If you have a job at a company of 50 employees or more, you probably choose an insurance plan from a selection of plans each Autumn, usually in October or November. Some smaller companies offer plans to their employees, too.
Where do the insurance plans come from?
The features and benefits of these plans are negotiated by your employer with the insurance companies. The costs are also negotiated between your employer and the insurance companies. Your employer determines how much they will contribute, which reduces your premium. A larger company with a larger “pool” of employees, can usually negotiate better features and lower rates.
Who do you go to with questions?
If you have any questions about the insurance plans offered by your employer, your employer is the place to turn to. Usually, someone in the HR department is designated to act as a go-between. In some cases, they will tell you to contact the insurer directly. But if the insurance company denies reasonable claims, you should definitely speak to your human resources representative.
Why are the rates rising?
Every year, your employer (usually the Human Resources department) negotiates new plans and rates. And these plans must now be ACA-compliant (meaning they meet the requirements of Obamacare, like all plans – even for men – must have maternity benefits – even though men cannot become pregnant, and women’s plans must include prostate exams — even though women do not have prostates. This contributes to the plans become more expensive.
Your employer may have absorbed more of the cost, or reduced benefits to maintain the costs, so you probably have not seen (yet) the dramatic rise is premiums and deductible;es that self-employed people have. But it is likely coming to your plans, too. Until the sources of increased costs (of which there are many others besides the ACA mandates) are =addressed, premiums and deductibles will continue to rise.
Realistically, if your employer offers health insurance, that will almost certainly be your most affordable option. Going to the HealthCare.gov or state marketplace is almost certainly going ot be more expensive.