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Group Health Insurance Plans From Harmony Health Insurance

Group health insurance plans are different than policies for individuals and families. Small business health insurance plans have more regulations, and their terms are more complicated than individual plans. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act also had an effect on insurance coverage and rates for group health insurance plans.

You should talk to a Harmony Health insurance broker to learn all the ins and outs of group health insurance. However, we’ve assembled some basic information to help you understand group coverage better.

What Is Group Health Insurance?

Group health insurance is a single policy that covers an entire group of people. The most common group that purchases a group plan is a business with employees. That’s not the only organization that can benefit from a group plan. Other organizations can also purchase insurance for their members.

Individual health insurance policies used to base their rates on the individual health history of the applicant. The new healthcare law changed that. The new law protects people with preexisting conditions from being denied insurance. In a way, individual health insurance plans purchased through the Affordable Care Act make you a small part of an enormous group plan.

Group health insurance rates are based on general information for the members of the group. The type of organization that purchases that policy can also affect the rates. That’s because group plans are based on a pool of insured persons that can change. As people leave the group, and others take their place, the makeup of the pool changes.

Is Small Business Health Insurance Mandatory?

Yes and no. The number of people working for a business decides whether an employer must offer health insurance to their employees. Small businesses are largely exempt. If your business has fewer than 50 full-time employees, it’s considered a small business. There are some exceptions to this rule, however. If your business employs a large number of part-time employees, the government may use a standard called full-time-equivalent employment to determine your status. Your group health insurance broker can fill you in on the details.

Who Is Eligible?

With a few exceptions, when a small business offers group health insurance to any of its full-time employees, it must offer insurance to all full-time staff. Employers can also extend coverage to part-time workers. However, if they offer it to even one part-time employee, they’ll have to offer it to all part-timers.

If an employee is eligible for the group health insurance plan, they can’t be refused due to preexisting medical conditions. That also applies to members of their families. Some group health insurance policies allow spouses, children and other dependents to sign up for coverage as well as the employee.

What Portion Do Employers Pay?

Many employers pay the entire cost of group insurance for their employees. This isn’t required, however. Some businesses make their employees pay part of their premiums. The Affordable Care Act offers many tax credits for businesses to offset the cost of group insurance. If employees pay at least half of the premiums for their employers, they may qualify for up to a 50 percent tax credit. These tax credits are based on complicated rules, so it pays to ask your Los Angeles health insurance broker and your accountant for full details.

Find Out More

Not all businesses need to offer group health insurance to comply with federal and state laws. However, small business health insurance is an important perk that employees value very highly. If you’d like to offer health insurance to improve employee morale and retention rates, contact Harmony Health Insurance Services for more information.