Shopping for Insurance Coverage as a Small Employer
If you do not currently have insurance, the best way to begin shopping is to find a reputable insurance agent to assist you. You might also contact other local small employers or business groups for recommendations.
The Division of Insurance publishes a list of all licensed major medical insurance companies on this website. You can also use the License Inquiry Service to verify the licensure of an insurance agent or company. You may also verify a company's licensure by calling the Division of Insurance at 605.773.3563.
Tips When Shopping for Insurance
Because premiums, deductibles, copayments and co-insurance levels can vary widely from plan to plan, it pays to shop around. When shopping for coverage, keep these guidelines in mind:
- Be sure you understand the full extent of each plan's coverage when comparing plans and rates.
- Plans with higher deductibles, copayments and employee share of co-insurance generally will have lower premiums. Keep in mind, however, your employees will also have to pay more out of pocket when they access services or benefits.
- Consider factors other than cost, such as a company's financial strength and complaint record. These are indicators of the service you can expect. You can learn a company's financial rating, as determined by an independent rating organization, by calling the South Dakota Division of Insurance at 605.773.3563.
- Buy only from licensed insurance companies and healthcare maintenance organizations (HMOs). Selling unlicensed coverage is illegal in South Dakota. If you buy from an unlicensed carrier, your employees' claims could go unpaid, and you could be held liable for the full amount of your employees' claims and losses.
- Understand employee health coverage is different from workers' compensation insurance, which covers only job-related injuries.