Yes, I know the title of this article is about when is the best time to shop for more affordable group health insurance, but I think you’ll figure it out if we talk about the worst time first.
The worst time for an employer to shop around is after getting a big fat renewal increase from your broker.
This might seem counter-intuitive but once you have an ugly renewal rate in hand is the absolute worst time to try and improve your rates. The truth is that the time to look for better rates or a better health plan is when your group is healthy and your renewal rate is low. Underwriters know that your renewal is an indication of the claims history for your group. They are going to propose rates that they feel are adequate to pay for the expected claims from your group. If you are in possession of a big fat renewal increase you can’t expect a new underwriter to take a gamble that your claims will go down next year. That won’t happen.
Insurance renewals are always going to go up like compound interest. When you get a large increase this will set the mark for next year’s increase. That’s why big insurance renewals are so bad, they stick around and hurt you for years. The biggest mistake you can make is failing to take advantage of a good renewal rate. That is exactly the right time to shop around and see if another insurance company will give your healthy group a better rate to earn your business.