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When should my small business offer health insurance?

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If you are a small business owner, the health, safety and well-being of your employees is your priority and, to some extent, your responsibility. There’s no doubt that upholding the highest workplace safety standards is essential, but there’s so much more you can do to look after the mental, physical and financial well-being of your team – inside and out. workplaces!

Offering comprehensive health insurance coverage or health benefits (even if you’re not legally required to do so) is a great way to attract top talent and create a healthier workplace for everyone. Here’s a quick start guide for small business owners.

Should your company offer health insurance?

With the introduction of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) 2010, some companies are required by law to offer health insurance to their employees. The law specifies that applicable large employers (LEAs) who have 50 or more full-time equivalent workers (who work at least 30 hours per week or at least 130 hours per month) are required to offer health insurance.

If you run a small business that employs less than 50 full-time employees, you are exempt from the obligation to provide health insurance. And yet, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, more than 31% small businesses – nearly one million small American businesses – with less than 50 employees offer health coverage.

While this percentage is lower in businesses with 2-15 employees, the majority of small businesses looking to grow or employ 16-50 employees offer some health benefits. Budget can be tight at any stage of a business, but investing in health insurance is a small price to pay to attract some of the best talent in the industry!

When to offer health insurance to your employees?

So your small business may not be required by law to guarantee Health insurance to your employees. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t!

As political administrations change, the laws regarding employee health insurance are likely to change as well. Because these changes can be sudden and unexpected, it’s important to have a framework in mind to keep your business compliant. Ideally, you should partner with legal experts and human resources professionals to understand whether your company would offer health insurance under the ACA.

Additionally, since the program was introduced in 2015, many small businesses have voluntarily participated in the ACA’s Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP). The SHOP allows small businesses to group together with other businesses and access affordable public health insurance policies.

4 benefits of offering health insurance to your team

As noted above, small businesses with 50 or fewer full-time employees are not required to invest in employee health insurance. But choosing to do so can bring inescapable benefits. These include:

  1. Attract the best talent – as the Great Resignation rages on, companies are scrambling to attract and retain top talent. On the other hand, professionals have raised their expectations, now seeking higher compensation and greater benefits. Offering health insurance can help your business stand out from the competition.
  2. Align with industry standards – recent studies show that 84% of employees and 71% of HR professionals believe that companies will increasingly focus on ensuring the financial, mental and physical well-being of their employees. Offering insurance today can help your business keep pace with an ever-changing marketplace.
  3. Support a healthier workplace – providing health insurance to your employees can be a smart move to create an overall healthier workplace. After all, today more than 50% of Americans skip or delay medical care because of the associated costs. Providing medical insurance allows them to take the best care of their body and mind without having to worry about their finances.
  4. Simplify your tax strategy – thanks to the SHOP grant and the health tax credit for small employers, you can deduct from your tax base part of the costs related to health insurance.

When providing an insurance plan, make sure it meets the standards set out by the ACA and becomes available to employees within 90 days of hire.

Other benefits to ensure the health and well-being of your employees

When it’s about ensure the well-being of your employees, investing in health insurance is only one piece of the puzzle. When taking a holistic approach, you can consider focusing on disease prevention and overall health as well, providing your employees with:

  • Quality health and safety training
  • Gym Membership
  • Rewards for cycling to work
  • Yoga and meditation classes
  • mental health counseling

Not sure what perks your employees would appreciate the most? Ask them!

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