One of the most fulfilling, challenging, and exciting endeavors anyone can engage in is building a business. In the United States, depending on how it’s defined, there are tens of millions of small businesses.
According to one source,
“Although the majority of small businesses hire fewer than 100 employees, they are responsible for millions of new jobs created over the past few years. In fact, there are currently 61.2 million small business employees in the US, which make up approximately half (46.8 percent) of the US workforce.”
And California is the state with the highest number with 4.2 million small businesses. In fact, the Golden State is home to 40 percent more small businesses than Texas, the state with the second-highest number of small businesses in the US.
This fact plays a significant role in the cost and availability of California health insurance, among other issues.
When it comes to running and managing a small business, owners face a multitude of challenges and often overwhelming responsibilities. One of these is providing suitable benefits for their employees. And this also means finding the right health insurance coverage for them.
Considerations When Choosing Small Business Health Insurance
As a small business owner, the main focus when considering health insurance options should be on coverage, how many employees you have, employee premiums, and overall affordability. Looking for affordable health insurance is critical, of course, but cost alone should not be the only determining factor.
Another important consideration is whether it is beneficial to choose plans that include vision Insurance and dental insurance options for employees.
Most small business owners and small business employers understand well that offering health insurance as a primary employee benefit can help attract and retain good employees while providing various tax benefits for the business. In addition, acquiring small business health coverage does not have to be a painful undertaking.
In fact, there are several methods for finding and choosing health insurance, including contacting insurance providers directly and using a qualified and reputable broker like J.C. Lewis Insurance.
As a small business owner, you can purchase a health plan either through a licensed insurance agent or company, or through the Small Business Health Options (SHOP) Marketplace.
If you want to purchase a SHOP plan, you must have at least one full-time equivalent employee (FTE). At least one employee must enroll in the plan for you to be able to enroll yourself. Family members (including a spouse), part-owners, or partners in your company are not considered employees.
Purchasing a SHOP plan may also provide eligibility for a health care tax credit. The maximum tax credit covers 50 percent of the premiums paid for health coverage.
To be eligible, a small business must:
- Have less than 25 full-time equivalent employees
- Pay an average wage of $56,000 per year or less per FTE
- Offer a qualified SHOP plan to your employees
- Pay 50 percent or more of costs of coverage (employee-only, not family coverage) for each employee
What Small Business Owners and Employers Should Factor into Their Insurance Choice
There are several factors that must be taken into account when making a major business decision such as finding, choosing, and purchasing small group health coverage for employees.
As one health website points out,
“There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to health insurance. Depending on your needs, you’ll want to consider the monthly premiums, each plan’s provider network and drug formulary, and expected out-of-pocket costs. These will all factor into determining which plan will best fit your needs and budget.”
Here is an overview of the main considerations when choosing small business health insurance:
- Coverage – If you are eligible for a small business health insurance plan, your coverage is generally guaranteed to be issued by the insurance company. This means that you, your employees, and your dependents cannot be denied coverage based on pre-existing medical conditions.
- Number of employees. To qualify for small business health insurance coverage, you must have at least one employee on your payroll. However, some states allow you to count yourself as both the business owner and an employee.
- Employee premiums. You must pay at least 50% of the monthly health insurance premiums for your employees. The minimum percentage may vary depending on your state or insurance company.
- Shopping for coverage. As a small business owner, you can shop for health insurance coverage at any time, without waiting for your current plan to expire or the open enrollment period. Once your new contract ends, you have the option to renew or shop for a new plan.
Ultimately, there are many factors and considerations that come into play when finding and choosing the best health insurance coverage for a small business. This is why one of the best strategies is to partner with a firm that knows the needs of business owners and the ins and outs of health insurance plans.
J.C. Lewis Insurance – Your Partners for Small Business Health Insurance
J.C. Lewis Insurance is ready to be your insurance partner and we offer quality health insurance plans only from the leading health insurance carriers licensed to do business in the states that we operate in.
As a family-owned and operated California health insurance agent located in Sonoma County, we are specialists in finding and managing medical insurance plans for small businesses, as well as for individuals and families, and for people with Medicare.
Not only are we expert brokers, but we are also licensed and certified by each of these insurance carriers to offer coverage to individuals, families, and small group employers in addition to Medicare supplemental and prescription drug plans for seniors.
For small business owners and employers wanting to offer health coverage benefits, we are both and experienced and highly respected guide in that arena, as well. In addition, if you are self-employed, or your current employer does not provide health benefits, an individual or family plan may be the best option for you .
We also understand that if you are looking to purchase medical insurance for you and your family, you will likely have many questions and concerns. Bring your questions about health coverage insurance and you can be confident that JC Lewis Insurance Services will help you find the right solution.