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Obamacare Open Enrollment: What It Means for Small Businesses

With individual health insurance open enrollment opening up this month, your employees might have some questions about their benefits.  Here are some tips to prepare yourself.

1. Evaluate Your Current Offerings

Reach out to your HR provider or health insurance broker to review your current plan. Most companies renew towards the end of the year, so it is important to see what your renewal rate is and what options you have for next year. Unfortunately, small business health insurance premiums have nearly doubled since 2009 and more often than not, the cost of providing employer-sponsored insurance is increasing.

Several small business are looking for alternative, more affordable options, or dropping their plans altogether. This is why meeting with a health insurance professional will help you determine the best option for your business, your employees, and your budget.

2. Explore Your Options

If you employ less than 50 people, then you are not subject to the shared employer responsibility mandate under Obamacare. So while dropping your health plan altogether is an option, there are several cost-effective health insurance options to explore. Today there are many partially self-funded plans that will reward you by giving you money back if your group’s claims are low. There are also federal and state tax credits available for small businesses that provide health insurance. In Arizona, they offer a health insurance premium tax credit to small businesses that decide to offer a health insurance coverage their employees who did not previously offer coverage.

If offering coverage is not cost-effective, then insurance professionals, like the Focus HR sales team, can assist your employees with obtaining individual health insurance for their families.

3. Communicate With Your Employees

Once a decision is made, it is important to communicate that with your employees. Hold an open enrollment or benefits meeting with them to explain your decision and why it is best for them and the success of the company. Often your insurance broker, or Focus HR team member, will come out and host this meeting for you. During this time, it is also important to go over the changes under Obamacare and explain to them the changes with pre-exisiting conditions, tax subsidies,  and essential health benefits. The more transparent and open you are with your employees, the better.

Now is a great time of year to start thinking about health insurance options. If you would like to schedule a benefits meeting, contact Focus HR today at 520-721-6777. Likewise, we can start quoting out group health options for your business if you submit a health insurance census to us at info@focushr.net or faxing it to 520-721-6777.

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