Many small business owners wish they could provide group health benefits to their workers, but several obstacles stand in their way. First, premiums can seem unmanageable to smaller businesses. Second, the required participation rate of 70 percent of employees might be unattainable for numerous reasons. Still, small business owners don’t deny the potential benefits of a group health plan to both themselves and employers.
If that sounds familiar, we have good news: The Small Group Special Enrollment Period was designed to allow employees of small businesses to enroll in a group health plan, while sidestepping the rules that would normally prevent their participation.
Under the Small Group Special Enrollment rules, employers are not subject to participation minimums. This means as long as one – yes, just one – employee signs up, they can enjoy a group health plan.
As for the cost of premiums, business owners are not subject to any requirement to contribute. They can pay for part, all, or none of the plan as their budget allows, passing on any difference to employees who choose to participate. Workers are happy because they can access a plan of their liking, and business owners are happy with the flexibility of their contributions. Everyone wins!
In addition, if the employer establishes a cafeteria plan, employees can access valuable tax savings. By paying for premiums through pre-tax payroll deductions, they can earn a significant deduction on their income tax obligation.
Finally, the healthcare plans offered under Small Group Special Enrollment are subject to the same underwriting guidelines required by law. Employees can access quality healthcare plans even though their employers won’t be subject to strict regulation of their contribution.
There’s just one drawback of this special enrollment period: It only lasts for one month, between November 15 and December 15 (with coverage beginning January 1). Give us a call now to begin weighing your options, so that employees have time to make a decision about group health plans.