How Many Employees Do I Need to Offer Group Health Insurance?

The number of group members you need to enroll in group health insurance varies from state to state. Generally, you will need anywhere from 1-50 people in order to have your business qualify for group health insurance.

This means that everyone, from firms to lone self-employed entrepreneurs can enroll in group insurance plans. The specific number, however, will be determined by the insurance provider you use, and where you purchase your plan.

Where to Find the Best Group Health Insurance Plans?

Plans vary drastically among and between insurance providers, independent insurance agencies, and the state and federal exchanges. To learn how many employees you need, it is best to follow up with the insurance providers and independent insurance agencies in your area, as well as the state and federal exchanges. Start locally and expand your search if you are unsatisfied with the plans you are being offered.

Full Time vs Part Time Employees

Not every part-time employee qualifies for health insurance. While you can use part-time employees to pad your numbers if you need 50 group members for your plan (again, this depends on your provider and plan), part-time employees are sometimes not offered health insurance. In 2014, Staples was accused of reducing employees’ hours, transitioning full-time workers to part-time status, to avoid having to pay for their Obamacare coverage. Their behavior prompted a response from then-President Barack Obama.

Legally, part-time employees work less than 35 hours per week. This is the prime distinction between part-time and full-time employees. This distinction often leads, however, to reduced benefits packages for part-time employees. It is common for full-time employees to receive better health insurance than part-time employees, if they receive it at all.

Consider Group Insurance in the Workplace

While not every employer provides health insurance to their part-time employees, or provides employer sponsored health insurance at all, every employer should consider offering group insurance to their employees. Group insurance is more affordable than individual or family plans for employees, and improves productivity in the workplace. Rewarding your employees is a great way to ensure they remain loyal, happy, and dedicated to their workplace.

Having happy employees who are invested personally in the future success of your business can mean the difference between trouncing the competition, and not. This is not only due to morale, but also to the increased bonds between employers who provide perks like health insurance, and their employees.

How Employees Determine Group Insurance Plans

Depending on the location of your employees, you may be better off providing specific group health insurance plans. A Preferred Provider Organization, or PPO, is a form of group health insurance which covers specific healthcare networks and medical care personnel within that system.

If, for example, you visit a hospital outside your network of healthcare coverage, you will be charged a higher copayment. As such, offering a PPO to a remote worker in another state may not be a good idea. In such a case, a Health Maintenance Organization, or HMO, is a better idea, since group members can choose their providers from an approved list of healthcare providers.

The best thing to do is survey your employees, categorize them by their location and size, and determine the best group health insurance plans for them.

What Should I Do Next?

Ask your employees which group health insurance benefits they would like. With that knowledge, contact independent insurance agencies like Taylor Benefits Insurance in your area. Plans from independent insurance agencies can provide you with better rates and broader coverage than group plans offered by private insurance providers or the state or federal exchanges.

Written by Todd Taylor

Todd Taylor

Todd Taylor oversees most of the marketing and client administration for the agency with help of an incredible team. Todd is a seasoned benefits insurance broker with over 35 years of industry experience. As the Founder and CEO of Taylor Benefits Insurance Agency, Inc., he provides strategic consultations and high-quality support to ensure his clients’ competitive position in the market.

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