Under 50 Employees
Providing health insurance to your employees is a great benefit, but it’s been cost-prohibitive for many companies. Starting in 2014, businesses with less than 50 full-time equivalent employees (FTEs) will have a new opportunity to offer this benefit at a more reasonable price.
You Don’t Have To
You aren’t required to offer health insurance to your employees. That requirement – part of the provision called “Employer Responsibility” – applies to businesses with more than 50 full-time1 employees.
If You Already Offer A Healthcare Plan
If you have an existing healthcare plan, you may be grandfathered from some of the mandate’s provisions. However, there’s also the possibility that you’ll have to rewrite your existing plan to be Affordable Care Act compliant.
When 2014 arrives, you’ll be able to use a new Online Marketplace to purchase health insurance for your employees. The Online Marketplace you’ll use is called a SHOP – or Small Business Health Options Program. It offers you a variety of Qualified Health Plans so you can choose one that fits your budget.
Each state is required to create these exchanges by 2014. If they don’t, the federal government will do it for them.
The new rules have some real perks for small businesses:
- Health insurance companies have to insure your employees. No more getting turned down due to past or current health issues.
- Everyone in your group has to be accepted. If you offer dependent coverage, they can’t be turned down due to past or current health issues.
- Health insurance plans that other small employers in your state can buy from a company have to be available to you, too.
- Starting in 2014, insurance companies can’t charge you more because of the health status or gender of your employees. Premiums can vary based on age, but there are limits.
Options And Alternatives
You probably won’t lose your competitive edge in attracting and keeping employees if you decide not to offer group health insurance. Since the individual market has been simplified and premiums and coverage have been standardized, group insurance from you won’t be the benefit it once was. In fact, your employees may discover that they’re better off getting insurance on their own.
From a business perspective, you might want to focus your money on other employee benefits like a retirement plan or group life insurance.
Don’t Go It Alone
You’ll have a lot of options to consider in the near future. We’ve got the expertise to help you choose the right one. Contact us today to get started.