Marcia Hultman

Cabinet Secretary

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Division of Insurance - Small Employers

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. Consider contacting other local small employers or business groups for recommendations.

The Division of Insurance publishes a list of all licensed major medical insurance companies as a helpful public resource. The licensure status of an insurance agent or company can be verified through the License Inquiry Service or by contacting the Division of Insurance.

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 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 or by contacting the Division of Insurance.

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' claim could go unpaid, and you could be held liable for the full amount of your employees' claims and losses.

Contact the Division of Insurance