Learn how group health insurance may be available to business owners through membership organizations.
Wondering if you can get group health insurance? The answer usually depends on whether your small business has employees.
While a business owner with no employees usually would not be eligible for group health insurance, you may be surprised to learn that some entrepreneurs may have access to group health insurance rates through membership organizations. These organizations include unions, professional groups, or trade associations.
Read further to learn about how certain membership organizations may offer group health coverage.
How do membership organizations relate to group health insurance?
While a small business with at least one qualified full-time equivalent employee can get group health insurance, a self-employed business owner or sole proprietor with no employees usually would not be eligible for a group health plan. Instead, a sole proprietor could enroll in an individual health insurance plan.
Employers sponsor most group health insurance plans, with many people enrolling directly in their company’s health plan or through a spouse’s company’s plan.
However, in some cases, group health insurance coverage may be available to solo business owners, entrepreneurs, or freelancers through membership organizations based on a shared trade, occupation, or industry. Being a member of these groups may provide access to professional services as well as health plans with more affordable premiums.
Examples of membership organizations with group health plans or supplemental health benefits include:
- AARP Health
- Affiliated Workers Association (AWA)
- Writers Guild of America
- Association for Computing Machinery
- The Freelancers Union
Keep in mind that although many membership organizations have rigorous eligibility guidelines, one of the significant advantages of being part of a group or union may be benefiting from competitive rates for group health insurance. You can also find affordable health plans by comparing prices through online private marketplaces like eHealth.
What are other types of membership organizations that may offer group health insurance?
All sorts of fields and industries have membership organizations. Whether they serve graphic designers, actors, or booksellers, these organizations can help their members advance in their field while also providing them with guidance and resources.
Here are some other types of professional organizations that may offer access to group health insurance plans.
- Industry groups
- Alumni associations
- Regional chambers of commerce
While not all membership organizations offer group health insurance coverage, many provide useful benefits, programs, and select discounts for their members in other areas, such as car insurance, travel, or arts and entertainment. You should also be sure to consider the cost of membership when looking at benefits offered by these professional or trade groups.
Overall, you should remember that you may be eligible for small business health insurance if you have at least one full-time equivalent employee. Otherwise, depending on your industry, you may have access to a group health plan or supplemental health benefits through a membership organization.
You can learn more about the requirements for getting a group health insurance plan here.
Find the right group health insurance with eHealth
eHealth can help you find affordable group or individual health insurance plans. We make it easy to shop for health coverage with our free, no-obligation health quotes, online tools, and licensed agents. By using eHealth’s website to compare plans from multiple health insurance companies in your area, you can save time while finding plans that fit your needs and budget.
With over 10,000 plans from over 180 companies, we are committed to providing you with the best selection of health plans available online. Trusted by over 5 million customers, we also serve as your advocate and point of communication even after you have purchased your health plan.
Learn more about group health insurance at eHealth.com, or speak with one of our licensed insurance agents today.
This article is for general information and may not be updated after publication. Consult your own tax, accounting, or legal advisor instead of relying on this article as tax, accounting, or legal advice.