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Small Businesses May Have Better Health Insurance Options

If you’re a business owner with fewer than 50 full-time employees, you probably know that the Affordable Care Act does not require you to offer health insurance to your workers. But since offering employee health benefits can help you attract and retain the best workers, it may still be in your best interest to do so.\r
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In fact, you might be pleasantly surprised to learn that you have better options available to you than owners of larger businesses. Yes, the cost of group health insurance has risen sharply, nearly doubling since 2009. But the good news is that you may be eligible for tax credits to offset the high cost of premiums. If you’re a creative mathematical thinker, or employ a highly skilled accountant, you may be able to devise a low-cost solution that offers valuable benefits to your employees.\r
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If you have fewer than 25 full-time workers, your tax credits may cover up to 50 percent of your portion of group health insurance premiums. But since you can only access these tax credits through the SHOP marketplace, your first step should be to consult with an insurance broker who is familiar with SHOP plans. You will learn whether you are eligible for tax credits, and then you can calculate your bottom-line expense for the company.\r
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Some employers choose to make a defined contribution toward employee health benefits, or they offer a variety of plans. Then employees can choose a plan based upon their needs and budget, much like shopping on the exchange.\r
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As you can see, sometimes small business owners have more options than those who run larger companies! Weigh the cost of providing group health insurance through tax credits against the benefits of offering an employee reimbursement program. With some creative thinking and careful calculations, you can find the health insurance solution you need to fit your budget.

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