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How to Build an AWA Membership that Works for You

Oct 1, 2023

As a small business owner, the search for affordable, high-quality benefits can be challenging. The healthcare landscape is multifaceted, and finding the perfect fit can be like searching for a needle in a haystack.

Open Enrollment in the Marketplace offers a starting point. However, you may be wondering, “what happens when you’re in between enrollment periods, or when you require additional coverage?”

Good news. There’s a wealth of in-between and supplemental coverages accessible for small businesses and their employees through association membership.

These flexible options exist to fill the gaps. They allow you to tailor your benefits to your unique circumstances.  Even more, they allow you to demonstrate your commitment to wellbeing.

To guide you, we’ve listed the important steps below to help you create a membership that suits your needs.

Consider You and Your Employees’ Needs

One of the initial and most crucial steps in crafting an AWA membership that truly works is an assessment. You will need to understand the unique needs of you, as a small business owner, and your valued employees. This assessment lays the groundwork for a membership that strikes the perfect balance between affordability and value.

Your Needs as the Business Owner

Your role comes with a unique set of responsibilities and challenges. Among the many decisions you make daily, you often overlook one. This is the choice of a membership that works for you and your employees.

Consider your own requirements for health coverage and overall well-being. Assess your age, health conditions, and personal financial constraints. This self-reflection is vital, as your membership benefits should align with your own needs and financial stability.

Your Employees’ Needs

As a business owner, you recognize your team is the engine behind your operations. To choose what type of membership might be most effective, make an assessment of their needs. You should consider the age, family size, and any specific health conditions among your team members. The aim is to provide a membership that helps their well-being and also adds to their job satisfaction. By taking the time to assess these factors, you ensure that you tailor your membership to your unique circumstances. It allows you to create a membership that not only attracts and retains top talent but also reflects your commitment to the welfare of your employees. In the end, a well-designed membership with benefits is an investment that pays dividends in employee loyalty and business success.

Identify the Right Tools and Resources

At AWA, we believe the heart of a well-crafted membership lies in choosing the right mix of offerings. It’s about understanding your employees’ needs and providing them with resources and benefits that make a genuine difference in their lives. Do you or your employees need access to:

Fixed Indemnity Insurance

Fixed indemnity insurance is a type of coverage that pays a fixed amount per period or per service. Unlike traditional insurance, it pays this fixed amount regardless of the actual costs incurred. It is great for two specific scenarios:

  1. You need a primary form of insurance:
    • If you are uninsured outside of the Open Enrollment period.
    • If you are looking for a low-cost health insurance option.
  2. You need supplemental insurance:
    • If you need to visit out-of-network specialists or doctors.
    • If you have to cover expenses due to missed work or childcare.
    • If you need to buy medications not covered by your primary insurance.

Fixed indemnity insurance is an affordable option in both of these scenarios. This coverage is very flexible and easy to manage. You do not have to wait for Open Enrollment to sign-up or change your coverage. With fixed indemnity insurance, you can sign up or cancel these benefits at any time.

Dental Insurance

Most core health plans do not include dental insurance as part of their package. Dental care, however, is a vital component of overall well-being. If you need dental insurance on top of your core health insurance, there are options.

For example, we offer two dental solutions with different coverage levels to our AWA members. This allows each member to find what works for them, their families, and their employees. You can seamlessly integrate these supplementary dental insurance plans into your benefits offering.

Vision Insurance

Like dental insurance, most carriers do not include vision insurance as part of their core health benefits package. You might have to choose and pay for a separate vision plan.

When it comes to the wellness of your employees, including their eye health is paramount. Vision care is not just about crisp, clear eyesight; it’s also a vital component of overall well-being.

With a group like AWA, you can access vision discounts and vision programs. You can use our benefits for annual exams, frames, lenses, and contact lenses.

Prescription Insurance

Prescriptions can have a large, often detrimental, financial impact. Whether they’re for managing chronic conditions, addressing acute illnesses, or simply maintaining your health, the expenses can quickly add up. If you find yourself needing cost-saving options, prescription insurance can help.

Our group buying power has afforded us the ability to offer prescription benefits with low member co-pays. AWA members are eligible for discounts on various types of drugs. These include common generic drugs, preferred name drugs, non-preferred brand name drugs, and non-co-pay generics.

Term Life Insurance

Term life insurance can be a supplemental program you use to cover yourself and your employees in the event of death. Insured members pay a premium for a period of time. If the covered individual dies during that time, beneficiaries receive the cash benefit.

Term life insurance is an affordable option over permanent whole life insurance. Term life insurance has no cash value, pays out only after the term ends, and does not offer benefits beyond death. However, it is still an affordable option that offers tax-free payment to beneficiaries.

You can learn more about the term life insurance AWA offers its members here.

Accident Insurance

Life is full of unexpected twists and turns, and accidents can happen when you least expect them. Beyond physical injuries, accidents can cause emotional and financial stress. To prepare for the unexpected, accident insurance exists to help. It can help pay for medical, transportation, childcare, food, and/or monthly bills.

We have three AWA memberships that provide access to accident insurance benefits. Depending on the level of insurance you need, we have options. By making accident insurance options available, AWA empowers its members to proactively plan for the unexpected.

Wellness Benefits

Many workplaces nowadays are collectively supporting one another in the advancement of their wellness goals. From staff wellness challenges to perks, there are many incentives a business owner can provide. In the long run, this cultivates a healthy and happy workplace.

As a small business owner, you can support your team through discounts on wellness tools and resources. Access to these resources is not just a luxury; it’s a practical necessity. From telemedicine to patient advocacy services, our members have access to low-cost yet valuable resources.

Discounts on Everyday Needs

When you’re looking to save money on travel and leisure, joining a small business association is the key. From lower hotel rates to discounted car rentals, you can enjoy lower costs to visit new clients, vendors, and partners.

At AWA, we offer our members additional advantages beyond health and wellness. Our consumer discounts are perks you can enjoy and gift to your employees. Learn more about our consumer discounts here.

Understand Your Legal Requirements

When selecting any benefits for your employees, compliance with legal requirements is not just a best practice; it’s a necessity. Familiarize yourself with federal and state regulations, including the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Be sure to check the following:

  • Federal regulations for minimum coverage and preventative care
  • State-specific requirements for leave and disability

By understanding the required coverage, you can avoid expensive lawsuits and fines, as well as build employee trust. At AWA, we help our members stay updated with the latest by ensuring our member benefits align with changing laws.

Seek Support from an AWA Consultant

After understanding your team’s needs, budget, and potential coverages, it is time to plan your approach to providing benefits and resources. Our team is available to assist you in designing a custom membership solution that supports your goals. We’ll ensure you get the most bang for your buck.

Your focus remains on your business. We know finding low-cost, compliant, and valuable benefits takes time. Our team takes this search off of your plate. We’ll recommend solutions for you, providing insights on how to best attract talent and maintain costs.

Tips for Designing and Implementing an AWA Membership

Once you have crafted the ideal AWA membership, it’s time to implement. Below are our top recommendations for a successful rollout.

Inform Employees

Open and transparent communication is at the heart of any successful benefits plan. While this can seem like a daunting task, you don’t have to navigate it alone. Below are powerful ways we can keep your team informed.

  • Providing guidance on available benefits options.
  • Empowering them to make choices suitable to their needs.
  • Presenting benefits in a way that can be easily comprehended.
  • Allowing employees to ask questions.
  • Showing them how to sign up and access their benefits.

Review and Update Annually

The world of employee benefits is dynamic, and the needs of your workforce can change over time. To ensure your benefits plan remains relevant and effective, annual reviews and updates are essential. Many factors can change, including:

Needs of Your Workforce

Your workforce is not static; it is dynamic and ever-changing. As time passes, the needs, preferences, and priorities of your employees can evolve.

Many things, like personal situations, the healthcare system, and the people who work for you, can influence these changes.

Laws and Regulations

The healthcare and benefits landscape is complex and ever-evolving. Legal shifts can have a profound impact on your business’s benefits plan and your employees’ well-being.

Staying compliant is critical to avoid legal issues and maintain the integrity of what you are offering to your employees.

Utilization and Costs

As the needs and preferences of your workforce evolve, monitor how your employees are utilizing the benefits. This regular evaluation empowers you to make cost-effective adjustments.

Monitoring allows you to align expenses with the actual needs and utilization of the benefits.

Employee Feedback

Regular updates based on employee feedback and changing circumstances are important. They demonstrate your commitment to their satisfaction and well-being.

Design Your AWA Membership Today

Join more than 15,000 business owners and entrepreneurs that have designed custom-made memberships for themselves and their teams. We create these memberships to help members save money, stay informed, and make their own financial and wellness choices.

Ready to create a member plan that truly works for you and your team? Get started today. Call (214) 436-8881 or fill out the form below!