Category: Insurance

A Small Business Guide to Open Enrollment

  • 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

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4 Ways to Reduce Your Insurance Costs

Successful entrepreneurs and seasoned business professionals are always searching for new ways to cut down on the costs associated with doing business. If a company can’t find a way to do more with less, it’s unlikely to endure for long in a competitive marketplace where it’s surrounded by savvy competitors. Far too often, however, business leaders fail to pay attention to one key area where they can seriously save money – their insurance costs.

Smart consumers regularly shop around for their best insurance options and search for ways to mitigate their rates. Why should your business be any different? Taking a little time to do the research and look for ways your company can reduce its insurance costs will save money in the long run.  Here’s how companies can cut their insurance costs without cutting corners.

Know your options before you commit

The best way any company can cut their insurance costs is by being aware of their options before they make a hefty financial commitment to one particular provider. Failure to do so could land a business in a commitment with a provider that is not cutting them a good deal and getting out of an insurance plan early is often tricky. 

If you’re uncomfortable with your current business insurance policies, there’s no need to stick around with a provider that generates lackluster results in an important area of commerce. After all, shoddy insurance isn’t just something that will drain your accounts every month. In the right circumstances, it could cost you the entire business. Not having adequate coverage is one of the leading reasons small businesses fail when calamity inevitably strikes.

Many small businesses make foolish mistakes, which end up costing them huge sums of money in the long-term while their corporate competitors invest more wisely in insurance.

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