The goal of this blog is to help business owners improve their profitability, and this particular post stems from a major expense for most employers. One of the largest expenses for any employer is the cost of providing employees with health insurance. South Carolina has a new alternative to Blue Cross Blue Shield called the South Carolina Health Cooperative. Their website is http://schealthco-op.com/ and for small business owners in South Carolina it is worth the time to research. Like anything there are positives and negatives so it is up to the business to research and determine if it is the right fit for their needs.
The positives are the cost, the doctor’s network, the education and the ownership the members have in the cooperative. The cooperative does not have nearly the overhead of traditional companies so the savings can be passed on to the customer. The doctor’s network is one of the largest though one should check if a doctor is a member if they have a specific doctor they prefer to visit. Education is important to improving health coverage because the average person does not understand the costs often associated with choosing one doctor over another, or one facility over another for a procedure. The cooperative is working to build a strong foundation of education for its members. Cooperative members are owners of the co-op so any unused funds may be refunded or used to improve the co-op, but the power is in the hands of the members to decide what is best.
The largest negative is the five cooperative. If a company terminates its membership early there is a buyout clause in the contract. The reason the cooperative is structured this way is because past cooperative efforts have failed due to members joining for a short term to have an expensive procedure, and then returning to their previous carrier. Any cooperative must protect itself and its members from individuals who seek to use the resources and then leave after receiving the benefit. The five year commitment is a different approach this co-op is using to protect its members.
e-vos does not provide health insurance nor is it a reseller of health insurance. This post is to educate business owners in South Carolina about an alternative to traditional health insurance that is available. Every business is different and the needs of every employee are different so there is no one size fits all solution. However, as an employer one has the ability to research alternatives and look for ways to reduce overhead. For more information contact the cooperative at the link located in the first paragraph.