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How the ACA Makes Health Benefits Affordable for Small Businesses

How the ACA Makes Health Benefits Affordable for Small Businesses

It’s beginning to look a lot like… that time of year when everyone’s making decisions about their healthcare coverage and provisions.

Most of the articles on ACA enrollment center around senior citizens with Medicare options or individual and family plans. But we’re going to discuss the special enrollment period catered specifically towards small businesses health insurance.

The Small Business Special Enrollment Period starts from November 15 through December 15. It’s a little-known gem for small businesses with fewer than 50 employees. The SEP offers a way to provide employee benefits via top-notch group health insurance plans - without requiring employer contribution. This plan is beneficial to your employees too, as they can pay their premiums using pre-tax dollars.

How does the ACA small business insurance deal work?

Small businesses are trying to survive in a time when unemployment is on the rise and COVID has left several job vacancies. It’s no secret that offering health benefits to your employees - at no cost to you - is a competitive recruitment tool. But despite the tax credit incentives offered by the state government, small businesses in New York often ignore health insurance benefits due to the cost and complexity. If this sounds familiar to you, keep reading.

During the special enrollment period, the Affordable Care Act mandates insurers to offer group health insurance plans to small businesses that provide the same kind of comprehensive coverage as the plans negotiated by large companies in New York. Also, this is the one time of year when all insurance companies in New York must accept all small businesses that apply for this coverage!

To make the most out of the special enrollment period, here’s a breakdown of the facts:

  1. Dates - Small businesses with 2-50 employees must apply between Nov. 15 and Dec. 15 to gain coverage that starts on January 1, 2022.

  2. Qualifications - To qualify, at least one full-time employee apart from the business owner must join. This means even if you or your other employees are on spousal plans or other ACA and Medicare plans, the one person who wants this coverage will qualify the plan.

  3. Coverage - The plan must offer coverage and premiums on par with other group plans for small businesses that require a 70% minimum participation standard and employer contributions of upto 50%.

  4. Premiums - As mentioned above, monthly premiums must equate to the value of premiums paid on regular small group health plans.

  5. Contribution - Employers do NOT have to contribute anything towards the plan, and employees can pay premiums on a pre-tax basis.

As a small business owner, you need to be able to attract top talent without losing too much money on costly benefits that may never be used. This special enrollment period will help you meet your staff’s health insurance needs at no cost to you - but you need to act quickly. Talk to your insurance agent or consult with a specialist like NY Small Health.

The experts at NY Small Health will be able to guide you through similar opportunities for offering affordable but great benefits to your staff. Contact them now to learn more.

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