ABOVE: Pictured from left to right are panelists David Capo, Vincent Blasi and Shakira Gordon.
BY BENJAMIN FANG
Whether you operate a small business or work at a large company, understanding the complex health care system is rather daunting.
Business owners already have enough on their plate, from minding the shop to taking care of their employees.
That’s why on August 14, the Queens Chamber of Commerce’s Health and Wellness Committee organized an event called “Healthcare 101: Insurance Basics for Small Businesses.”
Hosted at Plaza College in Forest Hills, the panel featured local health care experts who broke down difficult concepts for attendees and gave best practice tips for both employers and employees.
David Capo, a senior benefits consultant at OneGroup, began by defining prominent health care terminology, such as co-pays, deductibles and coinsurance.
“When it comes time to start looking at different health plans, doing comparisons or working with your broker, you may hear these terms come up,” Capo said. “Especially when I review them with clients, I tend to get questions.”
Capo said under the Affordable Care Act, all health insurance plans have a medal value, from platinum to bronze, depending on the level of coverage. Platinum plans are more expensive, but may have low co-pays and no deductibles, whereas bronze plans will be cheaper but have a higher deductible.
“There’s a big spectrum there, and they vary by price,” he said.
He also explained that there are different types of plans, including preferred provider organizations (PPOs), where you can go out of network, exclusive provider organizations (EPOs), where you stay within your network, and health savings account (HSAs), which is a tax-exempt account you can use for out-of-pocket expenses.
Capo said HSAs can be a good fit for some people, especially those who are healthy and don’t use their plans much.
“Instead of paying all that extra premium to the insurance company, now you have money you’re saving that you can put aside for yourself,” he said.