Does your Business Do Without Group Health Insurance?
Many small businesses do without group health insurance plans these days. While the lack of group health plans may be more common with unskilled labor, even highly skilled businesses like engineering firms and mortgage companies expect their employees to find their own health plans. If a company is small, and the employees have access to an existing health care plan through their spouses or prior individual coverage, it may be sensible to delay a group health plan buying decision. However, if you expect your company to grow, you will probably need to address group health insurance some day.
For one thing, health insurance is on everybody's minds. Studies have shown that a good employee health insurance policy will help attract and retain quality employees. Beyond that, most employers want to do the right thing for their employees. Employers want to provide quality health insurance. Employees want quality health insurance. However, the costs associated with health insurance can be a huge barrier.
Small group rates, especially if an employee or two has had a major health condition, can be the highest rates of all health plans. Large companies can spread the risk over a larger pool of insured people. Individual plans are able to pick and choose, so rates are lower for fairly health people. Less healthy people must use a state risk plan.
To keep small group rates affordable, you may need to choose a fairly high deductible plan without frills. You can offer your employees an optional supplemental insurance plan if they need more coverage. Supplemental accident and sickness policies are usually affordable, and when you combine them with a higher deductible health plan, they provide complete coverage.
Also remember you and your employees should reap some tax benefits. Employer contributions provide deductions, and if you take the employee contribution out of paychecks, it should reduce payroll taxes too. Employees will have less income to report. So the real cost of insurance will be less than the price of the premium!
Another solution is to help your employees obtain individual health insurance. Fairly healthy employees will obtain affordable rates for their families, and you can offer to deduct premiums and pay with a list bill on many plans. Less healthy employees may have to use your state's risk program. Since you don't have to pay a health insurance premium, you may offer to pay your employees more to make up some of the difference. You can also offer a supplemental group plan so they can choose higher deductible plans that will be cheaper!
If you are shopping for small business health insurance, find an agent who can provide you with a variety of options, and is not concentrating on only one solution for everybody. They should be able to explain how your choices will affect your tax situation. If you have a group health insurance plan in place, but have just gotten hit with a big premium raise, a good insurance agent should be able to tell you how similar companies have solved the problem.
M Katz has worked with many small businesses so they can enjoy quality health coverage. If you are your company's only employee, or you run a small shop with fifteen other people, you still have some good options for secure health care.
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