Health insurance is one of the most valuable benefits offered to employees. But for employers, choosing a health care plan can be difficult. It is common for employers may be overwhelmed by the sheer number of options available, and unsure of which choice will be best for your bottom line. A benefits consultant can help guide employers through the decision-making process.
First, it is important to note that for most employers, providing health insurance is not mandatory. Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), only employers with fifty or more full-time employees are required to provide health insurance, or potentially face tax penalties.
Group Health Insurance Plan Options
Once employers have decided to provide health insurance, the question becomes how employers will do so. Traditionally, employers purchased a group health insurance plan from an insurance company. When employers purchase a group health plan, the same policy is available to all employees, provided that a certain percentage of employees enroll. The premium can be split between the employer and employee. The amount that employers pay may be tax-deductible business expense, and the employee’s share is generally paid on a pre-tax basis. Pre-tax payments require a premium only plan.
These tax advantages are important, as group health insurance plans can be costly for employers. They also involve a fair amount of administrative work, and require employers to keep up with yearly policy changes. If an employer decides to offer a group health insurance plan, a benefits consultant can assist employers with choosing the right health care plan for your company. For more useful information on offering health insurance benefits, read Tips For Business Owners Who Want to Offer Health Insurance Benefits.
Business Health Options Plan (SHOP) Marketplace
Under the ACA, certain businesses have another option for purchasing health insurance. For example, The Small Business Health Options Plan (SHOP) marketplace allows employers to choose a group health plan through an online exchange program. The SHOP marketplace often allows employees to choose their plan from a range of policies selected by the employer. This gives employees greater control over their health insurance, and may result in cost savings for employers.
Typically with group health plans, employers can choose to pay anywhere from 0 to 100% of the premium cost, and the premium payments have tax advantages. Some businesses may qualify for tax credits by purchasing insurance via the SHOP marketplace. The administrative requirements are somewhat lower than with group health plans, but still require a fair amount of time. A benefits consulting company understands how the SHOP marketplace works, and can help employers decide which plan would be most advantageous to your company.
A Professional Employer Organization (PEO)
If the thought of administering a health care plan is daunting, businesses can collaborate with a benefits consultant to handle these tasks. For a per-employee fee, these organizations “hire” your employees and take over management of items such as payroll, health insurance plans, and other benefits. One benefit of joining a PEO is relieving the administrative burden for an employer. However, this benefit requires giving up control over human resources management, additional administrative costs, and the paperwork required to join and maintain a membership in a PEO. A benefits consultant can advise employers if this option is right for your company.
Contact The Business Benefits Group Today!
Electing the right benefits option can be tricky. But, BBG’s highly-experienced benefits consultants can assist employers when deciding how to offer health insurance and choosing specific plans with our effective Plan Comparisons, Build Your Benefits Package and other benefits consulting services. Contact The Business Benefits Group today by giving us a call or sending us a message online to discuss your needs, goals, and to learn more about the options that are available.