When Small Businesses Must Offer Group Health Benefits
December 13, 2016
If you are a small business which employs more than 50 full-time equivalent employees, you are required to provide group health benefits. This can be expensive if your employees are older or if there are several which chronic health conditions. It is a smart move to compare costs and benefits between several plans before making a decision. You should also consider how much the business will subsidize the employee’s premium and if you’ll open the plan to family members. All of these considerations will factor into the cost, both to the business and to the employees.
Providing good health insurance benefits is a great way to entice quality employees to work for you. It also helps keep your current employees happy since healthcare costs are one of the biggest expenses for families. What you must do as the business owner is balance your costs against those of the employee and still provide a good group health insurance plan.
Depending on your industry, you can a few options when searching for health care. You can look at the traditional insurers and check the rates and coverages of their group plans. If you or your business are members of a professional organization, they ay offer group health insurance at a discount.
If you employ fewer than 50 full-time people, you may qualify for less expensive plans. Some states offer group health plans to certain businesses and some industry associations will also have group health plan options for small businesses.
Your state may also offer subsidies to help you pay for group health insurance, depending on the size of your business. Check with the Small Business Health Options Program in your state. Here you can compare costs and coverage and even buy policies. You may also be eligible for a tax credit to recover at least part of your costs providing group health insurance to your employees.
If you are a business with over 50 full-time or full-time equivalent employees, you must offer health care insurance under the Affordable Care Act. If you employ fewer than 50 full-time employees, you can get a tax credit if you offer health care insurance.
Also under the Affordable Care Act, Group health benefits and insurance is guaranteed issue meaning an employee or family member can’t be turned down because of a pre-existing condition. This can result in increased premiums to both the employer and the employee.