The Health Plan Edge

Podcast Series

As a small business owner, you’ve got big things to consider. But what’s most important? Health plans.

Tag along with small business expert Steve Strauss for lively conversations with business owners like yourself — and learn how being smart about health plans can help you keep costs low, employees happy — and give you the edge on competition.

The Health Plan Edge - 001: Selecting the Right Plan

It’s likely your second-largest expense, outside of payroll. So choosing a health plan for your business is important to get right. But does it have to be so HARD? In this segment, Steve talks to Paul Sharkey, who advises small business owners on health plans, and Neil Marco, who owns Strive Pest Control outside NYC. They share their stories and help you understand what’s important to consider, and how you can make it simpler.

The Health Plan Edge – 002: Why Buy Health Insurance?

In this episode, we tackle question of whether or not to offer health insurance to your employees. Steve is joined by Hector De La Torre, the executive director of the Transamerica Center for Health Studies and Toby Williams, who runs Clean Corners in Milwaukee. They clarify the legal requirements, discuss how SHOP makes it easier to compare plans, and let you know about an under-utilized tax incentive.

The Health Plan Edge – 003: Understanding Health Care Buzzwords

When it comes to health insurance, do you know what you’re buying? Most people don’t really know what premiums, co-pays, deductibles, and out-of-pocket maximums really mean, or how they interrelate. That makes it hard to do the math when considering your options. To help figure it all out, Steve talked with Paul Sharkey, a small business health insurance advisor, and Carolyn Mincey Freeman, who runs her life coaching business in Delaware. 

The Health Plan Edge – 004: Getting Your Plan Up and Running

How much time should you allow for your employees to enroll in or change their health coverage? How will you communicate important information to your employees? Can brokers help? Listen as Steve is joined by Robert Horton, who’s spent 20 years helping small business owners with health plan enrollment, and Will Berrigan, the founder and CEO of Shamrock Wealth Management in St. Paul. 

The Health Plan Edge – 005: Managing Costs

Health care costs for businesses keep going up, but there are ways to lessen the blow. Steve talks with his guests to learn about creative strategies for keeping costs down, including network narrowing, HSAs and plan designs. Joining the conversation are Robert Horton, a small business health insurance expert; Jason Bruce who runs his small business, UNICOM, in Dallas, and Mike Matheny, the owner of Folklore in Minneapolis. 

The Health Plan Edge – 006: Creating a Culture of Wellness

Wellness programs can have big benefits – attracting talent, lowering costs, and boosting productivity. But how can these work for small businesses? In this episode, Steve talks with Robert Horton, a small business health insurance expert, and Jill Lipset, co-owner of The Powerhouse in St. Paul, MN. They show you how to start small, tap into programs that are already included in your plan, and start reaping the benefits of wellness at work. 

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