Small business owners have a huge responsibility in keeping their business intact and running well as time goes by. They may or may not hire additional staff depending on their needs. To those who hire people to help in the different aspects of the business, owners need to ensure their staff work in a healthy and hazard-free environment.
In general, small businesses are not required to offer health insurance to their workers. The Affordable Care Act applies only to large employers who have more than 50 full time employees. However, providing health benefits to your staff is a good way of keeping them for the long term. They will feel appreciated with the knowledge that their employer also values their health.
“Health insurance is one of the most important benefits any employer can provide his people. It is a way to ensure their well-being while performing their tasks in the office or wherever they may be assigned to work,” said Curtis Quay, one of injury trial lawyers APC based in San Diego. It’s true that it can also be the most costly and is not currently mandatory, but then again it can help business owners attract and keep quality talent. Small businesses with 50 or fewer employees are exempted from having to offer a health care plan to its staff but those that choose to do so should meet the minimum coverage provisions.
The cost of a health insurance depends largely on the company you choose. Many small businesses have spent an estimated 7.5 percent of payroll costs for insurance in the past but with the Affordable Care Act, the costs are bound to decrease. For one thing, those with a small number of employees or less than 25 will be able to avail of tax credits. Those that employ fewer than 25 workers who earn at least $50,000 or less per year can qualify for the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit. This covers up to 50 percent of an employer’s contributions toward their workers’ premium costs via the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) Marketplace.
A group health insurance is a common choice. This can be purchased from your chosen provider or you can check the new healthcare marketplaces created through the Affordable Care Act also known as the Obamacare.
Where to Purchase?
With a large number of health insurance providers in existence today, it can be tough to choose the right one. It’s important to shop around first. You can do your research online and make a shortlist first. Once you’ve cut down your choices, make sure to visit each of their websites and ask for a direct quote. You may also visit the new shop exchanges which will help you compare different plans online.
Another option is to contact an insurance broker. This professional should be able to recommend you providers that can best meet your needs.
The SHOP Marketplace is also in place to meet the needs of small businesses with less than 50 workers. This program is aimed at simplifying the process of purchasing health insurance for small enterprises allowing them to choose the coverage they offer and premiums they pay for every employee.
Along with shopping for insurance providers is deciding on what type of plan to purchase. Should you go for a group plan, individual plan or family plan? The group plan is the most common way of providing workers with insurance benefits. However, the individual/family plan can benefit employees more as they can avail of personalized and more affordable coverage suited for their needs. The advantage of this plan as well is it saves the business owner significant time and expense. In addition, a business entity that offers this can avail of government subsidies that would even help them lower the cost of coverage by 70 percent.