How to give your busi­ness a name that stands out, spells suc­cess

Orlando Sentinel - - SUCCESS - By Jorie Goins

The av­er­age an­nual pre­mium for em­ployer-spon­sored fam­ily health cov­er­age rose 5% this year from last year to $20,576, in­clud­ing em­ployer and worker con­tri­bu­tions, ac­cord­ing to the an­nual sur­vey by the Kaiser Fam­ily Foun­da­tion. Av­er­age an­nual pre­mi­ums reached $7,188 for sin­gle cov­er­age, a 4% in­crease.

While the head­line num­bers are eye-pop­ping, you prob­a­bly care more about your con­tri­bu­tion.

The av­er­age an­nual dol­lar amounts con­trib­uted by cov­ered em­ploy­ees for 2019 are $1,242 for sin­gle and $6,015 for fam­i­lies, a whop­ping 25% jump since 2014 and 71% since 2009.

Of course it doesn't stop there. The dreaded de­ductible can add up to sig­nif­i­cant ad­di­tional out­lays to­ward the cost of health care. The av­er­age de­ductible among cov­ered work­ers with a de­ductible is $1,655, up 36% over the past five years and 100% over the last 10 years.

So what can you do? Shop around. Yes, it's te­dious, but it could save money. Start by re­view­ing your cur­rent plan and what you spent this past year; then try to project what your health care costs will be in the year ahead.

Com­pare plans and de­ter­mine what they cover, how much they cost, in­clud­ing co-pays and de­ductibles, and whether your doc­tors are in the net­work.

High de­ductible health plan/health sav­ings ac­count: High de­ductible health plans of­fer lower pre­mi­ums and are paired with tax ad­van­taged health sav­ings ac­counts. Both al­low you to set aside pre-tax money to pay for un­re­im­bursed health care costs.

If you're gen­er­ally healthy and want to save for fu­ture health care ex­penses, the HDHP/ HSA may be an at­trac­tive choice. Or if you're near re­tire­ment, it may make sense be­cause the money in the HSA can be used to off­set med­i­cal care costs after re­tire­ment.

How­ever, if you think you might need ex­pen­sive med­i­cal care next year and would find it hard to meet a high de­ductible, it might not be your best op­tion. The IRS has spe­cific con­tri­bu­tion and de­duc­tion rules about HSA con­tri­bu­tion lim­its, so be sure to check them out.

Flex­i­ble spend­ing ac­counts: Th­ese al­low you to set aside up to $2,750 next year to pay un­re­im­bursed med­i­cal ex­penses. Th­ese plans are sub­ject to a “use-it-or-lose it” pro­vi­sion, which means that em­ploy­ees of­ten must in­cur el­i­gi­ble ex­penses by the end of the plan year or for­feit any un­spent amounts.

In­sur­ance cov­er­age: The buy­ing power of a big group can mean more af­ford­able rates for life, dis­abil­ity and long-term care in­sur­ance. Many of th­ese poli­cies are por­ta­ble, which means that you can take them with you, if you leave the com­pany.

Pay­ing off stu­dent loans: Ac­cord­ing to the 2019 So­ci­ety for Hu­man Re­source Man­age­ment sur­vey, em­ployer-pro­vided stu­dent loan re­pay­ment as a ben­e­fit has dou­bled since 2018 from 4 per­cent to 8 per­cent. Re­im­burse­ment for con­tin­u­ing ed­u­ca­tion: This valu­able ben­e­fit is tougher to find, but some em­ploy­ers still help pay for un­der­grad­u­ate, grad­u­ate and cer­tifi­cate classes. There is usu­ally a re­quire­ment that work­ers earn at least a B to qual­ify for re­im­burse­ment.

Con­sumers can form an im­pres­sion of a brand within sec­onds. If you want your new busi­ness to res­onate with po­ten­tial cus­tomers, you need to spend time com­ing up with a great name. Crowd­spring founder and CEO Ross Kim­barovsky em­pha­sizes that the name of your com­pany is a cru­cial part of your brand strat­egy. Crowd­spring is a Chicago-based com­pany that helps busi­nesses, en­trepreneur­s, agen­cies and non­prof­its with de­sign and nam­ing for ev­ery stage of their busi­ness.

Be­low, Kim­barovsky shares some of his tips for us­ing a strong name to set your com­pany's brand up for suc­cess.

and cre­ate a huge brand, which is why you see suc­cess­ful com­pa­nies pick more un­usual names. But ob­scure words are also re­ally dif­fi­cult to spell and of­ten dif­fi­cult to pro­nounce.

You need a big mar­ket­ing bud­get and a big ef­fort to cre­ate a brand iden­tity based on a word that peo­ple just don't know.

Em­ployer health in­sur­ance cov­er­age: |

Ross Kim­barovsky

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