As you establish your new business, you might feel as though you’ve taken a crash course on finance, business law, the IRS code, and probably a few more topics. And you might as well add health insurance regulations to that list. Running a business will mean that you need to become familiar with group health insurance benefits, along with the laws that govern small businesses.
You might be required to provide health insurance benefits. It will depend upon the size of your business. Those with 50 or more employees are required by law to provide a group healthcare plan.
Smaller businesses with fewer than 50 employees are not required to provide health insurance. However, there can be numerous benefits to doing so, from employee retention to tax deductions, so we recommend that you investigate your options.
Health insurance plans are arranged according to networks. There are four primary types of group health insurance plans:
- PPO – Preferred Provider Organization
- HMO – Health Maintenance Organization
- EPO – Exclusive Provider Organization
- POS – Point of Service
Each plan offers a varying level of freedom in choosing providers, some requiring referrals from a primary physician. And the premiums can vary greatly, too. But what looks inexpensive on the surface might not end up being a great deal. For example, a plan might offer low premiums, but the providers are far away or have limited office hours. Lower premiums usually also mean higher out-of-pocket expenses, so carefully examine your options before making a decision. We can help by answering any questions you might have.
Health insurance might not be as expensive as you think. The price tag can seem shocking on the surface, with the average employer paying $5,700 per single-coverage employee and $14,000 per family-coverage employee per year. But you aren’t required to cover all of the premiums and can share that responsibility with your employees.
However, because the premiums you do pay for health insurance are counted as a business expense, they can be useful for lowering your overall tax liability. And if you’re a smaller business with 25 or fewer employees, you can claim a special tax credit for providing health insurance.
Clearly, there is a lot to learn about health insurance before you choose a group coverage plan. Give us a call to schedule an appointment, and we’ll walk you through your options.