That’s right, small business health insurance. If there is one topic that any business owner dreads, it’s health insurance and reviewing health insurance options. This is a complicated issue that gets even more complex every time a new law is passed, and it can be hard to know where you should even begin. But if you want to attract better, more loyal employees, and grow your business beyond the small business stage, having good health insurance is a must. So here is an overview of available options to research and find out which health insurance option is right for your small business:
Purchasing Individual Health Insurance
If you are a solo owner/operator, then you are in luck, sort of. You only need to worry about yourself, so you can purchase individual health insurance. That is easier in some respects, because you just have to take care of one person and you’re done. But individual health insurance can be pricey, and you may not always qualify. Keep in mind what types of medications you take, your medical history, and other habits you may have when it comes to medical needs, as you shop for the right health care.
Small Group Healthcare
If you have a small company, you can often find a small group healthcare plan, in which all your employees pay into a pot that is used to cover major medical emergencies if anyone in the group should have them. This can be difficult to get or agree on if one or more people in the group have a chronic condition – because chances are, they’ll burn through the pot faster than others, leaving others worried that they won’t be able to get emergency coverage. However, if your group is largely healthy, this can be a good way to keep everyone’s costs low.
Private Health Exchange
Many larger businesses go with a private health exchange, which is set up like the traditional health care benefits you’re likely used to seeing from an employee’s perspective. With this option, the company buys bulk insurance from a private provider, and pays a percentage towards each employee’s health care coverage. The employee then chooses the plan they want under the provider, and pays the remaining percentage of the plan’s premiums out of their paychecks. This is generally only a good idea if you have a large staff, because the costs can get high if you aren’t paying in bulk.
SHOP and the ACA
While the laws are currently changing quickly, there are still some options available under the ACA for small businesses, namely the Small Business Health Options Program, or SHOP. This is a state-run marketplace for small business owners, where they can search for a healthcare option directly from providers that works for their company. This is set up for companies that have up to 50 employees, and offers tiers of coverage based on your budget. The tiers and offers differ in every state, but this is a great option if it is available because it offers great tax credits for your business.
Now that you know the main options available, you’ll be able to begin investigating which health care avenue is right for your company.