Health insurance is a vital element of American society. In recent years more than ever, the nation has seen how integral public health and safety are to daily life. However, employers often remain confused when it comes to protecting their health and that of their employees. After all, insurance can be complex and difficult to implement correctly in a business context, even at its most basic level.
Thus, it is reasonable that small business owners in Virginia may wonder why they should buy health insurance at all. If it is not required for all businesses, does it still have something to offer?
Here is an overview of which employers in Virginia are required to offer health insurance and why those that aren’t should still consider it.
What Constitutes a Small Business?
Insurance for businesses varies based on the size and scale of a business. Providing health insurance for a company with 30 workers will necessarily be an easier task than providing insurance for an international enterprise that employs 30,000. So, when employers consider whether they should invest in health insurance, they need to know how it will interact with their business.
There is no universal definition of what constitutes a “small business,” but people usually distinguish it from medium and large businesses based on the number of workers and the annual revenue. If a business has between 50 and 100 employees, it is typically categorized as a small business. If, within a year, the business has a revenue lower than $5 million, it is also a small business.
There are exceptions, of course, and areas where these two methods of definitions contradict each other. If employers feel their company is in that gray area, the next best step is to speak with an insurance professional who can clarify what constitutes a small business in the context of the healthcare plans available.
Health Insurance Requirements for Businesses
Employers must stay informed about whether it is legally required that they provide health insurance for their employees. These laws vary based on state and occasionally even county. Virginia, for example, has mandated that companies with more than two employees buy workers’ compensation insurance.
There have been efforts, such as the Affordable Healthcare Act, to increase health insurance in America by mandating that companies provide it to their employees. However, this mandate usually only applies to big businesses. Businesses with less than 50 employees are almost never obligated to buy health insurance for their workers.
However, even if health insurance is not strictly required, there are numerous benefits that small business owners should consider.
The Benefits of Buying Business Health Insurance
Even with freedom of choice and assurance of coverage, employers may not want to purchase health insurance when it is not legally mandated. Insurance indeed adds another budgetary consideration to the company finances; however, the benefits of business health insurance often outweigh the negatives.
Group health insurance comes with lower monthly premiums collectively, and these premiums are often tax deductible. Beyond financial benefits, providing health insurance for employees can improve the work culture of the business.
When health insurance is provided, employee retention improves, and employees are happier and more productive. Additionally, workers are more likely to view their employer favorably and recommend the business to peers, further boosting sales and reputation.
Important Factors to Remember
Health insurance for businesses differs slightly from insurance plans purchased on the marketplace. For instance, monthly premiums need to be paid collaboratively. Employees opt into coverage by paying (at most) 50% of the premiums, with the other 50% (or more) paid for by the company.
The company can also decide to pay for the dependents of their employees, like their children or family members with medical concerns. Furthermore, employers can choose their coverage from a variety of providers.
Employers have the freedom to purchase insurance at any time of the year, unlike individuals who must select their plans during marketplace open enrollment. Once the plan is bought, coverage is locked in for a year, but otherwise, companies have more malleability of choice than private individuals.
Get Comprehensive Health Insurance That Is Right for Your Employees
It may seem like the many health insurance options available for small businesses come with impossible complexities that make them too much of a hassle to bother with. However, it does not have to be that way.
The professional team at Burton & Company works closely with businesses to help them select the right health insurance coverage for their small business team so that they can invest in good health and increase happiness for their employees. Contact Burton & Company to schedule an appointment to discuss health insurance options for your small business.