Answers to the top 3 questions about small business health insurance

  Employee working on her computer on table top

1. Does my business qualify for “group” insurance?

Generally, owners are considered employees so if you have at least one employee in addition to yourself, you qualify for group plans in most states. Typically a partnership – even one without any employees – also qualifies for group plans because by definition a partnership has at least two partners, both of whom are “employees” of the company.

2. How much does health insurance cost?

The average annual premium cost for single coverage in 2017 was $6,690, with employers paying 82% of that. Among small firms (3-199 employees), about one-third of workers contributed more than 50% of the total family premium1

3. How can I find a one-size-fits-all plan for my employee’s individual needs?

Employees are unique, so a good first step is to find out what they value most – from how much they’re willing to pay each month to which doctors and hospitals they want in their network. A simple poll can help you determine how the bulk of your employees feel.

Most plans today cover preventive care, so next, focus on the pros and cons of the three most common plan types:

  • High deductible health plans (HDHPs): HDHPs have a higher deductible that must be met before insurance kicks in. Typically they have lower monthly premiums and may be attractive for groups interested in catastrophic coverage.
  • Copay only plans: Copay only plans have no deductible for network services. Instead employees pay a fixed dollar amount (a copay) when they receive care. These plans may be attractive for people who want predictable costs for care.
  • Traditional plans: Traditional plans use a combination of co-pays, deductibles and coinsurance. The deductible and co-pay amounts are generally lower than other plan types, so premiums are often higher.

Finally, expand your benefits mix – and satisfy more employees -- by offering dental, vision and life coverage. Employees often pay the full cost of these “voluntary benefits” but enjoy the advantage of group rates when offered through their workplace.

Sources:

  1. "2018 Employer Health Benefits Survey;", opens new window Kaiser Family Foundation; 2018.

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