Can You Create Your Own Group for Health Insurance?

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For small businesses offering competitive health care plans, it is often overwhelming. If you have less than 50 employees, by law you’re not required to provide health insurance for them. It is the number one benefit employees look for in a company though. 85% of small business employees say that health benefits impact their loyalty. They seek out careers that offer health insurance, and they’re more likely to stay if it’s provided. Offering healthcare shows your employees that you care about them and their future. It’s also a way to ensure your employees stay healthy and happy and ready to work. Healthy workers are productive workers! As a small business, health insurance plans may not be “affordable” to offer to your employees. The bigger the company, the more buying power. Small businesses don’t get that same luxury. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t other options for small businesses! Small businesses can still find and access great healthcare plans for employees.

What Is Group Health Insurance?

A “Group Health Plan” (GHP) is health insurance offered by an employer, union or association to its members while they are still working.” Group health plans determine coverage by current employment of your business. Employers with 50 or more employees by law have to offer health insurance to employees. Employees and spouses 65 or older have to receive the same GHP benefits as younger employees. This is another obligation by law employers with more than 50 employees have to follow. GPH’s based on current employment include small or large employer-sponsored plans for employees. They also include self-insured plans, employee organizational plans, and national health plans.

Companies and organizations can buy group health plans. They then offer these plans to their members or employees. Like the name implies, only groups can buy these plans. Individuals cannot buy coverage through these types of group plans. Group health plans are often less expensive than regular plans. They still offer great benefits and coverage though! They also provide tax benefits to both the employer and employees. This is what makes them a great option. Group health plan members usually receive insurance at a lower cost. The insurer’s risk spreads across a group of policyholders which makes this possible. Another thing to note is that they often need 70% participation to be valid.

Are There Groups You Can Join?

The bigger your group, often the more savings you can negotiate on health insurance. The problem: You CAN NOT create a group health insurance plan all on your own. Solo-entrepreneurs and small business owners to get insurance through the government. If you’re looking for better benefits or a better deal, you have options. You can find ways to get that better deal by joining a chamber or another organization that offers a group plan. These plans offer access to better health insurance and benefits for small businesses. This gives small businesses the same benefit opportunities as bigger corporations. Different group plans come with variations of benefits and selling points. They all have advantages to offer small businesses though. Common group plan advantages include:

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  • Coverage for businesses with 50 employees or less. Some plans even include coverage for business owners with no employees.
  • Various plan options. These options include both traditional copay plans and high deductible plans.
  • Financial protection against unexpected claims costs.

 

Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangement Plans

MEWA stands for multiple employer welfare arrangement. Welfare and health plans provide benefits to employees of two or more employers. These employers are not apart of the same group of businesses, but they team up to get the benefits. AUI works with many MEWA plans for Ohio small employer health insurance. For MEWAs sponsored by chambers of commerce medical underwriting is necessary. MEWAs allow small employers to team up to create a bigger amount of employees for insurance. This allows them to access and reach the same level of health benefits bigger companies get. This means there could be two or more employers in a group, enough to form a big enough number of employees needed. MEWAs are primarily regulated under The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), which is a federal law. However, state laws and regulations can also apply to MEWAs. In a MEWA, some groups are able to save over 30%. Each different group offers unique benefits to you and your company. There are many different options we have access to here at AUI.

AUI currently works with:

  • Council of Smaller Enterprises (COSE) Health & Welfare Trust (Medical Mutual)
  • Southern Ohio Chamber Alliance (SOCA) Health Benefits Plan (Anthem)
  • Greater Akron Chamber (GAC) Health Benefit Plan (SummaCare)
  • Canton Regional Chamber Health Fund (Aultcare)
  • Ohio Chamber Health Benefit Program (UnitedHealthcare)
  • Ohio Farm Bureau Health Benefits Plan

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How Do I Know What My Options Are?

MEWA’s are a great option, but they’re not the only option for small business health insurance here at AUI. You can learn about your options as a business owner by contacting us here at AUI. We can help find all the options for you and determine what the best one is! With our wide range of health insurance carriers, products, and plan types, we can help you. We’re equipped to put together a solution that works for your company. We’ll strive to find a plan helpful to you and your employees while fitting your budget. We even offer carriers, products, and plans exclusive to AUI. Your AUI agent will handle every aspect of employee onboarding and offboarding. We want to make that time-consuming process easy for you. Plus, you can count on them to touch base with you to ensure everything is running smooth. When it’s time for your annual renewal, your agent will help you assess your plan. They can determine if your health care insurance remains a good fit for your small business.

Contact us today to learn more or request a quote!

 

We do more than cover small businesses and individuals with the right insurance policies and benefit plans – what motivates our team is helping you save more so you can invest more in your team, family, and goals.

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