Buy Group Health Insurance

Wednesday, December 6, 2017 19:58 Posted by Admin

A business looking to buy group health insurance must realize all that is involved with providing adequate health coverage and employee benefits. Not only must the health insurance plan appeal to those currently employed, but it must attract other qualified individuals. Your group health plan must also obey all local, state, and federal laws as well as the Affordable Care Act regardless of any changes made to the health care reform. The requirements that your plan must meet are set to help encourage the affordability and quality of group health coverage plans provided to all working employees of full-time status.

Ready to buy group health insurance? Call us!
Ready to buy group health insurance? Call us!

The Best Way to Buy Group Health Insurance

Some businesses may prefer going straight to an insurance carrier for their group health insurance plan. This is one way to buy group health insurance plans, but it isn’t the most efficient. The absolute best way to buy a group health insurance plan is by going through a licensed insurance broker.

A health insurance agent or broker is capable of much more than an insurance carrier. They’re capable of modifying health plans to satisfy their clients’ requests. They’re likelier to receive lower rates on anything included in the plan they had created for your business due to their negotiating skills. A broker’s guidance and persistence will help lessen your responsibility and the time it would take for you to find a plan that meets the expectations of all employees.

Perhaps the greatest advantage of an insurance broker’s help is their ability to monitor and audit your group health plan to see that it is constantly in compliance with the laws. Their dedication to your plan’s compliance usually leads to large tax breaks. Many businesses that went through insurance brokers for a group plan look forward to these annual tax breaks.

Unlike an insurance carrier, a broker will provide 24/7 guidance and advice regarding health insurance and employee health benefits. Their experience and knowledge in the insurance industry make it much easier and more affordable to offer better group health plans. Their constant attention and direct contact provides a fruitful outcome, often leading to a company’s future success and increased profits margins.

How Does Group Health Insurance Works?

Health insurance offered by an employer is termed as group health insurance. The employees of the membership organization receive life insurance and group coverage at a reduced cost as the risk gets divided among its employees. The amount charged from employee’s monthly premium depends on the health plan provided by the insurance company.

According to ACA, an employee strength of 50+ FTEs should provide health insurance to its employees and their dependents. It is mandatory to offer group health insurance to member organizations with an employee strength of two. In some states, group health plans are also provided to self employed and independent contractors.

The plans are purchased by member organizations to provide healthcare to their employees at nominal premiums. The participation rate in group insurance plan varies from state to state. Even though employees are using the benefits of these group health insurance plans, still they are not aware about how group health insurance companies actually work.

How does small business health insurance work?

You can opt for a small business health insurance plan rather than purchasing it yourself. Let us make you understand the process through these points.

  • Guaranteed coverage
  • Minimum strength of at least one employee is needed to qualify for group insurance health plans
  • You should pay employee premiums regularly
  • And purchasing of group health plan can be done any time

Cost of small business group health insurance plan

As per a survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation, the average cost of small business group health plan for a single employee costs $7,739 per annum approximately. We can rely on this information as the Kaiser family foundation is a non-profit organization.

A Health insurance company must offer group health insurance plan which suits the needs of current employees as well as other individuals. Your group health plans must satisfy the needs of employees offering health coverage at affordable rates.

Advantages of Having a Group Health Insurance Plan

The best thing about group plan is the distribution of risk between a pool of individuals. This keeps the health insurance premiums low and better monitoring.

Health maintenance organization help insurers to have better control and healthcare at reduced premiums. Affordable Care Act also gives tax credits to small businesses under employee benefit plan.

HMO provides restricted care at affordable health premiums while preferred provider organizations (PPOs) charge higher amount for better doctors and specialists.

Organizations prefer group health insurance than individual plans because of additional benefits provided at lower medical expenses. Additional features like vision or dental coverage are also provided by them.

The main advantage of group coverage plans is the distribution of risk leading to lower insurance costs. Individual plans are always considered as high deductible health plans. Comparing a market research about life insurance of 2018, the average individual cost of premium was $409 monthly whereas it is $440 to get the individual plan.

You can also opt for a tax free health savings account which can pay for your medical expenses not covered by individual plans.

Also, dependents and family members are added easily by paying an additional fee for service offered by qualified health plan. This can be a great employee benefit for those who are sole income providers in their family. Individual small business health options cost a lot in this regard.

Group health plans come with additional tax benefits for both employee and employer. The amount contributed by employers is tax-deductible.

SHOP health insurance can be used by membership organizations with less than 25 employees and paid average annual wages of $50,000 or lesser.

Example of Group Health Insurance

United Healthcare is one of the biggest names in the nation’s health insurers. It offers medical plans and supplemental plans, such as vision, dental, and pharmacy. You can visit their small business administration office for solving your queries.

An employee strength of minimum 1 and maximum 99 is needed for small business health plans. United Healthcare offers marketplace options such as SHOP for small businesses. Eventually, some employers also get a temporary tax credit of up to 50%.

Businesses with employee strength between 100 and 2,999 employees, have multiple group plans including bundles. Large businesses with greater than 3,000 employees, get more customized healthcare services. These plans offer health insurance at affordable prices compared to individual plans.

Who is Eligible for Group Health Insurance?

Temporary employees, contractors, self employed individuals, and retirees don’t qualify for group insurance plans. Only employees on payroll are eligible for it. Coverage must be offered to employee’s spouse and dependent children till they reach the age of 26 years.

If you own business or self employed and want to avail health benefits, you must opt for group insurance. You will get similar benefits from the same plan as offered to those who opt for individual insurance.

The group health insurance coverage must also cover the dependents of paid employees until they reach the age of 26 years.

Process to Enroll for Group Health Insurance Plan

Some business owners consult an insurance company carrier for purchasing the group health plan. It is generally a preferred option, but purchasing group health insurance plans through a licensed health insurance agent is the best one.

An insurance agent has higher capabilities as they provide health plan as per your needs. They can get you an attractive benefit in your plan at lower monthly premium. Why to get health insurance coverage through an insurance broker? The reason is simple. They can keep track of your health plan whether it is in accordance with the present laws or not.

Many business owners and self employed individuals can get large tax breaks annually if they choose their group health coverage through insurance brokers. This is a big benefit for those employees who cannot afford individual health insurance. They can receive insurance with the same health benefits at affordable premiums.

A broker guides you 24/7 and helps you purchase a group coverage plan at a reduced cost. Their extensive knowledge and experience in offering group health insurance reduces the insurer’s risk. Insurance plans purchased through a broker provide coverage add-ons and lower out of pocket costs.

Enrollment Deadline

The deadline to enroll must be known before enrolling into a group health plan. This deadline should be the last thing to miss, but some employers offer a waiting period of 90 days. You can easily enroll in that period. Though you would escape the payment of premiums but you will not get the health care coverage options in this period.

Supplemental coverage is another feature offered by a few group health insurance plans. Some group plans might offer different tiers of health insurance. You can avail these services during open enrollment time periods, as well as customize your plan according to your needs.

You also get the option of changing the number of dependents. Group plans can be customized even after the enrollment period in case of marriage or childbirth.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is a Group Health Plan?

The simplest group health plan is group health insurance, which is given to employees and their dependents by the business owner or employer. These plans are sponsored by the employer to give access to healthcare and services. Your medical expenses and out of pocket costs will be borne by the health plan provided by the company.

How Many Employees Do You Need to Qualify for Group Health Insurance?

The number of group health insurers depends upon the size of the business taken into consideration. Most companies offer it to businesses with employee strength of one or more employees. For example, United Healthcare offers multiple plans for small, midsize, and large businesses.

What Are Group Health Insurance Benefits?

Group health insurance plans provide coverage to employees and their dependents. Other services include supplemental health plans such as vision, dental, and pharmacy, which are usually not covered under individual health insurance coverage. They can be availed separately or in the form of a bundle. Employees get insurance at a low cost protecting them from uncertain medical events. Risk also gets distributed among the insured population, costing lower premiums.

How Much Does Group Health Insurance Cost?

It generally costs $7,400 annually for an individual to get group health insurance services where an employer pays approximately 80%, and the balance is paid by the employees. It costs slightly more than $21,000 for family coverage. Self employed are not eligible for group insurance.

Does it have dental and vision coverage?

Dental and vision coverage is not part of group health insurance plans. But they can be chosen at additional fees in the form of benefit riders. Only after choosing your group plan, you can easily go through the benefit riders available in your area.

Choosing the Best Group Health Insurance Plans

Check your needs and requirements

First step is to find out the needs for the group health insurance. Here are the key points to check before opting for any plan:

  • Assess your employees requirements and choose a plan which will satisfy both financial and medical needs of their dependents.
  • Cost sharing between employer and employees: Depending upon the size of the business premium sharing between employer and employees varies for small business health insurance.
  • Benefits important for you: Knowing the medical history of employees helps employer choose a group insurance plan which suits the needs their needs. Note: Self employed are not eligible for any of these group plans.
  • Monthly premiums: You must know how much premium to pay per month for the small business group health plan.
  • Medical care network hospitals: Check if you have the nearby hospitals and day care facilities in the health insurance plan.
  • Add-on coverage: Dental care and vision coverage are additional services offered by some group insurance plans. Be sure you need them or not.

Bottom Line

Group health insurance plans spread the risk among insured persons, hence they have lower premium amounts than traditional individual health insurance plans. They are most affordable and provide wide coverage options such as dental and vision care for their employees who would not be able to afford it individually. Hence, it is a win- win situation to get a group health insurance both for employee and the employer. So, what you you waiting for? Contact Taylor Benefits Insurance Agency to buy group health insurance plan as per your needs and requirements.

We’re ready to help! Call today: 800-903-6066