See some of the options you have for shopping for small business health insurance.
Health insurance is one of the best benefits you can give to employees. But before you can choose quality small business health insurance, you must know where to look for it. The following small business health insurance sources will help you find the best possible policy for you and your workers:
An online exchange for both individual and small business health insurance, eHealth has helped more than 5 million people obtain coverage. Our online marketplace hosts plans from hundreds of providers, including Aetna, Oscar, Humana, Kaiser Permanente, and United Healthcare. To use our online tools and quotes, you need only enter your zip code and your staff size, and we will provide you with a broad selection of health plans in your area. You can then determine which plan best meets your employees’ health needs while staying within your budget.
In addition to providing a selection of small business health insurance plans, eHealth provides educational resources for you to use while choosing among those plans. We are committed to helping all businesses understand what obligations they have to provide insurance for employees, as well as what their best option is to fulfill those obligations. This is no small matter, given that many businesses have trouble figuring out how many of their workers qualify under the legal definition of “employee,” among other factors that affect insurance obligations. With eHealth, you can arm yourself with all the information you need before comparing small business health insurance policies.
Visit our Small Business Health Insurance Resource Center, and figure out the definition of an employee, the amount of people you need to qualify for small business health insurance, and much more.
Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP)
The Small Business Health Options Program, or SHOP, is designed to help small firms find affordable, comprehensive small business health insurance. Created under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the program is open to companies with 50 or fewer employees in most states; some states, such as Virginia, let any company with fewer than 100 employees sign up.
By covering your small business with a qualified SHOP plan, you may also qualify for tax credits to help you pay for one of these plans. Some of the qualifications include having fewer than 25 employees, paying them $52,000 a year or less, and you cover at least half of their insurance premiums.
If you want to enroll in a SHOP plan, you can visit our Guide to the SHOP Marketplace and Alternatives. The online exchange allows you to compare plans from the SHOP marketplace, in addition to other small business health insurance options, so you can see which type of plan will end up working better or being more affordable for your small group.
Association Health Plans (AHPs)
If your group is very small, and paying for a small business health insurance plan is too much, you may want to consider an association health plan, which has recently had regulation changes.
Instead of just insuring the employees in one business, association health plans provide coverage for a group of small businesses who work together. They are usually organized by professional associations, industry groups, chambers of commerce, and other organizations of businesses in a particular field or region.
Because they do not have to comply with Affordable Care Act regulations, association health plans are cheaper than other small business health insurance. But they don’t cover as many health issues, and unlike ACA plans, these plans can charge more based on gender, age, or industry.
Finally, due to the fact that they aren’t as heavily regulated, association health plans present a greater risk of fraud and insolvency. You should thus be careful about signing up for these plans, making sure that if you choose one, it offers comprehensive, equitable, and reliable coverage. If you are worried about the legality of legitimacy of a plan, seek legal advice. This article is only for general information.
For more information on finding the perfect small business coverage, visit eHealth today.