Attracting and retaining skilled employees is a major priority for many companies, causing employers to offer great benefits to eligible employees. Offering group health insurance benefits is a great way for employers to ensure job satisfaction among employees.
Group health insurance policies are an attractive benefit because of the positive effect they have on an employee’s health. A group insurance plan offers advantages to employers and employees alike.
The introduction of the Affordable Care Act in 2010 led to the rise in the provision of group health insurance coverage to employees. Today, many employees in the US opt for group health plans instead of individual health insurance plans to save costs on medical expenses.
A group health insurance plan is a type of health insurance coverage provided to a group of individuals, typically people employed by a company or the members of a particular association, as well as their family members.
It is common for a health insurance company to have compulsory requirements before it can offer health insurance to a group, such as a 70% participation rate.
Most group health insurance policies are provided by employers as an employee benefit. However, it is possible to purchase group coverage through a union or other associations. When companies purchase a group insurance plan, employees can decide to accept or reject coverage.
There are various levels of group health insurance, and employees can pick a basic group plan or a more comprehensive health insurance plan with additional benefits.
The costs of group health insurance are shared between the employer and the employees, depending on the group plan that has been chosen.
One major advantage of group health insurance coverage is that it distributes the risk among multiple insured people, unlike individual health insurance, where the risk is carried by just one person.
The shared risk in a group health plan results in lower premiums, and it also helps health insurance companies to manage risk better.
For both employers and employees, there are several other advantages of group health insurance that make it one of the most notable among all the benefits that an employee can receive.
Some advantages of group health insurance plans for an employer include:
Typically, health insurance costs incurred by an employer are tax-deductible as regular business expenses, both at state and federal levels.
This financial benefit of group health plans for employers is also complemented by the lower premiums that accompany a group insurance policy.
By offering group insurance plans, companies can lower hiring costs and stay competitive when hiring talents. Many job seekers prioritize companies offering group medical coverage and other attractive benefits that can improve their financial situation.
Also, existing employees are more likely to stick with an employer when group health insurance is included in their benefits package.
Providing health insurance to employees and their dependents shows that a company cares for its employees. Group health coverage acts as a safeguard in case of serious health issues, keeping employees healthy.
When protected by group insurance, healthy employees are more likely to do a better job and require fewer sick days. Caring for employees’ well-being can boost morale and lead to a friendly, productive work environment.
Businesses need a positive image within and outside the establishment. Providing effective health benefits via group health insurance can help build a good reputation for the organization in the business world.
For both large and small businesses, the positive image built by offering health insurance can help hire the best employees and reduce turnover.
There are group health coverage options for small companies (less than 50 full-time equivalent employees) through the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP).
Small companies can get tax credits via the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit, which can help employers pay as much as 50% of their premium costs. The tax credit qualification requirements for small businesses include:
Providing health benefits through a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plan is also an excellent way for employers to reduce the overall cost while managing healthcare for their staff members.
Group health benefits under HMO plans are granted by selected medical professionals, hospitals, and clinics. Employees benefit from the discounted rates from the insurance provider and have a primary care doctor that handles regular checkups.
An Exclusive Provider Organization (EPO) plan is similar to an HMO, but EPOs have a larger network and higher premiums. Also, under an EPO, an employee does not need to have a primary care doctor and can consult with nationwide specialists under the network.
There are some benefits that group health insurance plans provide to company employees specifically, including:
One major benefit that employees enjoy from a group health plan is that it will cover pre-existing conditions. A pre-existing condition is an illness that a policyholder has been diagnosed with or has shown symptoms of before subscribing to an insurance policy.
The Affordable Care Act prevents health insurance providers from denying anyone coverage or imposing higher fees on them due to any pre-existing medical issues they may have prior to the commencement of their group health insurance policy.
Group health insurance plans are often divided into tiers that offer everything from basic coverage at a lower premium to more comprehensive coverage with optional add-ons.
A supplemental health insurance plan gives employees insurance benefits and offers an extra level of protection that regular health policies don’t cover. The scope of a supplemental health insurance plan includes expenses like copays, coinsurance, and deductibles that are not taken care of by regular health plans.
Some examples of supplemental health plans include dental plans, vision insurance, pharmacy prescriptions, critical illness plans, and hospital indemnity plans.
A health insurance policy is expected to provide coverage for medical expenses to an employee and their dependents younger than the age of 26. So, when a person pays the premiums for group plans, their children are covered too.
Employees under group health insurance might also be able to add other dependents to their group plans for an additional cost determined by the insurance company.
Group health insurance can also help employees to save money on their taxes. Employees can pay for their group health insurance premiums pre-tax. This will effectively reduce an employee’s taxable income – the portion of their paycheck from which their taxes are calculated – and increase their net salary.
The tax advantages of group health insurance are a good reason for members of American households to choose health insurance from their place of work instead of an individual health insurance plan.
Other financial aspects such as the lower cost of monthly premiums for group coverage also play a huge role in the preference for group health insurance over individual insurance.
The tax advantages for employees are emphasized when they use a health savings account, especially for high-deductible health plans.
According to a survey conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation, High Deductible Health Plans proved to be the most economical option for single and family coverage in 2022.
With group medical insurance policies, employers find it easier to receive claim settlements in comparison to individual insurance plans.
People with individual health insurance policies may need to go through a lengthy process to acquire the necessary documents and handle upfront payments.
On the other hand, with group medical insurance, it is usually just a matter of submitting your hospital bills to your employer and receiving reimbursement.
As mentioned earlier, group health insurance plans are often divided into tiers. These tiers range from basic coverage at a lower premium to a costlier, more comprehensive coverage with add-ons.
Group health insurance packages allow employees to access a wide range of services, from maternity benefits to Out-Patient-Department benefits.
Preventive health measures covered by insurance companies can help you avoid diseases or lessen their severity.
Group plans also include perks like health and wellness programs that can encourage employees to keep a healthy lifestyle, making them a worthwhile financial investment.
Conclusively, providing significant health benefits and incentives through group health insurance helps to create a stronger connection between business owners and their employees. This, in turn, can lead to increased productivity, greater job satisfaction, and a more positive work atmosphere.
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