As a small business owner, as long as you have less than 50 full-time-equivalent employees, it's up to you to decide whether you want to offer health insurance as part of your employee benefits package. Unfortunately, there's no right or wrong answer. There isn't a one-size-fits-all benefits package. You need to decide what's best for you, your company, and your employees. So, take a few minutes to learn more about health insurance for small businesses.

How Much Does It Cost?

In 2015, the average insurance premium for a single person was $521 per month or $6,251 per year, and the average family premium cost $1,1462 per month or $17,545 per year. However, the exact amount of money you'll pay to offer health insurance to your employees varies depending on the type of insurance plan that you select, the insurance carrier's rates, your location, employee demographics, and your contribution strategy. This is why it's important to review group plans from different carriers before you select a plan. Also, keep in mind that it's not common for employers to pay the full premium for their employees. Typically, an employer pays at least 50 percent so that the company gets a tax credit. Some employers pay up to 80 or even 100 percent of their employees' health insurance premiums, but on average, employers pay around 70 percent of the health insurance premiums.

Benefits of Offering Health Insurance

If you can afford to offer health insurance to your employees, you should consider it. Offering health insurance as part of your employee benefit package has several advantages. Health benefits will help your company:

  • Attract more qualified employees.
  • Increase the employee retention rate.
  • Qualify for more tax breaks -- 100 percent of your employees' health insurance premiums can be written off.
  • Qualify for an additional tax credit -- if your company has less than 25 full-time-equivalent employees.

Additionally, by offering your employees health insurance, you're relieving some of their stress. They don't have to worry about finding the money to pay out-of-pocket for medical expenses.

Other Considerations

When you're shopping for a good group health plan, there are several things that you need to take into consideration.

  • Do you want a PPO or an HMO plan? HMO plans are typically more affordable, but PPO plans don't have as many restrictions. For example, with a HMO plan, you're required to designate a primary physician within the network, and you'll work solely with the physician to determine your plan of care. However, with a PPO plan, your doctor doesn't need to refer you to a specialist and you have a wider range of doctors and hospitals available.
  • Do you want a plan that has a deductible or a co-pay for doctor visits and prescriptions?
  • Do you want a plan that covers dental and vision?

For more information, contact Carolina First Associates, LLC or a similar company.