How to Choose a Health Insurance Plan for Your Small Business

Key points

  • Health insurance is an important benefit to provide to your employees, whether you’re required to or not.
  • You’ll want to think about the cost of insurance and the type of plan you want.
  • You may want to get help in navigating your choices.

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As a small business owner, you’re no doubt aware that it’s important to not only attract solid talent, but do what you can to retain talented employees. And a good way to do that is to make sure you’re offering a nice benefits package. That package might include a retirement savings plan you help contribute to, paid vacation time, and health insurance.

Now, you should know that if you run a business with fewer than 50 full-time employees, you’re not technically required to provide health insurance. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t.

Healthcare can be an astronomical expense in the absence of insurance. And even if you’re willing to raise salaries in lieu of providing insurance, you may find that prospective employees are turned off by the prospect of having to go out and purchase health coverage themselves.

Of course, choosing a health plan for your business isn’t exactly an easy thing to do. Here are some tips for navigating the process.

1. Decide how much you’re willing and able to spend

Within the realm of small business health insurance, there’s a range of plans. As you might imagine, costlier plans tend to offer superior coverage, while those that are less expensive don’t offer as much to participants.

It’s important to be realistic about how much you can afford to spend on health insurance. As a smaller operation, you can’t benefit from the bulk rates of a company with 12,000 employees might snag. So you’ll need to take a look at your banking records and see what’s realistic, keeping in mind that you’ll likely be picking up a large share of those premium costs.

2. Figure out if you want a high-deductible insurance plan

High-deductible health insurance plans can be a burdensome for participants — especially those with family members who tend to get sick often. But the costs for these plans can be more reasonable, as plans with higher deductibles tend to come with lower premiums. That’s something to keep in mind if you’ll be covering those premiums at 100%.

Also, if you offer a high-deductible plan, it may allow you to offer a health savings account in conjunction with that plan. That could make it easier for your employees to cover their medical costs while reaping tax savings.

3. Consider partnering up with an insurance broker

As a small business owner, you may not be all that well-versed on health insurance options. But it’s the job of an insurance broker to walk you through your options and do research on your behalf, so you can focus on running your business. Not only might an insurance broker help you find the right plan, but they can generally help you get set up so you don’t find yourself lost in a sea of ​​paperwork.

Whether a health insurance plan is something you’re looking to offer because it’s a requirement or because it’s a benefit you want to provide, it’s important to find the best plan for your company. Take your time in making that decision so you and your employees wind up happy with it.

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