One of the significant components of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) required large businesses to offer health insurance to their employees. The legislation also outlawed provisions that deny coverage for pre-existing conditions. Also, it allows people to remain on their parent's policy until they are 26.
Since most large employers provided health insurance to their workers before the ACA, the number of employees enrolling in company-based coverage hasn't changed much. However, other portions of the law, like the affordability rules and the requirement for the inclusion of minimum essential benefits, have made a difference. Affordability mandates that large companies offer individual coverage at a premium cost less than or equal to 9.6 percent of the employee's income. Also, plans receive an affordability rating based on the percentage of costs they cover, with the bronze plans expected to absorb sixty percent of expenses for a typical subscriber.
Finally, every insurance plan must include ten essential benefits:
Small companies are exempt from the ACA requirement to offer insurance coverage. But for companies that want to offer insurance there are helpful resources. The ACA created SHOP (Small Business Health Options Program) to help smaller companies evaluate programs to offer insurance. If your company has fifty or fewer employees, you can find qualifying plans by talking to your representative at Taylor Benefits Insurance.
Small firms that offer a SHOP plan must make the coverage available to all eligible employees (working thirty or more hours per week). Also, at least seventy percent of the eligible employees must enroll through your program or have insurance through another channel.
Small companies with less than 25 workers may be eligible for tax credits to support the administrative costs of starting and maintaining a new health insurance program.
It seems like employees are paying more attention to benefits, and companies are working on competing with a robust benefits program. A healthy benefits package could include health insurance, paid time off, a 401(k) plan, and dental and vision insurance. In California cities like Long Beach, it’s popular to offer commuter benefits, with incentives for employees to use public transit or employer-sponsored vanpools to get to work.
While workers want help with retirement savings, companies are slow to respond, especially smaller firms. According to a report from the Bell Policy Institute, nearly half of companies still don't offer a retirement program. Moreover, the shortfall is more significant among small companies than in large ones.
Health care and employee benefits are an increasingly important factor for people looking to find the right fit with a company or business. A great way to attract and retain the best employees available is by offering an affordable, quality group insurance and employee benefit plan.
At Taylor Benefits, we’ve been providing Long Beach with topnotch employee insurance and group benefits for more than 25 years. We are contracted with all major insurance carriers in California and offer affordable solutions for groups and businesses of all sizes in the state. Here are some of our core benefit and insurance offerings in the area:
Health care plans come in a lot of different shapes and sizes and you should familiarize yourself with some of the basic terms and what it means to have a particular type of plan.
HMO – With a Health Maintenance Organization, you generally have to stick to an approved list of health care providers that operate within the HMO, with the exception of emergency services. HMOs require patients to see their primary care physician and get a recommendation before seeing a specialist.
PPO – A health plan with a Preferred Provider Organization offers a little more flexibility than an HMO in that you can choose any doctor, even if they’re out-of-network and you don’t have a referral. It should be noted that going out-of-network does cost more with a PPO.
POS – A Point-of-Service plan offers choice in much the same way that a PPO does: you can go to any doctor, but it may cost more depending on their relation to your network of preferred providers. With a POS plan, a referral is required to see an out-of-network provider.
For more information on the different types of health care plans, see this resource from Healthcare.gov.
Taxability of Employee Benefits – Learn about the specific definition of who is an employee and who is not, as well as what types of benefits are taxable and which are tax-sheltered. There’s also a nice explanation of the different offerings from group insurance providers.
Overview of COBRA – This is a great resource if you need information about extended employee benefits through COBRA, also known as the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act.
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