What’s the Most Popular Small Group Health Insurance Plan?

Small Business

What’s the Most Popular Small Group Health Insurance Plan?

Published on May 22, 2018


Updated July 30, 2019
According to a recent eHealth study, the small group health insurance plan that is most commonly purchased on our site, is the Point of Service (POS) plan. Although our numbers show that small businesses buy POS plans most often, that doesn’t mean it’s the right type of plan for your small business employees. Keep reading to learn more about the most popular health insurance for small groups, and all the different kinds of plan types that are available to small groups like yours.

What are the most popular small group health insurance plans?

If you value your employees, you’re probably thinking you need to get the best health insurance for small businesses out there. And that’s a noble intention to have, but the truth is, there is no one “best” health insurance for small groups—it all depends on the health care needs of who is going to be covered under the plan.

Source: eHealth 2018 Small Business Health Insurance Report
Although there may be no “best” small business health insurance plan type for everyone, eHealth’s 2018 Small Business Health Insurance Report found that, by far, small business owners were choosing POS plans for their small group health benefits. The most popular small business plan types broke down as follows:

  • PPO plans – 15%
  • EPO plans – 12%
  • HMO plans – 26%
  • POS plans – 47%

With a lead of 47 percent, it’s safe to say that small business owners like something about the POS plan type for their small group health insurance.

What do POS plans offer to small groups?

An easy way to understand point of service plans is to think of them as a mix of Health Maintenance (HMO) and Preferred Provider Plans (PPO) plans. As with HMO plans, you will likely need to choose a primary care provider to go through for all referrals to specialists in your network. Similar to a PPO plan though, POS plans generally provide those enrolled with access to a broad range of health care providers.
Similar to both PPO and HMO plans, a POS plan will have a network consisting of providers and facilities approved by the insurance company. Getting care outside of your network may result in more out-of-pocket expenses for you, or may not be covered at all.

What are the other popular small group health insurance plans?

You can read more in-depth about different plan types here, but below is some brief information on the three other most popular types of small group health insurance:

  • Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plans: In this plan type, you belong to a network of health care providers that offer you their service for medical needs. You will need to select a primary care provider in order to get access to any specialists.
  • Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plans: You’ll be able to see any health care provider within your network without a referral, and you will likely not need a primary care provider. These plans often have more options, and sometimes even the ability to get some coverage for out-of-network care, but they also usually come at a higher cost.
  • Exclusive Provider Organization (EPO) plans: With this type of plan, you’ll have access to all providers, including specialists, but there is very little flexibility for getting care out-of-network.

There are more options for small group health insurance, so make sure to look at all your choices when shopping on eHealth. The exact definitions and use of terms for each insurance plan may vary, so be sure to carefully review the terms of any plan you choose to buy.

Benefits of buying small business insurance

A small group health insurance plan is a great way to get coverage for both employer and employees, and it will often end up being less expensive per individual.
If you’re looking at these popular small group health insurance plans and can’t decide which one would be best for your group, then you’re in luck—as a group, you can choose to offer more than one plan to your employees, and they can pick which popular group health insurance plan type is the “best” health insurance for small groups.
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.

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