- Open enrollment is a few week period at the end of the year when employees can choose, drop or change their employer-sponsored health care coverage.
- Small businesses with fewer than 50 full-time employees aren’t necessarily required to pay into group health insurance premiums.
- Small businesses that do offer plans through the Small Business Health Options Program enjoy the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit.
As far as fall rituals go, the health insurance “open enrollment” period is right up there with raking wet leaves and paying property taxes. If this isn’t your first time around the block as a business, you already know that earlier is better when it’s time to get the word out and meet what always turns out to be a rocket speed-approaching deadline.
Here are the basics for 2019 and what small business owner’s need to know.
Do small businesses have to offer health coverage?
Not always. If you’re a business with fewer than 50 full-time employees, you aren’t required to pay a percentage of group health insurance premiums – but many small organizations opt to do it to stay competitive.
Things have changed with the Affordable Care Act: A mandate fining individuals without health insurance was removed in 2019. But the ACA still requires employers with 50 or more full-time employees to offer health insurance coverage. Regardless, it’s still a good idea to offer a plan given the tough climate for finding and retaining good workers.
An added bonus to offering coverage is that small companies who sign up for plans through the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP), can take advantage of the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit. If all criteria are met, this tax credit is worth up to 50% of the costs a company pays for employee premiums, according