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Getty Images Health insurance is expensive, complicated, and sensitive--a lot can go wrong. But small business health insurance is a must if you're looking to grow.
It can help attract and retain better employeesimprove productivity by keeping everyone healthyand might even save you some money with tax credits and deductions.
Not to mention, if you have 50 or more full-time employees, you legally have to offer health insurance. Perhaps this could change next year, but for now, let's assume so. Where do you start your search, though? These 4 options are some of the best out there.
Take a look below and decide which is right for you and your small business. Solo Entrepreneurs If you're a freelancer, consultant, or sole proprietor, then you'll probably need to purchase individual health insurance.
As an individual, you only need to satisfy your own health-related needs and those of your dependents. Keep in mind the following while looking at plans: Prescription medicine you need Personal and family medical history Your medical practitioner habits How often do you visit a generalist or a specialist, for example?
Most small businesses go with "small group" healthcare, where the risks are spread out among the employers and employees. But with a single individual, that doesn't quite work so well--that's why, in most states, only groups of 2 or more are eligible for small group health insurance.
However, some states do allow "groups of one" to quality for small business health insurance--which is especially useful if you have a chronic condition and might struggle to get affordable individual health insurance.
So check your state to see if you're eligible, and figure out what works best for you. Each state runs its own SHOP marketplace--either on its own or with help from the federal government--that you can use to search through, learn about, and select the best healthcare options for your small business.
If you have between 1 and 50 employees or up to in Virginiayou're eligible to select healthcare coverage plans from your state's SHOP marketplace.
You can filter through our different levels of plans --Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum--that indicates their prices not their quality. Once you pick your "Metal level," your employees can go into the marketplace and pick whichever plan that works best for them in your category. You'll rest assured knowing your expenses will remain the same no matter the specific plan, your employees will appreciate being able to choose their insurance plan, and your business might even benefit from a substantial tax credit.
If you have 25 or fewer employees, you should investigate this possibility--it might save you quite a bit of money on your health insurance. Private Health Exchanges A private health exchange, also called a purchasing alliance, is sort of like a privatized version of a SHOP marketplace.
You pick a private health exchange to work with, paying only a set amount per employee depending on what percentage of their medical costs you want to cover. Meanwhile, your employees will get to pick and choose their specific plans based on those offered by the purchasing alliance.
With a private health exchange, you don't get the tax credits or huge selection of the SHOP marketplace. However, these options can be more competitively priced or higher quality, come with success agents who can advise you, and often let your employees spend pre-tax dollars on health insurance to save money.
Direct Purchase If you want to put in the time and energy, purchasing a small group health insurance plan directly from a provider could save you money. While this might satisfy your inner entrepreneur and cut some costs, there are a few ways this could go sour.
First, some insurers simply don't sell direct--so your selection is more limited than you'd think.Health benefits and health insurance plans are offered, underwritten and/or administered by Aetna Health Inc., Aetna Health of California Inc., Aetna Health Insurance Company of New York, Aetna Health Insurance Company and/or Aetna Life Insurance Company (Aetna).
State Farm has insurance to protect both business condominium associations and residential community associations, including protection for buildings, common areas, backups of sewers and drains, liability for directors and officers, loss of income, and more.
|Testimonials||With groups such as small businesses, the insurer has determined a premium price based on risk factors balanced over the entire group, using general information on members of the group, such as age or gender.|
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Small employer market - Any business with employees can buy health insurance in the small employer market. You buy directly from an insurance company or from an insurance agent or broker. Association health plans - Small businesses can buy health insurance through an association. Small employer market - Any business with employees can buy health insurance in the small employer market.
You buy directly from an insurance company or from an insurance agent or broker. Association health plans - Small businesses can buy health insurance through an association.
And health insurance is a critical factor in retaining and recruiting employees for your small business, as well as maintaining productivity and employee satisfaction. Our health insurance plans help you save money on health care costs and keep your employees informed, healthy and happy.
What type of small business insurance do I need? The kinds of commercial insurance coverage you need depend on the kind of business you have. For example, a tree removal service working with potentially dangerous equipment would have different risks and needs than a freelance web designer. What would-be entrepreneurs and first-time business owners need to know to make smart, sound, insurance decisions. AUDIO: NAIC President and Montana Commissioner of Securities and Insurance Monica J. Lindeen discusses small business insurance issues. Customized coverage to protect your business property, people and assets. Farmers is the smart choice for business insurance. Contact a Farmers agent for a quote today.
Caron Beesley is a small business owner, a writer, and marketing communications consultant. Caron works with the feelthefish.com team to promote essential government resources that help entrepreneurs and small business owners start-up, grow and succeed.