A small business can get and keep workers by offering health insurance. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) lets small businesses buy health insurance. To find the best health insurance companies across the country, we looked at big insurance companies that offer ACA marketplace plans. Blue Cross Blue Shield and Kaiser Permanente got the best marks in our study.
How does health insurance for small businesses work?
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) says that a small business is one with fewer than 50 full-time workers (FTE), but different states may have different rules. Small business owners hire health insurance companies and choose how many choices to give their workers.
A small business owner signs up for a private insurance company’s group health insurance plan and then lets their workers sign up for the same plan. Part of an employee’s monthly payment is paid for by the company. The employee also pays for deductibles, copays, coinsurance, and services that the plan doesn’t cover.
Do little companies have to offer health insurance?
There are rules for small business owners who do offer health insurance to their employees, but they are not forced to by law. So, make sure you know what your state’s definition of a small business is. This will affect what you have to offer your workers if you decide to offer health insurance.
Possible Health Insurance Plans for Small Businesses
With SHOP, small business owners can buy health insurance for their workers from insurance companies that have been approved by the government. Employers who get insurance through the SHOP Marketplace can offer health plans from a number of different insurance companies. They can also get the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit, which can help with the cost of covering their workers.
How much does small business health insurance cost?
A survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation in 2023 found that small business owners pay an average of $612 a month for each employee and $1,274 a month for family coverage. The exact cost varies on many things, such as how much health insurance has been used in the past. To give you an example, if staff health care costs are high one year, the insurance company might charge more for health insurance the following year.
How to Look at Different Health Insurance Plans for Small Businesses
The design of the benefit determines whether workers can get care from providers outside of the network and need recommendations to see experts. One worker might like the lower premiums in an HMO and not have any trouble sticking in-network, while another might like the freedom of a PPO but know they will have to pay more in premiums. Giving workers choices can help them be happy at work.
Network for providers
Health insurance companies make deals with hospitals and other medical sites. Contracts like these say how much providers get paid and may also include rules for providers, like making sure they provide a certain level of care. A small network could mean that workers have to look for a doctor, which could cost them more because they are not in the network.
How to do it
To find the best health insurance companies for small business owners, we looked at 84 pieces of information about coverage and quality for seven big health insurance companies. The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) is a separate, non-profit group that rates health plans based on certain criteria, such as how the patient felt, how well the plan prevented problems, how well it treated those problems, and how well it provided care generally.