 3 carriers, plus dental insurance and health savings accounts (HSAs). Employers give what they can afford, employees choose what they need, and everyone is happy.
Since 2010, Avenue H has been improving its system and its consumer interface. The goal is to make it easy and hassle-free for small businesses to get on Avenue H. There have been three major changes that have helped more than 180 small businesses join Avenue H during 2014 — and they can help yours too.
1) PRE-QUOTE TOOL — As an employer, you can go to AvenueH.com/quote, put in some basic anonymous information and get a quote for your group in as little as 10 minutes. The quote shows the insurance rates available on Avenue H so you can make an informed decision. It is important to note that rates are the same on Avenue H as they are in the normal market. Avenue H lets employees choose their plans, rather you having to do it for them.
2) EMPLOYER ENROLLMENT — In October 2013, Avenue H unveiled its employer registration and enrollment tool. Prior to this, employers had to use a broker to join Avenue H (which they still may do), but now you can register and enroll on your own if you prefer.
3) SHORTER ENROLLMENT CYCLE — It now takes as few as 20 days to get on Avenue H from start to finish. You just register your group by the 10th of each month, get your employees enrolled by the 15th of each month, and your insurance will begin on the 1st of the next month.

Looking to the future, Avenue H is planning to roll out a Spanish-language version of its website and enrollment tool, as well as making improvements to the way employees compare plans. These changes are just a few small parts of what Avenue H has in store for Utah’s small businesses. You can find out more about how Avenue H can help your small business affordably offer health insurance to your employees by visiting AvenueH.com