If you are looking for low cost premiums on health insurance plans for your local business in Arizona, make sure you use a reliable and licensed insurance agent. Here at Taylor Benefits Insurance Agency, we can offer high-quality, inexpensive health insurance plans and benefit options for companies of all sizes, from Mom and Pop businesses to large corporations. We have a great history of developing relationships with the absolute best group health insurance carriers across Arizona. Our history and experience give us the ability to negotiate costs and ensure that your business gets the coverage you need.
Under the Affordable Care Act provisions, employers with more than fifty employees are obligated to provide health insurance to full-time workers. The insurance must meet specific requirements, or the business will pay a penalty for noncompliance. While most of these regulated organizations already offered health insurance coverage before the ACA passed, they must now report information to demonstrate compliance with the statute. The main provisions for compliance are affordability and minimum essential components.
While the regulations require that coverage be affordable for the employee, no such requirement protects family member dependents. Affordability is set at 9.12 percent of gross income for individual coverage. Further, all plans must cap out-of-pocket costs for subscribers and may not limit the amount of any claims with annual or lifetime benefit maximums for any of the required components. The minimum essential benefits include:
Health insurance can take many forms, including traditional point-of-service plans, preferred provider organizations (PPO), health maintenance organizations (HMO), and HDHPs (high deductible health plans), which are frequently paired with HSAs (health savings accounts).
In Arizona, small companies are constantly reviewing their health insurance offerings in an effort to save money and continue to provide coverage for their workers. One attractive option may be a high deductible health plan with a health savings option. The IRS defines a high-deductible health plan as having a deductible of at least $1,500 for individual coverage and $3,000 for a family. If the deductible is lower, the plan does not qualify for an HSA. Also, the maximum out-of-pocket expense can’t exceed $7,500 for an individual or $15,000 for a family.
The basic idea behind this kind of coverage is twofold. First, the subscriber pays a lower premium in return for accepting a higher deductible. The subscriber can direct some of what they save in premium payments toward the HSA, which is a tax-advantaged account to pay for medical expenses, including deductibles and copayments. While the minimum deductible is $1,500, many of the current HD plans have much higher amounts, often at or near the maximum out-of-pocket figures allowed.
If the subscriber doesn’t use the money they direct into the HSA by year-end, the deposits can accumulate. This provision is an essential difference between the HSA and flexible spending accounts, which have a “use it or lose it” provision. Instead, the money can continue to grow, and the subscriber can continue contributing to more significant expenses that may occur later. Even more notable is that this account can follow the subscriber into retirement. At that time, the account owner could use the funds for non-medical expenses. Many employers partially fund the HSAs for their employees, but that isn’t necessary.
To create the best employee benefits package for your company in Arizona, consider a couple of factors. One is what is important to your workers, and what matters to them, and another is your budget. Whether the business is large or small, many companies prioritize health insurance when crafting their benefits program because employees value it. If you can add dental and vision insurance coverage, that’s a great portfolio of health-related offerings.
Once they have access to high-quality health insurance, employees usually want paid time off. In Arizona, an employer with fifteen or more workers must provide up to forty paid sick leave hours per year. Smaller companies must grant up to twenty-four paid sick time hours. Employees can use the time for their own or a family member’s injury or illness or to seek care and treatment. In addition, there are other allowable uses, such as school closure and domestic violence. Arizona employers don’t have to provide paid holidays or vacation time, but many do.
Why is it Important to Offer Group Health Insurance?
Group Health Plans cover eligible employees working for the sponsoring company. Typically, the premium paid for group health insurance is lower than individual health insurance plans. The employer chooses whether to extend the coverage to the dependents and family members of eligible employees.
Buying group health insurance is beneficial for both employers and employees. Some of the benefits for the company include:
Employee productivity is improved when workers are more confident about their financial security and access to health care. Providing group health insurance gives your workforce the peace of mind to focus on their work, rather than worrying about insurance, medical services, and other potential financial concerns.
Large and small companies alike can enjoy the benefit of a more productive, loyal workforce. Your business may also enjoy a recruiting advantage as potential employees evaluate the positive aspects of being covered by an employer-based healthcare policy.
Being a good corporate citizen helps you build a positive reputation in the industry, raising your profile with customers and vendors in addition to employees. Offering a group health plan demonstrates positive values and the company can benefit from increased goodwill in the community.
Group insurance plays a significant role when it comes to retaining employees in small businesses. With comprehensive insurance coverage, employees can more easily protect their physical and mental health. That’s an important contributor to worker loyalty.
The contributions that your company makes toward the expense of employee health insurance is a tax deduction. In addition, for small companies there may be a tax credit available, depending on the average wages you offer and how much of the employee’s premiums you absorb.
As noted, company-based insurance is a benefit to workers in addition to the company. Here are some of the advantages from the employee perspective:
One benefit of taking advantage of employer-based health insurance is that you will most likely get great coverage at a lower cost. Even if you don’t think you need health insurance, you can’t predict when you might be ill or have an injury that requires costly care. If that happens, your group coverage will probably pay most of the expenses.
In many cases, employer-based coverage allows you to add your family members—like your partner or children—to the plan, simplifying and streamlining the family’s healthcare choices.
With individual coverage, you may not know where to find assistance with questions and claims. In contrast, when you get coverage through your employer, you typically have access to information and help through the human resources department. With a group plan, you often don’t have to pay for services upfront, but may have to pay a deductible or copayment if the plan doesn’t cover everything.
As an employer, you may or may not have a legal obligation to provide insurance for your workers, due to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Still, you have options to choose from, and should investigate alternatives before choosing a plan. Consider these elements:
Your company priority might be to save money, but it’s also crucial to choose a policy that satisfies your employees’ needs. The insurance coverage is intended to help them, so ensure that you choose a comprehensive plan.
On the other hand, it’s vital to stay within your budget. The more employees you have, the more you will pay, although larger groups usually get a per-person discount. Also be aware that health insurance costs go up almost every year, so your cost will most likely increase over time.
Try to find a balance between the need for a robust plan and the amount you are willing and able to pay.
These days, the majority of insurance policies written are for PPO (Preferred provider Organization) or HMO (Health Maintenance Organization) networks. The subscribers may be limited to getting service within the network or may have to pay more for out-of-network care if it’s covered at all. For that reason, investigate the depth of the provider network. Employees will be much more satisfied with their coverage if they can seek care from the medical providers they prefer.
Some insurers are very prompt in processing claims and approving requests. Find out about the claims response for the company you are considering, so your employees don’t end up disgruntled about delays in processing.
There is no perfect coverage, but you can consider some variables to help you choose the policy that best meets your requirements. Here are some things to consider:
As an employee, you may be concered about the potential disruption of your health insurance if you change jobs. That’s worth considering, but usually you can find comparable coverage with your new employer. If not, you may need to change over to an individual plan.
All businesses of any size have obligations under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). If your company is small, you won’t be required to offer group health insurance, but you may be eligible for financial assistance if you do.
At Taylor Benefits Agency, our brokers make sure your plan obeys the laws of the Affordable Care Act. Our licensed and experienced insurance brokers are educated and trained to remain on top of the changes made to the act. They’ll even audit your health insurance plan periodically to assure that it keeps up with the ever-changing requirements listed in the act.
Give Taylor Benefits a call now to learn more and to discuss the future of your group health and employee benefit plan. We will even provide you with a FREE quote!
Here are some answers to common questions regarding Arizona health insurance coverage.
Taylor Benefits Insurance can connect you with some of the country’s leading group health insurance companies. Years of reliable service have demonstrated that you can always rely on us to get you a great deal on large group coverage plans.
We work collaboratively with the following insurance companies:
Small business owners can take advantage of several different kinds of health coverage.
The most common option for a small business is to choose a traditional group health insurance plan. Employers pay a predetermined premium, which they may share with employees in exchange for providing health benefits to their employees and potentially also their families.
Another great choice is a Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangement (QSEHRA). Using this program, employers can give their employees a set amount of money –the company decides the amount—to reimburse their employees who obtain qualified individual healthcare plans.
It is also possible to create a Group Coverage Health reimbursement plan. The company would provide group health insurance while offering a monthly allowance for deductibles, copays, and other expenses.
Self-funding is a potential path, but it is risky for small companies. With a self-funded program, the employer directly pays employees’ medical bills. The approach can save money, but the company will face exorbitant costs if one or more workers have a catastrophic claim.
Another avenue is to affiliate with an Associate Health Plan (AHP), which is a group health plan in which several smaller companies in a particular industry or location pool together to buy group health coverage. By raising the number of participants, each one may get a more attractive deal than they could negotiate independently.
Taylor Benefits Insurance Agency offers benefit plans for companies and employees in Arizona for the following:
The cost for an employer to provide health insurance depends on multiple factors. The larger the company is, the lower the per-person price is likely to be. However, large companies with over fifty employees must ensure that the employees’ share of the policy premium is not more than 9.12 percent of their income. That could result in the company paying a greater share.
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