Why Offer Group Insurance? 

by Kristine Kassel

Even with all the talk of changing the Health Care Reform System, the laws have not yet changed. As an individual and a business, you still have the same responsibilities that you had last year. So, you are required to have health insurance as an individual. And the reporting and compliance requirements as a business offering insurance are still the same. It’s hard, when we hear the new proposals on the news, to realize these have not yet passed.

As a business owner, what are your options today? If you are a business that is not offering group insurance at this time, I would definitely look into it. Your employees don’t have many options for individual insurance today, so a group plan would also benefit them. There are more carrier choices and also PPO plans in the group market. And remember that a group plan is a deductible expense for your business.

The requirements to offer a group plan are that you need to pay at least 50 percent of the employee rate. And the other requirement is that you need to meet participation, which can be just two employees as long as the other employees have valid waivers or other insurance. You can start with offering a higher deductible plan with a smaller network and paying 50 percent of that employee cost. Then also offer a lower deductible that the employee can buy up to and pay the difference if they want a richer plan. All of these costs are deductible pre-tax through the employee’s paycheck, too.

Offering a plan will increase your employee morale and also produce higher productivity at your workplace. Plus, it shows that you are offering a culture that is taking care of your employees and their families.

So, the next step to look at offering a group insurance plan would be to reach out to a broker to assist you in obtaining rates and also to review the employer requirements. This can all be done at no charge, so it’s worth researching! Take the next step and prepare for your employees’ future.

Kristine Kassel is president of Benefits By Design, Inc.

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