By Wendy Dessler
Small business health insurance has earned itself a bad reputation in the United States. Blame changing regulations and political turmoil, but at the end of the day, a lot of people are confused about small business healthcare. The good news is it doesn’t have to be this way. If you follow the right steps, you can find the right group coverage plan for your small business.
Do you know what you need to get started? Finding the right coverage for your business is one of the most effective ways to attract top talent and keep your employees happy, but where do you begin? In this guide, we’ll walk through the necessary steps to finding small business health insurance you can trust.
1. Do You Need Small Business Health Insurance?
It might sound silly, but the first step is to simply decide if you can actually offer small business health insurance. According to the employer mandate, only companies with 50 or more full-time (or full-time equivalent) employees is required to offer health insurance. If you don’t meet this number, providing health insurance is not legally required.
That being said, providing health insurance is almost always a good thing, even if it’s not required under the employer mandate. A startling 46% of employees in a survey said that health insurance was either the deciding factor or a strong influence in choosing their current job. However, you need to know if you can afford small business health insurance. Remember to keep in mind any tax credits and financial help which can cover costs for small businesses.
2. Start Shopping
Now that you’ve taken inventory of whether you need small business health insurance and it’s something you can afford, it’s time to start shopping. Begin your search by having an idea of what kind of health insurance plan you want to offer. There are high-coverage and low-coverage options, and what you choose will depend on your employee’s needs, your budget, and your group size.
Where can you shop for small business health insurance? You can start with the Small Business Marketplace (SHOP) which includes federal options for coverage. You can also work directly with an insurance broker or a small business insurance comparison platform.
3. Don’t Forget Supplemental Insurance
Are you overlooking supplemental health insurance? In the United States, most traditional health insurance plans don’t cover vision and dental for adults, and this leaves a large gap in coverage. The good news is supplemental plans are affordable and easy to find. To get started, click here to explore dental insurance options for your small business.
Having these supplemental insurance plans in mind when you conduct your search will help you create a well-rounded insurance plan for your employees. Gaps in coverage add up quickly, so these are a big perk.
4. Join a Purchasing Alliance If Needed
If you have a small number of employees, you might be wondering how you’ll afford a coverage “package” for your group. Bigger companies have the advantage of being able to share costs more effectively, while small businesses end up paying more on average.
An option to consider is joining what’s known as a purchasing alliance. These are groups of small businesses that collectively sign up for a health insurance package, giving them larger purchasing power. While this might not be necessary for your specific situation, you might want to look into local groups near you.
5. Collect Your Group Information
Finally, once you’ve decided on the small business health insurance plan that’s right for you, it’s time to get your necessary group information together. This is when you’ll be completing the application itself. There’s some information you’ll need on hand such as:
• Tax form filings for previous years
• Proof of your business location
• Proof of business type
• Payroll documents
• Employee’s information
Having all of this together before you start the actual application will ensure things run much smoother. You should be able to upload all of this with the application, and you’ll soon be on your way to coverage.
It’s easy to overlook health insurance as a small business, but this is an area that should no longer be optional. Your employees look to you to find the right coverage, and you yourself as a business owner needs to be proactive.
This step-by-step process above proves just how simple it is to find the right health insurance if you just take your time and explore your options. Affording coverage is no longer the crisis it once was, and you can start coverage in just a few clicks.
Wendy Dessler is a super-connector who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing and focuses her efforts on developing customized blogger outreach plans depending on the industry and competition.