Many businesses take time at the end of the year to make changes to current policies and procedures as well as the financial situation and budget for the upcoming year. Whether you’re starting a small business or a veteran business owner, it is important to evaluate your business as often as possible. If you’ve been slacking in the evaluation department, now is a great time to get started.

One of the most important things to consider is the health insurance you are offering your employees. This is obviously very important to your employees as well as their families, so it is crucial that you are consistently updating and evaluating your plan. If you think it’s time to improve your health care package (or offer one in the first place), there are a lot of things to consider. Health insurance can be extremely expensive, and in such an up-and-down economy it’s hard to know what you can and cannot afford. To make matters worse, the cost of health insurance has continued to rise each and every year.

Fortunately, there are some things you can do to help improve your health care packages without having to take out small business loans. Consider a few of your options for 2012:

Tips to Choosing the Right Affordable Healthcare Plan

Talk With Employees – You want to make sure that your employees stick around at the start of the New Year, so it’s important that you consider their needs and wants. Have people write down what coverages are important to them, and then choose a plan with their comments in mind. You may find that your employees don’t even need a very expensive plan.

Deductibles/Co-Pays –Make sure to pay special attention to the deductibles and co-pays because these are the things you’re your employees will have to pay whenever they visit the doctor or need to be hospitalized. In other words, low premiums aren’t the only thing that matters. The end goal is to do what’s best for your employees, so deductibles and co-pays are important.

Shop Around – It’s always a good idea to compare all the possible companies who offer health insurance side by side. You should get quotes from different insurance companies either by contacting the insurance company directly or by talking with an insurance broker.

Hidden Costs – Aside from deductibles and co-pays, you must worry about coinsurance. Coinsurance is the amount you are required to pay after a co-payment or deductible. For example, if the health plan will cover 90 percent of charges, you will have to pay the extra 10 percent.

It’s always a good idea to start fresh for a new year. Your employees will appreciate the fact that you are making changes to help accommodate their needs. This will help boost morale and ensure that your employees will stay with your company for a long time to come.

Author's Bio: 

Amanda DiSilvestro is a writer on topics ranging from social media to workers compensation insurance. She writes for an online resource that gives advice on topics including credit card processing to small businesses and entrepreneurs for the leading business directory,