As I work with small business owners in trying to be a consultant rather than a sales person, I spend considerable time investigating their needs, their wants, their finances and existing coverages (benefits documents) to see if any and all options available to them would better their position, rather than present them with a renewal, expect them to sign it and life goes on.
In my career, I have very seldom seen rates come down; however, if I take the time, and do the service work necessary to really show the business owner all options, I look at individual contracts as well. For instance, I have a group of 40 individuals, 20 are considered part-time (not eligible) and of my 20 eligible employees, I have 15 that are on a group contract. What would it look like if I ran individual rates on each of these individuals, allowed them to choose their own plan and encouraged the employer to contribute a fixed dollar amount comparable to what they were contributing to begin with on the group platform. It is amazing to me how much different this really appears. Each person can pick and choose the plan that best suits their individual family’s needs, which can be a broad spectrum, including their benefits and their premium.
If the job would go away, or a person is terminated, the only change would be the billing address. These are individual contracts between the policy owner and the insurance company. Changing the billing address would be the only thing necessary. Neither the employer nor the employee would have to concern themselves with COBRA.