How well do you satisfy your employees? Do you offer health insurance to your employees? Well, if not, then you should consider getting a small business health insurance plan. A small business health insurance is a must, especially if you are looking to grow and improve productivity. Also, a small business health insurance can significantly help attract new employees and retain existing ones, and might even save you some money with tax credits and deductions.

Not to mention, if, for instance, your company has more than 50 full-time employees or staff, then you are legally bound to provide health insurance among other facilities, to your employees. This has been mandated by the Affordable Care Act. Failing to do so could have you pay penalties.

However, the biggest challenge arises when you have to choose a suitable small business health insurance plan for your employees. So, if you do need to make the right selection, then here at PlanGrip, we will provide you some useful tips and insights which cover all the key aspects of picking the best small business health insurance. After all, keeping your employees happy is also a priority, right?

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The Best Small Business Health Insurance Plans

A well-planned small business is one that is able to provide necessary amenities, both for the company’s infrastructure as well as for people who work in the company. While in your quest for the best health insurance plan for your business, you are bound to come across several options. The various types of small business health insurance plans control the type of medical care the employees and their families receive in a few ways stated as under

  • Monthly insurance premiums
  • Per-visit deductibles
  • Freedom in selecting a doctor
  • Specialist referrals

1. Health Management Organisation (HMO)

Health Management Organization (HMO) meets all of the basic criteria of an acceptable small business medical insurance plan. The premium and deductible costs are low, but with the reduced costs come greater primary care physician and specialist restrictions.

Specifically, this type of insurance plan works best for companies that have younger employees without extensive healthcare needs. It also works well for business owners looking for their own policies. However, the caveat here is that in the event of an emergency, you may be left paying higher co-payments for specialized treatment.

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2. Preferred Provider Organization (PPO)

Costs more for both employees and employers. With these costs, though, comes a greater degree of freedom. Employees enrolled in a PPO plan have a higher degree of freedom in selecting their own doctors. This option is particularly important for companies with older employees, who might prefer to keep their physicians, rather than selecting a new one within the network.

PPO plans also present fewer limitations for visiting specialists. Additionally, you may also pay a percentage of the cost of the visit, rather than a flat deductible.

3. Point of Service (POS)

Greater freedom, but with required referrals. Point of Service (PPO) allows the same degree of network freedom as PPO plans, but like HMO plans, it requires specialist referrals. Visits to specialists outside of your network will also incur lower co-payments. The costs for these POS plans can also fall between PPO and HMO plans.

4. Exclusive Provider Organisation (EPO)

Fewer specialist options without required referrals. Exclusive Provider Organisation (EPO) plans small business owners and their employees to visit specialists without requiring a primary care provider referral. However, the options available will be decreased.

Other Small Business Health Insurance Options

For small businesses on the smaller end of the spectrum, typical health insurance plans might not make sense. These alternatives are perfect for businesses without the size to constitute a conventional group policy.

1. Purchasing Alliances and Associations

Small business group health insurance. Many business owners with fewer than 50 employees have good intentions in selecting an insurance plan but are deterred by the costs. Thus, Purchasing Alliances and Associations are the perfect workaround.  And these organizations unite business owners from separate companies together, allowing them to purchase plans at a reduced rate. These organizations may also offer multiple options.

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2. Professional Employer Organisations (PEOs)

Just like the purchasing alliances, PEOs pair like-minded small business owners looking to cut or minimize costs on medical insurance policies. Therefore these plans also provide other best services with full convenience for business owners as well.

3. Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP)

This government-sponsored health insurance policy enables small-business owners to purchase reasonably priced policies. Even though, these plans may not always provide the comprehensive and complete care options that business owners are looking for.

Each state runs its own SHOP marketplace, either on its own or with the help from the federal government that you can use to search through, learn about and select the best healthcare options for your small business. Thus, If you have between 1 and 50 employees, you are eligible to select healthcare coverage plans from your state’s SHOP marketplace.

Small Business Health Insurance Cost

There are multiple types of costs associated with health insurance. These are some of the direct expenses that both the employee and the employer will pay.

Deductibles: Before the health insurance company begins covering your employees, they must pay a deductible.

Premiums: The health insurance premium is the amount paid in order to access healthcare services available under the plan. Generally charged on a monthly basis, the employer is required to pay at least 50% of this cost (though some opt to pay more), and the employee pays the balance. Plans with lower premiums tend to have higher deductibles, and vice versa.

Copays: While individual plans can vary, many require those who are covered to pay co-payments. This is a per-visit fee, which can fluctuate depending on the deductible.

Apart from these direct costs, there are other variables that can affect the overall annual cost of health insurance.

Benefits And Health Conditions Covered

Health insurance plans with more extensive coverage are inevitably more expensive. While these plans might appear more desirable, companies with younger employees might prefer cheaper plans with fewer coverage options. Asking which conditions your employees want to cover is illegal, but making an informed choice based on coverage is important.

Type of Insurance Plan

Obviously, the type of plan that you select can figure into the cost of the policy as a whole. HMO plans are the cheapest option– but remember, you should also consider the opportunity cost of not offering a more flexible plan.

Time Spent Selecting and Managing the Plan

As a business owner, each managerial decision you make is considered a time-taking process, but health insurance especially. This process can be lengthy, but it simply does not end there. You will also have to continuously fill out paperwork, touch base with employees about needs and attend to open enrolment needs.

Cost Sharing – Finding a Balance Between Payments

How much of the total costs of small business health insurance will you, as the employer, pay for? The answer to this question can play a significant part in determining the total cost of a policy. Employers are required to pay at least 50% of the cost of health insurance premiums.

However, many business owners pay a higher share of these costs to further offset premiums for employees. Doing so can be a meaningful contribution, and play an important role in fostering a healthy, rewarding culture. Generally, a particular plan structure should also be a factor in the cost-sharing distribution.

Health Insurance For Small Businesses With One Employee

Self-employed business owners without any employees face a unique challenge. They’re not required to provide a policy for anyone else (with the possible exception of family members), but the cost can still be high.

Fortunately, there are ways to navigate around this problem without the same spending involved in a larger organization. And group insurance plans, such as the above-mentioned purchasing alliances, and PEOs, are a great option, too.

To look for group health insurance, you only have to type in your ZIP code and select the number of employees that you hope to provide a small business health plan for.

Comparing quotes and checking out several different plans available in your area is the best solution to see and look at what’s out there, and get an idea of which small business health insurance plan might work best for you.

Financing Health Insurance for Small Business

After all, is said and done, medical insurance plans can be costly– there’s no doubt about it. Irrespective of, a slight lapse in revenue is no reason to miss out on the immense advanatges of offering a policy that suits your company.

Conclusion

It is quite crucial for all small business owners to evaluate the provided health insurance plan timely and make sure that it satisfies the needs of their employees. Without the bandwidth, time, resources and connections that major corporations have, though, finding a suitable and affordable small business health insurance plan can be a challenge but is not impossible.

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