When it comes to showing you truly care about your team’s success and well-being, nothing packs a punch quite like benefits. And if you are just starting to figure out what types of benefits to offer, you have several options to consider. For small groups that have fewer than 50 employees, you are not mandated to provide health insurance. But there is still plenty of value to you as an employer in offering your team access to quality health insurance.
Many small businesses can start to feel overwhelmed by all the options available to them and might have a difficult time determining what option is best for their business and team. When it comes the primary options small businesses do have, here are the main ones:
- SHOP Marketplace
- Individual Health Insurance
- Private Exchange
- Small Group Plan
1. SHOP Marketplace
The SHOP Marketplaces for small businesses make small group health plans available to those with 50 or fewer employees, but there are certain eligibility requirements. You can check to see if your business qualifies to use the SHOP Marketplace here.
Similar to the health insurance marketplace for individuals, Georgia’s SHOP marketplace can offer you a variety of options to choose from, receive enrollment assistance, and most importantly, review prices against standardized benefits.
To help make insurance more affordable, you can receive a tax credit that cuts the cost of premiums if you offer insurance benefits and meet employee and average income qualifications. If purchased through the SHOP marketplace, the tax credit will provide 50% of the cost of insurance.
- SHOP marketplace call center: 1-800-706-7893 (TTY users: 1-800-706-7915). Available Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. EST.
- SHOP website
- Small business health insurance tax credit information
2. Individual Health Insurance
Simple but effective, this option achieves results. Here, you direct employees to the Health Insurance Marketplace in Georgia to purchase a family or individual health plan. With premium reimbursement, eligible employees can gain access to discounts on their premiums through tax credits.
If you as a small business owner would like to contribute to your employee’s health insurance, you can do so through a premium reimbursement arrangement to cover the unsubsidized portion of your employee’s premium. You can also choose to reimburse all employees evenly or based on job criteria. One example might be $300/month to managers and $200/month to entry-level.
Choosing this option allows you to contribute to any amount through allowances. And it gives your employees the option of choosing an individual health insurance plan.
It can be a great option for businesses offering insurance for the first time, who don’t want the burden of extra paperwork or have been priced out of group health insurance options altogether.
Another option you have is joining a co-op for health insurance, which tends to be more traditional than the other options we are covering here.
The purpose of the co-op is to increase buying power and spread the risk among a larger group. Since each co-op is structured differently, the co-op could potentially offer better rates compared to a group policy or SHOP Marketplace plan.
4. Private Health Exchange
With a private exchange plan, you as a small business owner can give your employees a set contribution to use towards their choice from a menu of plan options. Those options can be individual- or group-based.
5. Small Group Plan
The last main option that you have is purchasing a traditional private small group health insurance plan. You might find more carriers and options to select from on the private market as opposed to the SHOP Marketplace.
ShopBenefits.com Can Help
Navigating the health insurance options available to small businesses can become frustrating and confusing. The lack of portability, rising costs, and existing alternatives are all contributing to the move away from traditional group health insurance.
Shopbenefits.com is committed to making insurance easier and more accessible for small businesses of all shapes and sizes. Contact us for your complimentary review or call (404) 256-2171 and ask for Al Schiebel to get your affordable quote today!
Additional Health Insurance Resources for Your Georgia Business
- The U.S. Department of Labor provides useful information on the reporting requirements for Small Businesses
- FAQ about the employer shared responsibility mandate
- You can also contact us at ShopBenefits.com by filling out a contact form online. We’re always happy to answer any questions you may have – it’s why we’re here!