Small businesses officially have more options for health insurance than ever before. In the past, health insurance has been costly for small businesses especially. This led to many businesses choosing to opt out of health insurance coverage altogether, leaving employees unprotected.
The good news is that times are changing. Health care is becoming easier for small businesses to navigate, and this is a benefit for both employees and companies. Employees today value health insurance over a lot of other benefits.
Today, 88% of employees consider the quality of health benefits important when choosing a job. If you want to stay competitive and attract top candidates, you need health benefits. In this guide, we’ll discuss the best health insurance plans for your employees and your business.
Small Business Health Insurance Program
The first option is to get coverage through the Small Business Health Insurance Program (SHOP) marketplace. This is a marketplace for businesses that have under 50 full-time employees, and at least 70% of your employees need to enroll in the chosen plan.
Any small business that chooses this option has to pay a fixed premium for the policy, though a portion of these costs can be passed along to employees. Like most employer-sponsored plans, the employee will be responsible for copays and deductibles when seeking services.
A reimbursement arrangement is just what it sounds like. This option was created in 2016, and it’s officially known as the Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangement (QSEHRA). With this program, businesses with under 50 employees can offer a monthly allowance of tax-free money.
Employees can use this money in a number of ways. They can purchase their own health insurance through a private insurer or the federal marketplace. They can pay out-of-pocket for health expenses. Basically, it allows a lot of employee and employer flexibility.
Sometimes it doesn’t make sense to go through a third-party insurance provider. In these instances, the small business itself acts as the insurance provider. This means the small business pays for any health care claims with money that’s kept in a secure trust.
This might sound risky, but there are a lot of limitations in place to make this a much more formal, secure arrangement. Most businesses pair the fund with a stop-loss policy to ensure there’s not too much risk when paying employee claims.
Association Health Plans
A recent option that just became available for small businesses is access to association health plans (AHP). WIth an association health plan, small businesses can band together to purchase large-group coverage or self-insure. Generally, small businesses group by profession, geographic region, or industry.
These plans work similarly to a normal group policy, and they’re much more affordable. However, it’s important to note that these AHPs don’t need to cover the essential health benefits like Affordable Care Act compliant policies need to.
Supplemental Health Insurance
Finally, consider offering supplemental health insurance to your employees. Many people don’t realize that most traditional plans don’t offer coverage for “extras” like dental, vision, and so on. These are must-have services, so a bit of supplemental coverage goes a long way.
You can find supplemental health plans from most private insurance providers, and they’re very low in cost compared to traditional medical coverage. This is a great perk to offer employees that won’t break your budget. Find out more about vision insurance fast quotes at HealthMarkets.
How to Choose the Best Coverage
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to healthcare. As a small business, it’s up to you to understand your budget and employees’ needs. The right coverage is one that takes all of these things into account and makes you a competitive employer in your area.
It’s easy to overlook the importance of health insurance, but now’s the time to find the best option for your business. Are you ready to take this step to bring your business to the next level?