Get Small Business Health Insurance with Only a Few Employees

Small Business

Get Small Business Health Insurance with Only a Few Employees

Published on May 08, 2018

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Updated August 1, 2019
Companies with only a few employees may be able to qualify for small business health insurance coverage. Enrolling in a group health plan, rather an individual plan, may provide several advantages to small business owners, including access to lower average premiums per individual, providing medical resources to your workforce, and keeping and recruiting top-performing employees.
Higher prices in the individual health insurance market have caused more and more very small businesses to seek out group health insurance, according to eHealth’s analysis of applications submitted in 2018.
Some of these small business owners may not have known that they were even considered a business in the eyes of health insurance companies—but with rising prices, it’s worth it to see if your business qualifies you to get a group health insurance plan (also referred to as small business health insurance).

Who’s qualifying for health insurance for small businesses?

So why weren’t these customers enrolling in group health insurance plans to begin with? Possibly, because they did not know that it doesn’t take a huge company with tons of employees to qualify for a group health plan.
According to the eHealth report, among small businesses purchasing health insurance plans through eHealth in 2018, the average number of covered employees was 3.9, an increase from 2017, when the average group had 3 employees.
You may be surprised to hear that a company with even just one employee can get a group health insurance plan. So if you’re legally considered a business and have one employee besides yourself, you may be able to benefit from the advantages of group health insurance.
Read this article on employees to make sure that the people who work for you actually count as employees. 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.

Why get health insurance for small business rather than individual plans?

Some reasons why a business owner would want to get a group health insurance plan:

  • Premiums per individual are often significantly lower than those of individual plans
  • Ensuring the health of your employees
  • Higher chances of keeping and hiring great employees

Lower premiums

From the business owner’s perspective, it can seem intimidating to get a group health insurance plan since you’ll be expected to contribute to your employees’ premiums. eHealth’s report on small business health insurance costs found that more than 8 in 10 of small business owners worry about affording the cost of coverage in the future. After all, you’re a small business—not a major corporation—every cost matters and probably has a pretty significant impact on your small business.
With that said, health insurance plans for small business have premiums that are 7 percent less than individual premiums, and deductibles on small business plans are 31 percent less than ACA individual plans, according to eHealth’s 2018 report.

Source: eHealth 2018 Small Business Health Insurance Report
And as the owner of the business, you may qualify for small business tax incentives for offering health insurance, so make sure to check out those opportunities before deciding that taking on your employees’ premiums is too much of a burden.

Ensuring the health of your employees

With individual prices rising, the unfortunate reality may be that your employees cannot afford getting a health insurance plan on the individual market. Although you can’t technically ensure the health of your employees, you can ensure that they have access to healthcare—which can a huge difference.
By offering an affordable small business health insurance plan for them to join, you’re ensuring that they will have access to medical care when they need it.
Additionally, since many health insurance plans for small business include preventative care, such as covered office visits and vaccines, they will have the right tools to keep their health on track before it declines in the first place.

Higher chances of keeping and hiring great employees

You can read up on the difference a quality group health insurance plan can make on your employee population, but it’s a simple concept to grasp. Health insurance for small business is a clear way to show your employees that they matter to you, and you value the work they do for your small business.
In some cases, the option of joining a small business health insurance plan is more financially valuable than a raise, so don’t underestimate the value of offering this benefit to your employees.

Choosing a small business health insurance plan for only a few employees

With only a small population to cover, you might not need to offer different options for plan types. But keep in mind that each plan has its own terms and limitations, so be sure to check the official plan documents to understand how that specific plan works. Depending on you’re the area you’re in, laws and small business plans could work differently.
Visit eHealth.com or speak with our licensed health insurance agents to learn more about finding quality, affordable health coverage for your small business.
This article is only 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.

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