Prepare for Getting a Group Health Insurance Plan
Published on March 23, 2018
You’ve decided to shop for group health insurance plans for your small business, now what? Really, you don’t have to do anything to prepare for shopping for a group health plan—but if making the process quicker and simpler sounds good to you, read on to see what information you should have on hand.
Start with the basics for group health plan
Before you actually start shopping for group health insurance plans, it may be helpful to compile some of the general details about your business.
Some good things to make sure you can provide:
- Basic information about your business – name, type of business, address, etc.
- Proof of business – in order to prove that you’re actually a small business, you’ll need to have a document like a current business license, articles of incorporation, or your most recent full business tax return
- Employee count – know how many employees you have, which ones want to join the group health plan, and their basic information
Keep in mind, to qualify for group health insurance plans, the business must typically employ at least two FTEs (Full-time Employees). For small businesses, that might be the owner and another full-time employee. For group health plans, full-time employees are usually defined as any staff member who works at least 30 hours a week for more than 126 days a year, according to Healthcare.gov. Watch the video below for more information on how small business health insurance works.
Although you and your spouse will be able to join the plan, you cannot be the only people on the plan. If your small business is comprised solely of you and your spouse, you will likely need to shop for family health insurance. Read more about limitations and who is considered an employee when you are shopping for health insurance here.
More details about health coverage for your employees
As a small business owner, a huge part of why you’re shopping for group health insurance is probably your employees. Benefits like health insurance have a high value and might even help increase loyalty and employee retention.
Since your employees are such a huge part of this process, figure out what they want from the group health plan. How many employees want to participate? It may benefit everyone if you get some opinions on what people need and/or want:
- Are they even interested in a group health plan?
- What benefits do they want from a group health insurance plan?
- Do they have dependents that need coverage too?
Asking these questions will help you get a count of the premiums you may be contributing to (if you choose to do so), which can help you budget what you’re able to afford. Asking about what benefits are most important to those being covered might help you target certain plans that offer what everyone wants.
Note that when an employer purchases a group health insurance plan, employees can typically add their dependents to the plan, but the employer is not obliged to contribute toward the monthly premiums for any dependents, only for the employees themselves. If you choose to contribute to dependents’ premiums as well, you will likely be paying more every month—so make sure you’ve considered this factor in your budgeting before you start looking at group health insurance plans.
Why prepare at all—is finding a group health insurance plan really so hard?
Now you know some basic information you’ll need in order to get group health insurance, but as for preparing—you’re not required to do anything! Finding group health insurance really does not have to be hard—with eHealth, all you need to do is enter in some basic information, and you can get free quotes instantly. This isn’t a test you have to prepare for, but having the necessary information on hand just might cut down the time you spend figuring out what group health insurance plan you want when you go to sign your company up.
If you want to learn more about what types of group health plans are available, read about those details here. Knowing what you want, and what might work best for your small business employees, could also help make your shopping experience smoother. Whether it’s a PPO, an HMO, or a High Deductible Health Plan matched with an HSA, you can find it here on eHealth. All you need to do is start with your basic information, and our online process will guide you through getting free quotes, seeing what plans you qualify for, and choosing the right group health insurance plan for your small business.
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.