For your small business employerclients, making health care available to employees can be adaunting prospect. Procuring employee benefits can be costly andconfusing to a non-expert in the field. However, it is essential tohelp them separate fact from fiction when they're consideringproviding small business employees with the valuable gift of healthcare. Please see below four debunked commonly believed myths abouthealth care for small businesses: 

My employees have medical issues; I probably can't even afford tooffer health insurance.

For small group health plans, prices vary based on employee age,location, and carrier. The health of employees is not a determiningfactor. Small business fully insured plans are “guaranteed issue,”which means that qualified employees, regardless of health status,can get coverage. 

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While employee benefits can be pricey, employers do not have tosubsidize the entire amount. Depending on the budget, the businessowner can determine how much they are willing to contribute.However, most employers contribute anywhere from 50 percent to 100percent of the employee only cost. Additionally, there is a wealthof health plan options available for a wide range ofbudgets. 

Employee benefits are too hard to understand.

A study recently found that 4 percent of Americans c ouldn't correctly definethe four key health insurance terms necessary for a basicknowledge of health care (deductible, copay, coinsurance,out-of-pocket-maximum). Even if your client has  neveroffered employee benefits before, unfamiliarity with health carerelated language shouldn't stand in the way of making sure thecompany is covered. Resources, including your knowledge, areavailable to help demystify insurance for small business ownersThere is also a multitude of explanatory collateral easilyaccessible online for free breaking down health insuranceterminology and preparing small business owners to purchase healthinsurance plans for their employees. 

I can't get insurance. I missed the open enrollmentperiod.

Small business owners can make employee benefits available to theiremployees all year round. For the majority of states, the openenrollment period for 2019 was from November 1st, 2018 to December 15th, 2018, withsome states (like the District of Columbia or New York) extendingtheir deadlines to the end of January. However, the open enrollmentperiods only apply to individual plans and Medicare, meaning thatit is always a good time to offer health insurance to employees.Most insurance companies offer effective dates on the first or thefifteenth of every month of the year for newbenefits. 

I shouldn't have to provide insurance to my employees if it isn'tlegally required.

Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), employers who have less than50 employees are not legally required to offer health insurance.Employees with 50 or more full-time employees may face a penaltyfor not providing coverage. However, even if your small businessclient isn't bound by law to offer employee health insurance, doingso benefits employees, their families, as well as the business as awhole. Employees are far more likely to choose and stay with acompany if they are satisfied with the health benefits. In a recent AHIPstudy, 56 percent of American adults whose employers sponsoredtheir health benefits reported that whether or not they liked theirjob's health coverage was a key factor in deciding to stay at theircurrent position, while 46 percent said health insurance was eitherthe deciding factor or a positive influence in choosing theircurrent position. Furthermore, employees who are insured areconsequently more productive while atwork. 

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No small business is too small to offer benefits. Under federallaw, a small business must have at least one full-time equivalentemployee other than the owner, spouse, or family member to qualifyas a small business and obtain health insurance. As long as yourclient's company qualifies as a small business under the ACA, itcan provide employees with health care.

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There's often confusion surrounding small business health insurancethat may prevent a small business owner from taking the crucialsteps to make sure their team is covered. Shopping for andpurchasing employee benefits has modernized and become easier overtime, thanks in great part to continuously improving technology.With all of this information and technology at your fingertips, youcan feel confident in taking the next steps to help clients providehealth insurance to their employees. 

Sally Poblete Bio

Sally Poblete has been a leader and innovator in the healthinsurance industry for over 20 years. As a broker and formerindustry executive herself, she founded Wellthie out of a deeppassion for making health insurance more simple and approachablefor consumers and small businesses. She had a successful careerleading product development at Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, oneof the nation's largest health insurance companies.

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