By Michael Peterson
January 12, 2011
When it comes to controlling costs, employers generally do what they can to implement plans. One way to help control costs can be by limiting the services or products offered to employees. Riders are available for employees who would like to have options and other choices. Riders can be used for alternative choices for dental coverage, vision coverage, or other healthcare needs. When employers offer plans and certain coverage they tend to offer it on an annual basis and through “open enrollment periods”. Open enrollments occur for the most part annually or on an as needed basis, following a new hire, or life change. Employees get to pick which benefits work best for them and their families for the year. This is a plan that has no third party administrators. There are various types of premiums and deductibles that are offered with these choices as well. There is good coverage in both plans, but there are more risks and issues with self-funded plans. Self-funded plans are customized to help save money and fit budget as well. With self-funded plans riders can not be purchased, there is not an open enrollment, and there are often third party administrators that help manage insurance claims and needs. In both plans the benefits only exist with current employers and are not transferable or “portable”. Both plans provide options of provider networks of PPOs, HMOs, or POS. With employer-sponsored plans there is a possibility choose which provider network is used, but this too may have an effect on the overall cost of the plan. With self-funded plans the costs vary and can depend upon the choice of which plan is chosen.