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Does a MEWA Health Plan Make Sense for Your Small Business?

Posted September 24, 2021 by Steve Chrzanowski, Director, Group Retention & Sales Support

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If you are a small business owner with less than 50 employees it can be difficult to find affordable health insurance. Small companies with fewer resources are challenged to meet insurance companies’ group participation requirements in order to negotiate favorable rates and plan options that larger companies can often leverage. That’s why Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangements (MEWAs) are becoming an attractive option for small businesses. By joining together, companies can share the healthcare costs of their employees, reduce their group plan costs, and offer better benefits packages to staff.

How does a MEWA work?

MEWAs group similar small businesses together and pool their contributions into a self-funded benefits plan. This offers multiple employers the opportunity to provide health benefits across a region at a lower out-of-pocket cost. MEWAs generally work with a TPA (third party administrator) to coordinate the plan and renewal process, manage claims and provide customer service to employees. When considering a MEWA, look for one with a TPA that is focused on cost containment, takes a personal approach, and offers health and wellness services like disease management programs> that are designed to keep employees healthy. Most MEWAs offer ancillary services like dental, vision and life insurance coverage for an additional cost.

Cost savings

MEWAs are generally less expensive than similar plans found on the government-run health care exchange marketplace. With a MEWA, a company’s rate is configured based on the number of employees they have, and the estimated costs associated with each employee (this information is gleaned from a questionnaire employees complete in regards to their medical history, age and gender).

Other benefits

MEWAs offer small businesses the ability to compete for, attract and retain top talent in their industries because robust healthcare benefits play a big role in people’s employment choices and job satisfaction.

MEWAs also help keep payroll deductions lower by offering fixed monthly payments and tiered rates based on whether someone is single or has a family and what ancillary services they would like to add on. Because MEWAs are self-funded, companies have a pool of employees who are incentivized to keep costs down which often results in a healthier workforce.

Interested in learning more?

SummaCare has partnered with the Greater Akron Chamber of Commerce and their affiliated chambers to offer a MEWA health plan to members. SummaCare’s MEWA, the Chamber Health Benefits Plan, allows employers to choose from a variety of benefit plans, including PPO and HSA-compatible options, as well as several SummaCare networks, including The Preferred Choice Network, a high quality, cost-competitive new commercial network comprised of Summa Health, Cleveland Clinic and Akron Children’s Hospital.

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