Owning a small business is no easy task, and owners constantly face unique challenges. When determining how many employees an operation can sustain, an owner must factor in the cost of each employee’s salary. However, owners must also consider retirement benefits and insurance premiums; these extra costs can compound quickly.
Understanding the ins and outs of insurance can be a task that perplexes even the most seasoned business owners. Most business owners have many questions about what type of health insurance their company should provide. Careful research and planning are essential to finding an insurance plan advantageous to your business while providing your employees with needed benefits.
- Must All Employers Provide Health Insurance?
In 2010, Congress passed the Affordable Care Act, which provides regulations for employers regarding health insurance coverage. Businesses that employ 50 or more employees must supply basic-level health insurance. Companies that fail to follow this policy can face IRS penalties.
Even if your business is not legally required to offer health insurance, providing an attractive benefits package can make your company more appealing to potential employees. Many workers depend on their employer to sponsor at least some of the cost of health insurance, so many applicants will only pursue jobs that offer health insurance benefits. Companies that provide health insurance (whether by requirement or at will) have a competitive edge in recruiting and retaining employees.
- How Do You Find the Right Coverage for Your Employees?
Once you have decided that your company will supply health insurance coverage for employees, you need to find the right policy. One of the most efficient ways to do this is by contacting a health insurance broker in Utah. Your broker can help you determine your need by considering the business’s revenue and number of employees.
When discussing insurance policy options with your broker, consider how much the premiums will cost the company and the employees. Ask about the availability of health savings accounts, which can be an attractive benefit for employees. Always consider deductibles and copays for the specific health insurance plan you choose. You may find that offering multiple levels of healthcare coverage at different price points works best for your employees.
- Does the Employer Pay the Entire Premium?
The amount a company pays toward an employee’s health insurance premium can vary greatly. Some states have minimum percentages employers must pay of the insurance cost, but others have no regulation about how much to contribute. Your insurance broker can help you determine what laws apply in your state.
Some companies pay only a portion of the employees’ coverage, while other businesses pay the entire premium. Most companies will pay a part of a dependent member’s insurance cost but not the total amount. Employees should understand how much they must contribute toward a health insurance plan. Typically, employers take out this contribution every pay period.
- How Often Do You Renew a Health Insurance Contract?
If you have ever dealt with health insurance before, you are probably familiar with the term open enrollment. This process concerns the time of year when all employees sign up for next year’s insurance plan. Typically, employees choose insurance coverage options in the fall, and the insurance plan is effective from January to December of the following year.
For new employees, enrollment in the company’s insurance plan may happen immediately after being hired or after a probationary period. If an employee has a life change, such as the birth of a child or an impending retirement, adjustments to his specific policy may be necessary. Your insurance broker can help you navigate these unique situations.
As a business owner, you should evaluate your company’s insurance coverage at least once a year to ensure it is still the right option. When the insurance contract is up for renewal, do not be afraid to pursue other plans or negotiate terms of your coverage.
- What Other Types of Insurance Should a Company Provide?
When choosing a health insurance policy that is right for your business, you may consider providing other insurance options for your employees. These options might include dental, vision, life, or disability insurance. Depending on your business’s ability, you may choose to pay some of the cost of these additional benefits. Alternatively, you can allow employees to sign up for these services and inform them they will be responsible for the full payment.
As a small business owner, you likely feel some responsibility for the welfare of your employees. By learning about health insurance coverage options for your company, you can be on your way to providing the resources your workers need to stay healthy.