Your business has several choices when it come to buying a group health plan for your team.
Insurers have to offer plans that cover at least the “10 essential health benefits and services” legally required under affordable care rules, which include maternity and mental health care.
That’s because the price will be based on how an employee’s age, location, and tobacco use.
To buy insurance on the marketplaces your small business has to cover at least 50% of the cost of health insurance for your employees (not their families) On average, the premium for employees at small firms nationwide was $6,163 a year, which equals $513.58 a month, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation report earlier this year.
The online marketplaces offer a set number of plans from private insurance companies that are geared to the pocketbooks of small businesses. The marketplaces offer four plan levels established by the affordable care act: bronze, the least fancy plan, and silver, gold and platinum.
A small business can enroll any time during the year as long as enough of its employees participate in its plan or have coverage elsewhere. Otherwise, your small business can sign up during open enrollment between Nov. Bronze plans: These typically have a lower monthly premium but a sky-high deductible.
Some experts say a small business won’t have much leverage to negotiate costs until it has 50 employees.
Once you sign up for a plan, your small business could qualify for a sliding-scale tax credit of up to 50% of the cost of premiums you pay on behalf of your employees.
On average, silver plans are often the most popular because they strike a balance between cost and benefits.
As a small business, you can decide which plan, or combination of plans to offer your team.