Small Business Health Insurance in Virginia (Everything You Need to Know)

Small Business

Small Business Health Insurance in Virginia (Everything You Need to Know)

Published on May 09, 2019


Small business health insurance in Virginia continues to be an important consideration for business owners, especially with the instability of the individual health insurance market and concerns about rising prices. When businesses offer group health coverage, they can gain distinct advantages. Keep reading to learn how providing small business health insurance in Virginia can benefit your company.

Top 3 reasons why you might offer small business health insurance in Virginia

Here are 3 great reasons to offer group plans to your employees:

  • Lower prices – Due to the benefits of having a larger risk pool, small business health insurance is often cheaper per person than individual health insurance. When more people pay premiums into a group pool, insurance companies take on less risk, making it possible to lower prices.
  • Cost sharing – The costs of monthly premiums are shared between the employer and employees in group plans in Virginia. This makes it easier for workers to have affordable health coverage.
  • Pre-tax benefits – Employees’ share of group health insurance is typically taken from their paychecks, meaning that their portion is from pre-tax dollars. If your employees had an individual health insurance plan, they would have to pay for premiums with post-tax money.

From an employer’s perspective, there are also valuable reasons to offer group plans in Virginia.

What are the advantages of offering Virginia small business health insurance?

By offering group coverage in Virginia, your company could benefit from lower costs and tax advantages.

  • Small business health insurance tax credit – If you have less than 25 full-time equivalent employees who are paid $50,000 or less per year, then your Virginia small business could be eligible for a tax credit to help your company afford group insurance coverage.
  • Tax advantages – After you implement group insurance for your employees, you can usually deduct premium expenses from your federal business taxes. Also, by providing health insurance, your Virginia small business may potentially be able to have reduced payroll taxes.
  • Recruit and keep employees – Providing a valuable benefit like health insurance to your Virginia employees can help you retain and attract high-quality talent for your workforce.
  • Stand out as a Virginia small business – According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, only 34 percent of Virginia firms with less than 50 employees offer health insurance. Offering health insurance coverage can help set your company apart from the competition.

Many employees highly value health insurance, which may lead to higher employee job satisfaction. Offering group insurance means that your employees can benefit from preventative care and discounted prescriptions and doctor visits. Due to all of the health care resources your employees have access to, your Virginia small business may have a healthier, more productive workforce that takes less sick days.

How to qualify for small business health insurance in Virginia

To provide group plans to employees, your Virginia small business must generally meet all of the following requirements:

  • Your business must have an office or work site within the state of Virginia.
  • Your business must have less than 50 full-time or full-time equivalent employees.
  • You must offer group coverage to all of your full-time employees (usually those who work 30 or more hours per week). Note that it is optional to offer health insurance to part-time employees.
  • In Virginia, at least 70 percent of the employees your business offers health insurance to must enroll in the group health plan or have coverage through another source.

If your Virginia small business does not meet the minimum 70 percent participation requirement, you should know that you can enroll in a group plan through the Small Business Health Option Program (SHOP) Marketplace between November 15 and December 15. During this time, your business can enroll without meeting a minimum participation requirement.
If you are the owner of a sole proprietorship in Virginia, you should know that you will only qualify for small business health insurance if you have eligible full-time or full-time equivalent employees. As a sole proprietor with no employees, you would instead qualify for individual health insurance in Virginia.

How to find small business health insurance in Virginia

You can find affordable Virginia small business health insurance plans that work for you and your company through eHealth. With eHealth’s online marketplace, you can quickly compare plans from multiple insurance companies, find free personalized quotes, and get unbiased support and advice from licensed health care agents. If you’ve decided that group health insurance is the right choice for your company, you can visit our Virginia small business page to start getting quotes today.
This article is for general information only, and should not be relied on for legal, tax, or accounting advice. Please consult your legal, tax, or accounting advisor to better understand your specific situation. Group and employee definitions vary by insurance company and state, so be sure to check with a licensed insurance agent to find out the details for your specific situation.

We’ll let you know when we publish anything new.