Whether you’re a brand new start-up or an established company, offering group health insurance to your employees is a smart way to attract and retain the best talent. But, navigating insurance options can be tedious, which is why it helps to have a plan. If you’ve decided to look into group insurance for your business, here are a few things you need to know.
Small Businesses Are Not Required to Offer Health Insurance
As the law is written today, businesses with fewer than 50 full time employees are not required to provide health insurance for their workers, but most do as the pros outweigh the cons. Businesses with 50 or more employees must offer health insurance or pay a penalty. This is the “shared responsibility requirement” of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Luckily, tax credits are available for small businesses to offset the cost of health insurance. To qualify, you must pay at least half of your employees’ health care premiums and have 25 or fewer full time employees who earn an average of $50,000 or less per year.
The good news is, you only need two employees (yourself included) to qualify for group health insurance. With high rates and fewer plans available in the individual market, it’s easy to see why so many small business owners look at their options with group insurance.
Coverage Is Available From Basic to Comprehensive Benefits
Group health insurance plans are available with a wide range of coverage options. Comprehensive plans offer the most benefits with benefits for trips to the doctor, prescription drugs, hospital stays, even dental. Other plans provide far less coverage, with just enough for basic care. Finding the right balance between a good selection of benefits and affordable premiums is key.
When choosing a group plan, think about the options that would best meet your employees needs. Do you have many young employees with growing families? Are most of your employees older with grown children? Of course, cost plays a role in determining the type of plans you ultimately choose, but it helps to think through coverage choices first to make selecting the right plans easier.
Different Types of Group Health Plans
The most popular choices for group health insurance are Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs), Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs), and high deductible plans. HMOs tend to offer the most affordable premiums compared to benefits, but care is usually limited to in-network providers. The benefit of a PPO is increased flexibility. Employees can typically receive care from any doctor they choose, but premiums tend to be more expensive.
High deductive plans can work for some businesses, particularly if the majority of employees actively participate in heath savings accounts. Nevertheless, employees are responsible for paying a much higher deductible before receiving medical care.
Regardless of the type of health plan you choose, group health insurance offers guaranteed coverage. That means none of your employees can be turned down because of a pre-existing medical condition.
Saving money while offering great health benefits to your employees can be challenging. The trick is to ensure you get competitive rates from the best providers. We’re happy to help you find, compare and choose the right plan, so you can start offering reliable health insurance to your hard working team today!